Ryan Murphy addresses critics of his new show ‘The New Normal’

From left: Georgia King, NeNe Leakes, Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Bebe Wood and Ellen Barkin star in “The New Normal,” premiering tonight at 9:30 on NBC.

The plot
  
Single mom Goldie (Georgia King) moves to L.A. with her 8-year-old
daughter (Bebe Wood) for a better life. There, Goldie becomes the
surrogate for a gay couple, Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin
Bartha), who want to have a baby. Ellen Barkin stars as Goldie’s
prejudiced grandmother, Jane, and NeNe Leakes plays Bryan’s assistant,
Rocky. The conservative group One Million Moms announced a boycott of the show before the season premiered. 

Call “unconventional” families “normal”
Controversy meter: Cause a boycott

Murphy credits shows like “Modern Family” and “Will & Grace,” which both featured gay characters in committed relationships, for paving the way for his show to reach the air. “Those shows changed views,” he says.

And while “The New Normal” is loosely based on Murphy’s own life — “the show came about because my partner and I have been having conversations about surrogacy,” he says — the sitcom also delves into every character re-examining his or her life and asking, “What’s next?”

“We talked about what it was like to be a single mother with a young daughter, what is it like to be [an older] woman who is completely starting over and dating again,” Murphy says of Goldie and Jane.

Feature a close-minded grandma with no filter
Controversy meter: Trend on Twitter

Nana Jane is a throwback to Archie Bunker — she says shocking, politically incorrect things and isn’t bothered if she offends someone.

“['The New Normal'] in many ways is about tolerance,” Murphy says. “When I was growing up, one of the most memorable times that I would have with my parents was watching ‘All in the Family’ and hearing people talk that way and then having a discussion: ‘Was that good? Was that bad? What was that?’ People will talk about things that [our] characters say, obviously, but I think that’s a good thing.”

Cast (gasp!) a “Real Housewife” in a scripted role
Controversy meter: Gossip item

Murphy, a huge fan of the “Real Housewives” franchise, first cast Leakes on one of his other shows, “Glee.”

“We were in the writers’ room of ‘Glee,’ and we were writing a nemesis for Jane Lynch, and I said, ‘You know what we need? We need somebody like this.’ And I had seen NeNe on ‘Housewives,’ and I had also seen her take down Star Jones on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ So we had watched that scene, and I said, ‘Wow. I don’t even know if NeNe wants to act, but we should talk to her and offer her this part,’ which was Roz, that she did so well.”

Murphy approached Leakes for the role of Rocky because “she’s just hilarious,” he adds.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.