5:06pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC's 'The New Normal' Draws Ire of One Million Moms Group
NBC's The New Normal is following in the footsteps of The Playboy Club.
The upcoming freshman comedy from openly gay writer/executive producers Ryan Murphy and Ali Alder (Glee) has drawn the ire of One Million Moms, the conservative anti-gay group that blasted retailer JC Penney for featuring a same-sex couple in a catalog and the ouster of Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson.
In a posting on its website, OMM blasts the show and calls for advertisers to boycott the series, which revolves around a gay couple (Andrew Rannels and Justin Bartha) who attempt to start a family via surrogate (Georgia King).
"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 wrote on its site. "These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture."
The group cited a similar boycott -- from the Parents Television Council -- last season targeting then-freshman drama The Playboy Club, for what that group claimed was a "mainstreaming" of the pornography industry.
NBC canceled the drama after its first three airings aired to dismal ratings.
"OMM is prepared to contact any and all sponsors of this program if it is aired," the group wrote of New Normal. "It is proven this strategy works! It was not too long ago that NBC announced The Playboy Club was canceled after only three episodes because of lack of advertisers!"
"Millions of Americans strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman," OMM continued. "NBC's The New Normal is attempting to desensitize America and our children. It is the opposite of how families are designed and created. You cannot recreate the biological wheel."
Controversy surrounding freshman series is not uncommon, with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups encouraging ABC not to air first-year comedy Work It, claiming the cross-dressing comedy reinforced "false and damaging stereotypes about transgender people." Work It was canceled after two episodes.
NBC did not return multiple requests for comment.
Meanwhile, watchdog group the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation commended New Normal for its portrayal of gay families and blasted OMM for its calls for a boycott.
"Yet again, One Million Moms, a project of the American Family Association -- whose membership we already know is far less substantial than their name -- is doing its best to stir controversy where there clearly is none," GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said in a statement. "From hit shows like Glee to Modern Family, it's clear that Americans today don't care whether their favorite TV characters are straight or gay. We now live in a culture where gay people are not only a common part of our society but where gay characters are also applauded by both TV critics and audiences alike."
The New Normal premieres Sept. 11 on NBC.