Film and TV | Mormon | Religion | The New Normal

Mormon-Owned Station Won't Air 'The New Normal'


KSL-TV is a Salt Lake City-based NBC affiliate, owned and operated by a company called Bonneville International. Bonneville, in turn, is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Which is why KSL-TV won't air NBC's new series The New Normal, about two gay dads, their surrogate, and their kid.

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:

"From time to time we may struggle with content that crosses the line in one area or another," said Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International. "The dialogue might be excessively rude and crude. The scenes may be too explicit or the characterizations might seem offensive ... For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time."

Simpson, of course, doesn't explain why the show's inappropriate. Is he worried it'll be pornographic? That it'll depict religious people in a negative light? Or that it will depict gay people as people?

A competing station in Salt Lake City -- channel 30, KUCW-TV -- has announced plans to air The New Normal on weekends. In the non-Salt Lake City market, The New Normal premiers Tuesday night.

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  1. So much for freedom of speech and expression.

    Posted by: Dale | Aug 26, 2012 10:31:12 AM

  2. This is an outrage! Everyone needs to write this station.

    Posted by: Brian Sanderson | Aug 26, 2012 10:44:18 AM

  3. The Mormon cult completely dominates politics and business in most of Utah. It's truly scary. The state is nothing but a theocracy.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 26, 2012 10:49:11 AM

  4. Perfection! This truly IS 'The New Normal:'

    Gay couples on prime time TV alongside straight couples, entertaining a wide demographic, with the loudest voices of protest from religious zealots who are increasingly becoming the out-of-touch fringe.

    Posted by: kp05 | Aug 26, 2012 10:52:23 AM

  5. Couldn't this end up as another Chick-Fil-A fiasco for the gay community? Best to let this station make whatever decision it feels is best. The station is not government-owned. Anyone who wants to see this show can buy it on DVD or through someone in another section of the country who would record it for them. And why make a fuss over a show that might not even last due to poor ratings? This is like right-wing groups objecting to Chaz Bono on "Dancing with the stars." Some fights are best to pass on.

    Posted by: Mary | Aug 26, 2012 10:59:20 AM

  6. Mary is correct; this is a fight that cannot be won.
    Utah is a solely owned subsidiary of the Mormon Church. The American government won't honestly invite a rational discussion of any form of Christianity that is found in this country-no matter how fringe. We ignore the intolerant theocratic turn this country is taking -at our own peril. The attack on rational thought, science, women, minorities and other disenfranchised peoples is chilling and not a good omen for our children.

    Posted by: nick | Aug 26, 2012 11:10:40 AM

  7. I grew up in SLC; All in the Family, the Jeffersons, Maud, Mary Tyler Moore, Alice, Three's Company, Charlie's Angels, Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, LA Law, The Simpsons, Married With Children, Baywatch, Will & Grace, and countless other programs that pushed Mormon buttons aired there. And did well.

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | Aug 26, 2012 11:11:22 AM

  8. There are plenty of TV shows I don't like or find offensive. Simplest solution: don't watch them. But they apparently don't think their viewers are capable of making that choice, so they're making it for them.

    Posted by: John B. | Aug 26, 2012 11:14:10 AM

  9. Give me Freedom to Love or give me Death. That is the real fight we LGBT people are in and it is the Mormons, Catholics and Evangelical Christians who are spending millions of dollars and countless hours fighting LGBT people to keep them from having the same rights guaranteed them in the United States Constitution, the right to get married and have good jobs and live a good life. These Mormons are trying to stop gays from being gay and they never have stopped them and they will never succeed in stopping them because they are wrong in what they are doing to try and stop them.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 26, 2012 11:16:33 AM

  10. And for all of the people in Utah who DO want to watch it, they will either watch it online or wait until Saturday.

    There is a way that you can fight against this company if you don't like their policies - don't support them. If there is a Bonneville station in your media market, don't support them, or business that advertise on them. That IS how the free market works, right?

    Posted by: Rev. Verdon Coleman | Aug 26, 2012 11:25:48 AM

  11. it's a free market and they're a commercial enterprise. they have the right to determine their own content just as, for example, logo tv has the right to not air the 700 club. it's par for the course.

