The Mormon-owned Utah NBC affiliate station KSL-TV is refusing to carry one of the network’s new television series. It is produced by Ryan Murphy of “Glee” and “Nip/Tuck” and it is the story of a gay couple who use a surrogate mother to have a baby, over the objections of her bigoted grandmother. Jeff Simpson, the CEO, said, “After viewing the pilot episode of The New Normal, we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule…For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”
Simpson insists that the station, which has shown episodes of “Will and Grace,” is not homophobic. But as many observers have noted, the station shows episodes of “Law & Order: SVU,” which often has very graphic material about sexual crimes. I’ve seen the same pilot viewed by Simpson. It seems a bit stereotyped, but it has a strong foundation of family values — love, support, loyalty, honesty, devotion, partnership, sharing. I believe they owe their viewers the opportunity to make their own decisions about what they want to watch. Fortunately, they will get that chance. Another local station has announced they will air it.