If you live in Salt Lake City, Utah and were looking forward to watching next month’s debut of the new sitcom from Glee creator Ryan Murphy, you’re out of luck, as THR reports that the NBC affiliate KSL-TV is refusing to air the show.
The New Normal revolves around a blended family of a gay couple (Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha) and the woman (Georgia King) who becomes a surrogate for them as they grow their family. Ellen Barkin co-stars with Nene Leakes on board as recurring characters.
The CEO of KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International, has stated, “After viewing the pilot episode of The New Normal, we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule. For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”
The station has blamed crude dialogue, explicit content and offensive characterisations, although Bonneville is said to be largely controlled by the Mormon church, which isn’t a religion known for embracing gay people. It’s not the first time they’ve refused to air a show, as they also opted out of the short-lived The Playboy Club when that was launched last year. They’ve previously nixed the likes of Coupling, The Book of Daniel, and God, the Devil and Bob. The anti-gay group One Million Moms will be happy though, as they’ve already called for an advertiser boycott of the series.
Ellen Barkin isn’t impressed by KSL’s actions though, tweeting ‘Anyone in Utah interested in @NBCTheNewNormal please clog up @ksl5tv feed 4 their blatantly homophic decision 2 not air the show #KSLBigots.’ She added, ‘Shame on u @kslcom not airing @NBCTheNewNormal So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?’
For those who don’t live in the US who may be wondering why one bit of Utah can refuse to air the series, it’s because the American airwaves consist of hundreds of small station with a limited geographical areas (no company is allowed to own terrestrial stations that cover the whole population). Most of these these stations affiliate themselves with a national network such as NBC of CBS so they can air bigger, more expensive programming. However the affiliates around the country still have control over what they do and don’t show, and in this case the Utah based KSL has pulled The New Normal.