With the Joey McIntyre on “the McCarthys” and Donnie Wahlberg holding down the fort on “Blue Bloods,” CBS is now at 20 percent New Kids on the Block saturation. And it’s a strategy that appears to be working. “We’re on different nights, so that’s good. We can get one more half-hour out of [the fans],” McIntyre jokes. But seriously, though, those Blockheads — fans of the grown-up boy band — are showing their support. “They’re very excited about the show. I think of course they’re going to be inclined to like something that I’m on or one of us is on, but they’re a good audience, they’re a smart audience,” he says. “We always have a good 25 or 30 of them at the taping.”
McIntyre stars as one of the titular McCarthys, a loud and boisterous Boston family that includes twins Gerard (McIntyre) and Sean (Jimmy Dunn) along with little brother Ronny (Tyler Ritter) and sister Jackie (Kelen Coleman), all under the leadership of parents Arthur (Jack McGee) and Marjorie (Laurie Metcalf).
This isn’t the first time McIntyre has put his Boston roots to work for an acting gig. McIntyre popped up as one of Melissa McCarthy’s brothers in last year’s “the Heat,” though he insists the two families are very different — despite the accent. “There is a certain aspect to it, a certain niche that Boston brings — an Irish Boston kind of chip on your shoulder, working class mentality, very opinionated,” he says. “There’s a certain thing that I think Boston people have, a point of view. And certainly that was the kick-off of where ‘the McCarthys’ came from. That family in ‘the Heat’ is similar, but without the F-word. I mean, the McCarthys would be very, very insulted if you compared us to that family. We think we’re much better than that.”
If there’s any downside to his career as a New Kid, it’s that the terrible timing when it comes to the average age of his fans means he’s never really gotten to really indulge in groupie culture. “Back then they were young girls, teenagers, going crazy and figuring all sorts of stuff out,” he explains. “Back then they were too young and now they’re all beautiful women — and I’m married and happy. Couldn’t enjoy you then and can’t enjoy you now.”
So what does Joey McIntyre think of the popularity of One Direction — and the current boy band resurgence? Let’s face it, given the success NKOTB has found on the touring and cruise ship circuit, he can’t be that mad. And he’s not. “It comes in cycles, you know what I mean? You talk about the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds, then New Kids and then Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. And then we take a break,” McIntyre says. “But One Direction doesn’t come around every day, you know what I mean? And that’s just a massive thing. I’m happy for them. Seems like they’re making good pop music and they’re good guys. I think they should dance a little bit more, but other than that they seem like good guys.”
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick