There’s four-time Oscar nominated film The Kids Are All Right and of course there’s the famed 1966 Who song “The Kids Are Alright”.
“We wanted to obliterate the memory of those other products,” joked Doyle, “They don’t deserve the public eye.”
“There were 80 titles we were working with and ABC selected this. This is the one they landed on. I had a bunch of others that I thought were better,” added Doyle.
Set in the 1970s, The Kids Are Alright follows the Cleary eight-son family as they navigate the seismic shifts during one of America’s most turbulent decades. The parents, played by Michael Cudlitz and Mary McCormack, provide little supervision to their boy in their working-class L.A. suburb. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.”
Pressed by a reporter as to why Doyle didn’t include more girls as characters in the family on the show so as to expand the series in an inclusive narrative, Doyle responded “This wasn’t something I was approached by market research with in regards to trying to hit every constituency. I had been working with ABC for a while and they knew some of these funny stories I told them from my childhood. I was specifically asked to write a story about my childhood. It’s my story and I wanted to tell it.”
Doyle also made a point of not watching other family-centric shows when breaking story, i.e. The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle despite the similarity of those shows to his. “I have my own internal mechanism that’s pushing me in a certain direction,” says Doyle.
There’s a fake news joke in the sitcom that was shown in the trailer today at TCA, however, politics won’t be center stage on the show per Doyle, but a mix of character arcs and the hippie era. “We’re getting to know these folks,” said Doyle, “They’re trying to hold on to the values in this house, and the outside world keeps coming in.”
ABC next season will have a comedy series set in 1970s (The Kids Are Alright), 1980s (The Goldbergs) and 1990s (The Goldbergs spinoff).
The Kids Are Alright premieres on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8:30PM.