Ratings Plummet for ABC Sitcom ‘The Real O’Neals’ (Updated: 3/21/2016)


Three weeks ago, I went Walt Disney World for spring break, and I can tell you it’s still as magical a place as ever. The Magic Kingdom turns 45 this year (if you can believe it), and Disney’s Hollywood Studios just added a new Star Wars fireworks show that you should check out.

While I was at Epcot that week, I found out from a NewsBusters article published that day (which I read on my iPhone while I was walking through the park’s famous World Showcase nonetheless) that the ABC show The Real O‘Neals was suffering in the ratings. The show, which has a fresh episode tonight, suffered a serious blow in its second week. When it debuted, its ratings were pretty solid with its target 18-49 demographic, ranging between a 1.8-1.9. The week I was at Disney World, however? It only got a 1.1 rating. And it just kept getting worse for the freshman sitcom. Last week, the show’s 18-49 rating dropped to a 1.0.

For those of you who may not remember, The Real O’Neals is a cartoonish trashing of Catholics and their traditions, and is about a seemingly-perfect Catholic family who has to accept some truths about themselves when one of the sons comes out as gay. The show is loosely based on the life of extremely controversial anti-Christian bigot and militant leftist Dan Savage. As a result of the show’s anti-Catholic bigotry, the shows ratings – once again – saw a huge drop.

This is what happens when you alienate a significant part of the American population by putting out offensive stereotypes of Christians and toilet humor into a show that you expect should be a success now that the Supreme Court has ruled same-sex marriage legal. Disney may own ABC, but the two brands are totally unrelated to each other, at least when it comes to Disney’s core businesses of theme parks and motion pictures. As a friend of mine would say, they may be owned by the same company, but they’re totally unrelated and don’t coordinate on this stuff, just like how Fox’s movie division isn’t working in tandem with Fox News. This especially is the case with Disney and its ABC network. The Disney brand itself remains family friendly, but the ABC brand is definitely not. The Real O’Neals is very recent proof of that.




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