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24
2 YEARS

Utah Station Says It Won't Broadcast NBC's 'New Normal'

UPDATED: Star Ellen Barkin took to Twitter to call out KSL-TV on its decision: "Shame on u ‪@kslcom‬ not airing ‪@NBCTheNewNormal‬."

The New Normal
NBC
"The New Normal"

NBC's new comedy The New Normal is feeling the heat again.

One month after Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler's upcoming series drew the ire of anti-gay group One Million Moms, Utah station KSL-TV says it will not be broadcasting New Normal when it premieres this fall. New Normal centers on a single mother's life as she becomes a surrogate for a gay couple.

"After viewing the pilot episode of The New Normal, we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule," Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL parent company Bonneville International, told Deseret News. "For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”

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Crude dialogue, explicit content and offensive characterizations were the main reasons why KSL-TV would not bring New Normal to air when it launches Sept. 11. The same station opted not to broadcast the shortlived NBC drama The Playboy Club, which was canceled after three episodes last fall.

"The New Normal is a contemporary look at how families are defined today, portrayed  through a comedic prism. We are confident that the show will find another home in the Salt Lake City market,“ an NBC spokesperson said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, co-star Ellen Barkin -- who plays an often racist and homophobic character on the comedy -- took to Twitter to call out KSL-TV's decision.

"Anyone in Utah interested in @NBCTheNewNormal please clog up @ksl5tv feed 4 their blatantly homophic decision 2 not air the show #KSLBigots," she wrote. Another tweet read: "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?"

However, Simpson made it clear that the decision for KSL-TV not to air New Normal was not a slight against NBC.

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"NBC is a valued partner — and as the Summer Olympic Games prove, they are committed to great news, sports and entertainment programming," he said. "KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so."

In July, One Million Moms told advertisers to boycott New Normal, which also stars Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha.

"NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage," the group said at the time. "These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture."

A preview of New Normal was shown during NBC's coverage of the London Olympics.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com