July 24, 2012 3:52pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TCA 2012: Ryan Murphy Has Already Written 'One Million Moms' Into 'The New Normal'
NBC's The New Normal is getting self-referential far ahead of its Sept. 11 series premiere.
Co-creator Ryan Murphy told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that One Million Moms, the conservative activist group that's called for a boycott of the series over its depiction of a gay couple having a child, has already been written into the series.
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"I think it's interesting for people to take that position before they've seen it," said Murphy. "I think if they would have watched the show, they would love it, because they're represented. Ellen Barkin's character is one of them."
Barkin, who plays the caustic grandmother who reacts poorly to her granddaughter's decision to surrogate the child of a gay couple, is not identified as a member of the group in the pilot -- but it will apparently come up eventually.
"She will protest people and events, [but] I wouldn't say that's the thing I would lead with [about her character," he continued. "I think the show is about tolerance and a discussion of tolerance. Their points of view are delivered with sensitiveness and a certain amount of veracity."
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As far as the Moms' call for action against the show, Murphy seemed nonplussed. "I have obviously been through this before," said Murphy. "I wasn't surprised when i read [about the boycott]. Every person or group has that right."
The rest of the panel focused a great deal on Murphy's affections for Norman Lear and his All in the Family inspirations and the rigors of juggling three series (with Glee and American Horror Story), but he did offer one little anecdote about his relationship with NBC that the room ate up.
"Before I was a writer, I was a garden designer," said Murphy, "and I designed Jennifer [Salke's] garden."
The NBC Entertainment president concluded the panel by getting a laugh from the typically somber crowd by saying buses for the "Ryan Murphy Garden Tour" would be departing in 15 minutes.