Same-sex sitcom pulled from Mormon-owned station
The NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, won’t show a new sitcom based around a same-sex couple’s adoption process.
Jeff Simpson, CEO of Bonneville International, which owns KSL-TV, told The Salt Lake Tribune that his organization sometimes struggles with programming because of content issues, and that the show, The New Normal, crosses that boundary.
“For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions,” Simpson said. “Especially during family viewing time.”
Last year, the station cited brand inconsistencies in not airing NBC’s drama The Playboy Club. The show received a critical drubbing and was quickly canceled.
This latest move comes about a month after the conservative group One Million Moms organized a boycott of the show, calling it “damaging to our culture.”
Bonneville is owned by the Mormon church, and as ThinkProgress reports, the station’s reach extends not only throughout the state of Utah, but into parts of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming.
The show deals with a gay couple (Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells) who enlist a woman (Georgia King) to carry a pregnancy to term for them, over the objections of her grandmother (Ellen Barkin). Barkin took to Twitter to denounce the station’s decision, asking, “So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?,” referring to the crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The dispute over the show is not mentioned at all on KSL’s website, though there are wire stories listing it as part of NBC’s fall schedule. The show is scheduled to debut on Sept. 11, but the general manager of two other local stations, KUCW-TV and KTVX-TV told the Tribune he is looking for an available weekend time-slot in which to air it if KSL refuses to pick it up.
The trailer for the show, which has been on YouTube since May, can be seen below.