'The New Normal' EP on Show Being Pulled in Utah: 'We're in Good Company'

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Even before the general public saw NBC’s new fall comedy, The New Normal, it was plagued (or blessed if you believe that all publicity is good publicity) with controversy.

Though during the Paley Center preview panel for the series in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, series co-creator and executive producer Dante Di Loreto addressed the controversy saying, “This is a big country. I prefer to focus on the people that support the show.”

From Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, The New Normal portrays a gay couple (played by Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells) and their surrogate mother’s (Georgia King) path to having a baby together. It also stars Ellen Barkin, NeNe Leakes and Bebe Wood.

What is all the fuss about?

Notoriously anti-gay conservative group, One Million Moms, called for a boycott of the series in July saying, “NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values.

Then last week, KSL-TV, an NBC affiliate in Utah, pulled the series from its fall lineup, calling it "inappropriate on several dimensions."

In addition to Di Loreto’s comment, co-creator and executive producer Ali Adler added of the Utah affiliate, “I also think that same station chooses not to air Saturday Night Live and, I think in the day, Picket Fences, so we’re in good company.”

Late last week, another station opted to pick up the series for air on Saturday evenings.

Controversial TV shows have been a normal part of the television medium for pretty much its existence, not only for high ratings – and thus ad dollars -- but also inherently exposing viewers to sights and ideas they may not have had access to before.

But, The New Normal producers don’t really see themselves pushing an agenda.

“I think [our show] is less a political statement then, not even a personal one, this is a family that loves each other,” Adler says. “And hopefully that comes across on-screen. It’s not meant to be political. I mean inherently it has to be, because the lead couple are both men.”

And despite the controversy, the producers contend that they have the full support of the network in telling their story and pushing limits.

“Wonderfully, NBC has been incredibly supportive of the show and the show pushing boundaries,” Di Loreto explains. “The heart of it is a show about people who love each other and want to raise a loving family. So, they’ve been incredibly supportive of us expanding what we can do on broadcast television.”

The New Normal officially premieres Tuesday, Sept. 11 on NBC. But, you can watch the full pilot online at NBC.com.

Do you think the series goes too far or do you think the controversy is much ado about nothing? Sound off in the comments section below.

 

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