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GLAAD rips NBC affil for nixing ‘New Normal’

Utah station has history of passing on Peacock fare

GLAAD issued a statement Saturday blasting the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, for its decision not to air the Peacock’s new comedy series, “The New Normal.”

The organization, which focuses on media representations of the LGBT community, criticized the station for being “anti-gay and outdated.”

“Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Glee’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy,'” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported LGBT stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country.”

Crude dialogue, explicit content and offensive characterizations were cited as reasons for the ban from KSL-TV, which is owned by a parent company controlled by the Mormon church and has a long history of shying away from controversial content.

“After viewing the pilot episode of ‘The New Normal,’ we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule,” said Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL parent company Bonneville International, in a statement issued to the city’s newspapers. “For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”

“Normal,” which follows a gay couple that hires a surrogate mother to have a child of their own, is scheduled to premiere Sept. 11 in the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. time slot. From 20th Century Fox, the half-hour series counts Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto and Ali Adler as its executive producers.

In its statement blasting KSL, GLAAD also cited a tweet from one of the stars of “Normal,” Ellen Barkin, who took the station to task by drawing comparison with another NBC series, “Law & Order: SVU.” “So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?”, she wrote on Twitter.

“Normal” has already drawn the ire of advocacy group One Million Moms, which called for an advertiser boycott of the series.

This is far from the first NBC series that KSL has opted not to run. Just last season, the station steered clear of the drama “The Playboy Club.” Other series from the Peacock’s past that got the KSL kiss-off include “Coupling,” “The Book of Daniel,” and “God, the Devil and Bob.”

“Normal” may still get to be seen in Salt Lake City, however. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that another station in the market, KUCW, is exploring the option of airing the series in a different time slot.

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