    Posted by: Jed | Aug 26, 2012 12:00:20 PM

  12. They might not be pissed at all the gays so much as at the particularly fabulous Andrew "Elder Price" Rannells. I've heard lotsa Mormons actually enjoy Broadway's Book of Mormon--But maybe not the biggest wig at KSL-TV.

    Posted by: Tommy Girl | Aug 26, 2012 12:13:22 PM

  13. They not a free enterprise operating like a cable station. If they broadcast over the air then they are using government power to control that spectrum of the dial. Of course, like the Republicans they support, who are holding their convention in a government built convention center, they claim they built it. I wonder how many violent shows they censor. Such values.

    Posted by: Joey | Aug 26, 2012 12:14:02 PM

  14. Well folks,this is a preview of what a Bishop Romney Presidency would look like. These people do think they "know best" . Censorship of a major prime time network sit -com that might "tease" or heaven forbid show gays starting a family --on my . Just wait till The Good Bishop and The Elders start with their campaign against porn -a Romney Presidency would be the Taliban in Magic Underwear ....

    Posted by: slippy | Aug 26, 2012 12:17:41 PM

  15. Mormon Hate...."The new NOT normal."

    Posted by: Casper | Aug 26, 2012 12:29:42 PM

  16. "they have the right to determine their own content just as, for example, logo tv has the right to not air the 700 club. it's par for the course."

    Uh, no. An NBC affiliate deciding not to air one specific NBC-created show is not "par for the course." It's them going out of their way to single out a show, giving Utah viewers no or limited access to its own programming. That's ridiculous.

    FWIW, unfortunately the show looks terrible and I doubt it will last more than one season.

    Posted by: Robert | Aug 26, 2012 12:37:12 PM

  17. Makes me wonder what they DO show on that station.

    Posted by: rick | Aug 26, 2012 12:40:30 PM

  18. Apparently Mormons are either incapable of or prohibited from using the remote control.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 26, 2012 12:45:31 PM

  19. Is it due to the gay content or because it looks terrible?

    Posted by: rustytrawler | Aug 26, 2012 12:51:27 PM

  20. “Well there you go folks religion has finally told Americans what they can and can not watch in the state of UTAH be careful they'll be coming for you next....its their AGENDA!!!! Romney's heading there now.”

    Posted by: Xzavier | Aug 26, 2012 1:05:56 PM

  21. WTF is with Churches owning businesses? That's b*llsh*t. Don't just tax the business a church may own-- tax the churches too.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Aug 26, 2012 1:31:02 PM

  22. This is a total outrage. How dare a local business be allowed to have the freedom to decide what goods and services they want to provide. Outside agendas should force everyone to believe as they believe!

    Posted by: brian | Aug 26, 2012 1:36:31 PM

  23. As an NBC affiliate, did they air Will & Grace when it was on? Why now? Is it because this show is about a loving gay couple trying to start a family? God forbid! Was W&G OK because it was just a bunch of caricatures and a drunk cracking silly jokes (not a slam at W&G, it's still one of my favorite shows) so they are harmless? This series may show that we are "normal" and that threatens them?

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 1:40:26 PM

  24. Censorship. Pure and simple. Revoke their broadcast license.

    Of course, those mormon @$$holes forget about the Internet, where I'm sure those who wish to view this interesting, new program will be able to see it.

    Anyone want to get a petition together to have the FCC revoke their license? I'm down with it.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 26, 2012 1:44:52 PM

  25. @BRIAN: as an NBC affiliate they signed up and agreed to carry NBC shows. There are many shows on that schedule that has/had content that "may cross the line". For example Saturday Night Live, some storylines on Law & Order, Days of Our Lives, etc. If they are truly worried that their local audience is so sensitive and can't handle it they have another option: when their affiliation agreement expires, become an independent station and they can set their own schedule 24 hours a day and play only purely good shows! But you know they won't do that because it would cost them money and also they make a lot of money off the network shows. Seems a bit hypocritical.

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 1:52:37 PM

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