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KSL won't air gay-themed NBC sitcom 'New Normal'

Published August 27, 2012 10:19 am

Television • Two dads and a baby too much for Channel 5.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

NBC's "The New Normal" won't air on KSL this fall. The prospect of two gay men having a baby proved too much for the LDS Church-owned station.

"From time to time we may struggle with content that crosses the line in one area or another," said Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL's parent company, Bonneville International. "The dialogue might be excessively rude and crude. The scenes may be too explicit or the characterizations might seem offensive."

This marks the second consecutive year KSL is refusing to carry an NBC show. A year ago, then-KSL CEO Mark Willes said the station wouldn't air "The Playboy Club" because the KSL brand "is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand."

Simpson echoed those words when he said, "For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time."

"The New Normal" is set to debut on NBC on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 8:30 p.m.

Utahns will have a chance to see it, however.

"We will air it on the weekends" on Channel 30, said Matt Jacquint, general manager of KUCW and KTVX. "We're looking for a time slot right now."

KUCW carries NBC's "Saturday Night Live," and often picks up sports programming when KSL pre-empts it for General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

One Million Moms, which boycotted JC Penney when talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was hired as a spokesperson, announced a boycott of "The New Normal" months ago. But the show's creator/executive producer, Ryan Murphy ("Glee"), recently said he didn't anticipate NBC stations would pull it.

"I don't see that happening," he said. "It's 2012. I don't think this is anything so outrageous."

NBC issued a statement that the show "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."

"The New Normal" stars Andrew Rannells (from the Broadway cast of the musical "Book of Mormon") and Justin Bartha ("The Hangover") as a couple who meet a waitress (Georgia King) who has just left her cheating husband — and she agrees to be their surrogate.

Murphy compared "The New Normal" to "All in the Family," adding that he thinks it's "a show about tolerance."