NBC Station in Utah Won’t Air New Gay-Couple Comedy

Andrew Rannells (left) and Justin Bartha play a gay couple in "The New Normal" (Photo: NBC)

NBC’s Salt Lake City affiliate won’t air an upcoming NBC comedy series about two gay men who hire a single mom to have their baby.

The story was posted early Saturday on various show business Web sites, including Deadline.com here and THR.com here (The Hollywood Reporter).

The show is called “The New Normal,” and it’s due to premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 9:30/8:30c.

The station, KSL-TV, is saying it won’t air the show because of its “family-viewing” time slot. “After viewing the pilot episode of ‘The New Normal,’ we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule,” a KSL exec told a local Utah newspaper, according to the stories.

The exec was Jeff Simpson, CEO of the company that owns KSL, Bonneville International, a company with Mormon roots. “For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time,” Simpson is quoted as saying.

What’s it all about? Find out by watching a preview of “The New Normal”:
[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/The-New-Normal/176533/2266226596/Extended-Preview/embed 580 476]

In the statement Simpson put out, he emphasized that KSL is still a loyal NBC affiliate, despite turning thumbs-down on this new series whose subject matter won’t fly with the station’s viewing audience, at least in the opinion of the people who manage the station. “NBC is a valued partner,” he said, “and as the Summer Olympic Games prove, they are committed to great news, sports and entertainment programming. KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so.”

KSL also refused to air a new NBC series last September — “The Playboy Club,” which was cancelled after three weeks.

There was no comment from NBC, but actress Ellen Barkin, one of the stars of “The New Normal,” blasted the station on Twitter, accusing its owners of homophobia.

This is the second time “The New Normal” has made headlines. A few weeks ago, a group called One Million Moms called for an advertiser boycott of the sitcom.

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