Hampton’s Jimmy Dunn gets show on CBS

‘The McCarthys’ will air in prime time
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HAMPTON — Comedian and Hampton resident Jimmy Dunn is known for playing the “big, loud, dumb guy” on comedy stages throughout the country, although this fall Dunn will get the chance to proudly wear that role like a badge of honor as one of the stars of a new sitcom on CBS.

Dunn will play Sean McCarthy in CBS’ “The McCarthys,” a primetime show about a loud, sports-obsessed Irish Catholic family in Boston that also stars Jack McGee, Joey McIntyre and Laurie Metcalf. Sean McCarthy, the brother of Tyler Ritter’s lead character, Ronny, is a former star high school athlete with a “big mouth” who has “let himself go but is still reliving his glory days,” according to Dunn.

“It’s right in my wheelhouse,” joked Dunn.

Dunn said the opportunity to bring this kind of big personality to life in front a live audience on national TV “is what every comedian dreams of,” and he said it’s especially “surreal” and “exciting” to get to do so on a show executive produced by Emmy Award winner Andy Ackerman, who is well known for prominently showcasing those types of characters when he directed heralded sitcoms like “Seinfeld” and “Cheers.”

“He’s a legend,” said Dunn. “I’m looking, going, ‘This guy was behind some of my favorite shows ever. He directed Michael Richards and now I’m the big, loud guy.’ It’s mind-blowing — absolutely mind-blowing.”

The McCarthys centers on Ronny, a gay, athletically-challenged man who wants to leave Boston and his family before he’s chosen by his politically incorrect father, Arthur, a varsity basketball coach played by McGee, to be his new assistant coach instead of his brothers Sean and Gerard, who is played by McIntyre. Dunn said the decision causes some tension, as in the family’s eyes Ronny’s only “sin” is he “doesn’t love basketball.”

Dunn said he “thrives” on live laughs from the crowd, so when CBS ordered a format change from the cinematic, single-camera approach used in the original pilot episode to the three-camera, live-audience approach most network sitcoms use, Dunn said it brought the “show to life.”

The cast “really is kind of a like a family already” despite the fact they’ve only shot a couple of episodes so far, said Dunn, which is why he “can’t wait to see” what they can do with that once all of the actors find their characters’ voices.

“It’s going to be a really fun ride, I think,” said Dunn.

“The McCarthys” will premiere in September, airing at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays after “Two and a Half Men.” More information about the show is available at cbs.com.