NBC On “The New Normal” Demise and Their Hopes For Sean Hayes’ Sitcom

sean-saves-the-worldWill Sean Hayes’ new sitcom work where The New Normal didn’t?

While Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal didn’t make it to a second season on NBC, today’s NBC Executive session at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour was the perfect time for TheBacklot to ask NBC Entertainment’s Jennifer Salke (President) and Robert Greenblatt (Chairman) why they think that show didn’t work and what their hopes are for Sean Hayes’ new fall sitcom, Sean Saves The World.

Here’s what Salke and Greenblatt had to say…

TheBacklot: Can you talk about why The New Normal didn’t click with viewers, and what are your hopes with Sean Hayes show and having another gay lead there.

Robert Greenblatt:  I don’t why it didn’t click.

Jennifer Salke: We loved The New Normal and Ryan Murphy is a creator who I’ve worked with for many years. He’s somebody who had a vision and a passion for the show, it was very personal to him. I would definitely… and I think Bob would agree… that we would get behind him with that show and we actually really loved the show. We were big fans of the show. Maybe something about the tone of it, or…it’s one of those things where you kind of look at each other and think ‘why didn’t the show do better than it did?’ It felt like it was the right time for it, it was smart, it was original and it felt like it had a breakthrough tone and originality to it that got people talking that we hoped would it build into something. It didn’t…

RG: I would say that I don’t believe it didn’t work because it had gay characters in it.

JS: Yeah, I wouldn’t either.

andrew-rannels-justin-barthaR.I.P. The New Normal (Andrew Rannells & Justin Bartha)

RG: Of course, we always point back to Will & Grace, which did exceedingly well. That was at a different time and in a different sort-of lineup of stronger shows and stronger lead-ins and things like that. 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 marriage 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 having put it out there and we feel enormous pride about what the show was.

On Sean Hayes, it’s hopefully…

JS: It’s a very different show…

RG: Yeah, it’s different. We’re drafting a little bit off the Will & Grace thing. It’s a brightly lit situation comedy. He’s single so maybe it will feel more universal to people who don’t, ya know, aren’t gay or have people in their life who are in gay relationships but…

JS: That show’s trying to be a family show at its essence and Ryan Murphy likes to, with his show, he likes to push through an idea in every episode and something that he’s grappling with or he thinks people should be thinking abou. It’s more issue oriented that way, and maybe that’s something that didn’t help it. Still again, something we would stand by. But the DNA of the other [Sean Hayes] show is completely different only based on its creative origins, not about us guiding it in a way that’s less gay or less issue oriented.

Sean Saves The World premieres October 3rd on NBC.


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