Young North Texas actor gets big break in ‘Man With a Plan’

Matthew McCann stars as Teddy in ‘Man With a Plan.’
Matthew McCann stars as Teddy in ‘Man With a Plan.’ CBS

Matthew McCann is clearly a young man with a plan.

“I started acting when I was 7,” the 11-year-old North Texan says. “From the very beginning, I wanted to take my acting career seriously.”

And sure enough, after just four years, McCann already has made it to the big leagues.

He’s one of Matt LeBlanc’s young co-stars in the new CBS sitcom Man With a Plan, which premieres at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

“My friends all freaked out when they found out I got this job,” he says.

Who can blame them? Most kids McCann’s age haven’t given any serious thought to what they’ll do for a living when they grow up. He already has fast-tracked his way onto a national stage.

LeBlanc, aka Joey Tribbiani of Friends fame, stars as Adam Burns, a professional contractor, a husband and a father of three. When his stay-at-home wife (Liza Snyder, formerly of Yes, Dear) goes back to work, Adam must take over more of the hands-on parenting, which is harder than he expected.

Before his duties at home changed, Adam was with the kids only a few hours a day and relished the no-pressure role of “Daddy Fun Times.”

McCann plays Teddy, the middle child (and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier).

“I had to go through a lot of auditions, a lot of callbacks, a lot of screen tests and it was down to the wire between me and lots of other people,” McCann says. “When they called me and said that I got the part, it made my heart pump out of my chest.

“I was so excited to know that this show, my first ever big show, is going to be on TV.”

McCann says he has already learned a lot about his craft, just from observing LeBlanc and Synder as they work, while soaking up every bit of advice they may offer.

“Matt has helped me with my comedic timing and shown me how to make a line more funny,” he says. “I watched Friends (in reruns, of course), so I knew it would be amazing to work with him.

“Liza is so nice and she brings the whole family spirit up and helps us (all three pre-teen cast members) by showing us different ways we can get the most laughs out of the audience.”

McCann is at a loss to say how he acquired his acting gene.

“There really isn’t anyone in my family who’s done anything like this,” he says. “My dad did a bit of musical theater at one time, but nothing large. So this is something that’s unique to me.”

The only reason he decided to try acting classes in the first place was that his brother was taking classes “and I wanted to be like him.” His brother ultimately quit, but Matthew was hooked.

“I’ve done pretty much only comedy so far,” he says. “But I want to try every kind of acting, drama and action and everything else, just to figure out what my favorite style is.”

The hardest parts of having this job, McCann says, are the constant back-and-forth travel, from Coppell to Los Angeles, and the disruption to his school routine.

“Home is still in Coppell,” he says. “My mom and dad switch off with me every time we go back to L.A. I miss my siblings when I’m away. And I’m missing going to real school with my friends. Having to do online school is just so different, because my whole life I’ve been doing public school.

“At the same time, it’s been a great experience being on this show, so I think it’s worth it.”

Man With

a Plan

  • 7:30 p.m. Monday
  • KTVT/Channel 11