10:31pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'New Normal' at PaleyFest: Yoko Ono OKs Use of John Lennon Track for Special Finale
NBC's The New Normal is prepping for a poignant and sweet season finale to its freshman season.
The cast and crew of the rookie comedy about a couple and their surrogate took their turn Wednesday on the PaleyFest stage, where they discussed the impact of a gay-themed family comedy and how the Ryan Murphy series will wrap its freshman run.
As Goldie (Georgia King) inches closer to her due date, Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) are busy planning for the arrival of their child -- and planning for their wedding.
Co-creator Murphy, just days removed from picking up the Paley Center for Media's inaugural Icon Award, noted he wanted to do "something different" with the finale. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if we had an entire act that didn't have any words,'" he said.
Despite being playfully chastised by fellow co-creator Ali Adler for revealing too much, Murphy noted that the duo share an affinity for John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" and wanted to use it in the finale. "We reached out to Yoko Ono to get permission to use that song for an entire act with no dialogue, and she said yes," Murphy said.
The episode, Murphy noted, is building toward Bryan and David's wedding, the baby's arrival and Goldie deciding whether she should get back together with old flame Clay (Jayson Blair) and Nene Leakes' Rocky "becoming queen of the world."
"It's a really big and rich episode," Murphy said during the light-hearted panel moderated by recurring guest star John Stamos.
Other highlights included the Glee co-creator insisting that the series is only "loosely" based on his life, with some fun symmetry. "We found out we were pregnant the day the show was picked up," Murphy revealed. (With partner David, he welcomed a son, Logan, on Christmas Eve.)
Adler, for her part, noted that neither NBC nor studio 20th Television have had any notes for her about same-sex love scenes, and Murphy noted the series has helped change people's minds about gay rights. "The New Normal, Modern Family, Glee … People feel that they know gay couples more than ever," he said. "If you know someone and you know what their struggle is, you're less likely to have prejudice against them. [Gay rights] is the biggest civil-rights movement of our time, and the reason we've had the quick leap forward is because of television."
The New Normal airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC. New episodes return April 2. Check out the Lennon song, below.