The ABC comedy was loosely based on sex columnist Dan Savage’s childhood, and focused heavily on the gay teenaged son in a Catholic family (played by openly gay actor Noah Galvin).
The idea behind the show was that a "good" Irish-Catholic family was harboring a lot of secrets, all of which were revealed in the first episode of the series. The biggest "secrets": middle child Kenny is gay and parents Eileen and Pat are getting divorced.
The show was never a ratings hit. It didn't help matters when Galvin attacked fellow actor Colton Haynes over how the latter chose to come out. Galvin also complained about Eric Stonestreet’s character on Modern Family being a "a caricature of a caricature," and even accused director Bryan Singer of inviting "little boys over to his pool and diddle them in the f-cking dark of night." (He later apologized for these remarks, which he admitted were "brazen and hurtful.")
The cast and producers had hoped a social media campaign would convince ABC to renew the series for a third season.
"In this political climate it has never been more important to teach people about marginalized communities and show them that the 'other' is not scary," said executive producer Stacy Traub, during #TheRealReason campaign. "Being different can be celebrated. Being different can be funny. Being different can help people learn to be different and think differently themselves."