At today’s NBC TCA Summer Press Tour panel, executives tried to explain why The New Normal didn’t become a big hit like some of Ryan Murphy’s other shows (Glee, American Horror Story). While support for gay marriage is growing in this country, the comedy didn’t garner a lot of viewer support and it was cancelled in May.
NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke offered, “Maybe, something about the tone of it. It’s really one of those things where you look at each other and think, ‘Why didn’t this show do better than it did?’ It was the time for it. It was smart. It was original. It felt like it had breakthrough tone and originality to it. It got people talking and we thought it would build into something.”
“I don’t believe it didn’t work because it had gay characters,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt added.
He continued. “Like Jen said, we think the country is moving in the right direction, the Supreme Court is doing the right thing and there’s a growing support for gay relationships and gay marriages in this country. It may have been slightly ahead of its time, because that really was the focus of it: The gay marriage and the baby. But, we feel no regret whatsoever about putting it out there, and feel enormously proud of it.”
The network execs believe that the new Sean Hayes comedy Sean Saves the World will have an easier time catching on. Greenblatt said. “It’s a brightly lit situation comedy. He’s single, so maybe it will feel more universal to people who aren’t gay and don’t have people in their lives in gay relationships.”
While, Sean Saves the World is more of a family-type show, Salke notes, “Ryan Murphy, in his shows, likes to push an idea in every episode, something he’s grappling with and thinks people should be thinking about and is more issue-oriented in that way. And maybe that didn’t help [New Normal]. Still again, something we would stand by. But the DNA of the other show is completely different only based on in its creative origins, not in that we’re guiding it in a way that is less gay or issue-oriented.”
What do you think? Why didn’t The New Normal catch on? Was it the unique tone of the series, having issues addressed in each episode, or something else?