10 Things To Know From Last Night’s “New Normal” Panel At PaleyFest

Photos courtesy of Kevin Parry, Paley Center For Media

A panel was held last night for NBC’s The New Normal at the 30th annual PaleyFest TV Festival. Co-creators Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler were on hand as well as Executive Producer Dante Di Loreto and cast members Andrew Rannells (Brian), Justin Bartha (David), NeNe Leakes (Rocky), Georgia King (Goldie), Bebe Wood (Shania) and Jayson Blair (Clay). John Stamos, who plays Brice on the show, moderated the panel. (Ellen Barkin was filming late and could not attend. While the show may be struggling in the ratings, there was much love in the room for the freshman sitcom.

Here are 10 things we gleaned from the upbeat panel:

  • The baby is coming! Yes, we will meet Brian and David’s baby by the end of the first season, but don’t expect the typical zany madcap sitcom birth. Murphy revealed, “We’ve been building towards David and Brian getting married, and we’re building towards a baby being born and we’re building towards Georgia, her character [Goldie] really deciding if she’s really going to get back together [with Clay]…and NeNe becoming Queen of the World.” They’re shooting the finale right now and Adler says the marriage and the baby don’t happen the way you’d expect.

Andrew Rannells and Jayson Blair

  • Bebe Wood loves RuPaul’s Drag Race. In educating the young actress about Cher for an episode earlier this season, Rannells advised her not to watch video of the legendary singer. “Don’t watch Cher, watch Drag Queens doing Cher,” he told her. Adler also joked that Wood is the most mature of the actors.
  • TV can change minds… Murphy said at a dinner hosted by Rob Reiner with Prop 8 attorneys (Ted Olson and David Boies) that the topic of the power of TV came up. “They were asked how has public opinion [changed]…the bar has moved so far and so quickly in only four years and we asked them that question. Without missing a beat they both said television. And they talked about the idea that because of shows like The New Normal and Modern Family and Glee people feel that they know gay couples, they know gay people now more than eve,r and I guess the old adage is if you know someone and you really know what their struggle is then you’re less likely to have prejudice against them.”
  • …but how we watch TV is frustrating. “We try very hard to put on a quality show,” Bartha said, “and the nature of watching comedies, everyone knows, on network television is changing drastically. No one watches them live…that’s a frustrating part of making network television.” FYI, there was no announcement about whether the show will get a second season.

Ryan Murphy and John Stamos

  • Ryan Murphy has loose lips…at least last night he did. “You’re telling everything!” said Adler when Murphy teased the season finale. Murphy talked about using John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” (They had to get permission from Yoko Ono.) He also let spill the finale will have an act with no dialogue and just music. “It’s really different and cool and it’s heartwarming to hear.”


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