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Pierce: Which NBC show will KSL pull next?

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Blair Underwood (center) stars as the title character in “Ironside.” Courtesy photo

By Scott D. Pierce

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jun 19 2013 05:14PM
Updated Dec 7, 2013 11:33PM

KSL has pulled an NBC series off its schedule three times in the past two seasons. First "The Playboy Club," then "The New Normal," then "Hannibal."

They joined the list of NBC and CBS shows Channel 5 has refused to air over the years.

Trying to predict what shows KSL will object to isn’t easy, because the station’s programming decisions are so inconsistent. Big, gay "Will & Grace" is OK; big, gay "New Normal is not. Superviolent "Revolution" is OK; superviolent "Hannibal" is not.

After watching the pilots of five of the six new shows NBC will premiere this fall, I’ll go out on a limb and rank them last to first in terms of their likelihood of being pre-empted.

(These are not reviews; pilots change before they air. And the pilot for "Dracula" has not yet been made available to critics — although the promo clip features sex, violence and gore.)

5. "The Michael J. Fox Show" • Fox pretty much plays himself in this comedy. He’s an ex-anchorman who retired when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Now he wants to go back to work, and his family wants him out of the house.

There are some sex jokes, but, c’mon, it’s Michael J. Fox! Surely KSL can’t give him the hook.

4. Welcome to the Family • Dumb blonde and supersmart Latino boy have to put their college plans on hold and tell their parents that she is pregnant. And their fathers (Mike O’Malley of "Glee" and Ricardo Chavira of "Desperate Housewives") don’t like each other.

There’s some sex talk, but what network TV show doesn’t have sex talk?

3. "Ironside" • In this remake of the 1967-75 series, Blair Underwood ("The Event") plays a police detective who is paralyzed in the line of duty but heads a team that solves crimes while ignoring police procedure.

There’s lots of violence — beatings, shootings, blood — but it’s a police show. And KSL tends to let most of these go. Even "Law & Order: SVU."

2. "The Black List" • James Spader ("Boston Legal") stars as a former U.S. agent who went rogue and was on the most-wanted list for years. He’s in from the cold, helping a newbie FBI agent track down terrorists.

There’s all sorts of brutality in the pilot — shootings, bombings and the violent kidnapping of a young girl. And there’s a very graphic torture scene.

But nobody gets eaten, so maybe KSL will give it a pass.

1. "Sean Saves the World" • Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace") stars as a gay man/single father raising his teenage daughter from a very brief marriage. To a woman. Duh.

On the one hand, this is the sort of gay character KSL is most comfortable with — an apparently sexless clown.

But it is about a gay man raising a child. And we know KSL doesn’t think that should be "The New Normal."

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

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