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. Alcohol is prohibited my Mormon code. KSL airs the fourth hour of the Today Show, aka, the booze hour. Kathie Lee and Hoda promote drinking and drink on-air every day. Why have they not dumped this show? Enough said. Hypocrites.

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 2:09:48 PM

  2. That the show "looks terrible" is totally subjective, IMO.

    I, on the other hand, have been anxious to see it for months. Having watched the trailers, good actors dealing with interesting subject matter.

    I want to see how they handle it.

    Posted by: JAMES in Toronto | Aug 26, 2012 2:14:33 PM

  3. Just weighing in... no, TV stations arent like other businesses. They have LICENSES which have to be renewed. People can file complaints or challange these. I am not suggesting people do that, just pointing out that Broadcasters operate under different rules than other businesses. They are "leasing" public airwaves....

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Aug 26, 2012 2:25:40 PM

  4. Further to my last post: did they not carry Cheers during its run? A show about a spending day after day drinking in a bar and not really amounting to much?

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 2:26:23 PM

  5. For everyone bringing up the issue of free speech and other constitutional rights, here's a quick primer. As an affiliate, this station is not owned-and-operated by NBC and, therefore, does not have a contractual obligation to air all of NBC's programming. The only freedom of speech implicated in broadcasting is the right of the broadcast licensee to be free from arbitrary regulation of content by the FCC. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to watch a certain television show, nor does it require that a licensee exercise fairness or lack of prejudice in what it decides to air or not. There is no "equal protection of viewpoint" with regard to what a tv affiliate airs. Hopefully we don't expend too much energy fighting a losing battle. Save it for election efforts.

    Posted by: Stefan | Aug 26, 2012 2:52:22 PM

  6. @stefan thank you. i completely agree. the station is exercising their programming prerogative. again, it is par for the course in a free market. we may not like it and can certainly voice our displeasure if we want, but no laws or constitutional protections are being violated in this particular case. better to choose our battles wisely.

    Posted by: JED | Aug 26, 2012 3:18:20 PM

  7. To be fair, and before everyone goes off the deep end. This station has a history of this, and currently does not carry SNL and several other shows due to content. So they are not limiting themselves to just refusing gay shows....and in all honesty, they have as much right to not broadcast gay content as logo has to broadcast gay content. Public accommodations are one thing, and refusal to serve a specific class of people is discriminatory, but, forcing a business to distribute something it doesn't want to broadcast is taking this too far. If you can force KSL to broadcast a specific show, then NOM can force New York stations to broadcast David Barton documentaries.

    Posted by: Chris | Aug 26, 2012 3:21:41 PM

  8. By the way, for those that aren't familiar. Affiliate agreement does not require stations to carry 100% of a networks programming.

    Posted by: Chris | Aug 26, 2012 3:23:56 PM

  9. Censorship tends to keep people in line.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Aug 26, 2012 3:24:22 PM

  10. The only thing I know for sure about this story is this - *I* am going to use my Freedom of Speech to protest this action.

    *I* am not going to wait for some nebulous 'better fight' because that's just code for 'well let's just constantly move the goalposts until we aren't protesting ANYTHING anti-Gay because... remember Chic-Fil-A!'

    Having we already seen so many examples of the Teapublicans 'sneaking' their ideology into their platforms when no one said anything about it, and only now are we having to deal with the insanity?

    Prop H8 happened because too many of us weren't paying attention, or saying 'well there are other battles to fight.' The midterm sweeps happened because too many of us weren't paying attention, or saying 'well there are other battles to fight.'

    No more.

    Posted by: Oz in OK | Aug 26, 2012 3:25:04 PM

  11. I wonder if the station sells time to alcohol companies for advertising?

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Aug 26, 2012 3:26:59 PM

  12. He seems confused. The brand he's representing is NBC (no one has any idea nor care who Bonneville is) and it's not his place to make the call about what's appropriate for that brand.

    Bonneville's contract may allow them not to broadcast the network's entire lineup, but smearing the NBC brand is probably grounds to lose their affiliation.

    Posted by: Rawn | Aug 26, 2012 4:10:54 PM

  13. Well.. I'm watching now. :-)

    Posted by: NeverEclipsed81 | Aug 26, 2012 4:42:58 PM

  14. Some of you who are old enough will remember that back in 1993, *57* of ABC's 225 affiliates refused to air the first episode due to concerns about nudity and subject matter. As the show became a top 20 hit that advertisers wanted to buy time on, that number dropped rapidly. If only one NBC affiliate holds out on "The New Normal", that's nothing by comparison.

    It's also possible that local advertisers in Salt Lake City would not want to buy time on "The New Normal", which is a valid business consideration for the station.

    Posted by: Prof Sancho Panza | Aug 26, 2012 5:23:52 PM

  15. Just watch episodes on or go to and get any episode from any television station, ever. (Just turn on your ad block)

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Aug 26, 2012 5:27:54 PM

  16. All the more reason why I beleive the church is true...

    Posted by: Craig | Aug 26, 2012 5:41:30 PM

  17. I have never seen so many people so protective of their wickedness. Certainly a sign of the times. they scorn those people or organizations that actually display good judgement and morality.

    Posted by: Craig | Aug 26, 2012 5:44:48 PM

  18. Clarification: in my post above, I was talking about "NYPD Blue" being rejected by a quarter of ABC affiliates when it first aired.

    Posted by: Prof Sancho Panza | Aug 26, 2012 5:48:46 PM

  19. @Craig: Funny that you would just *happen* on a gay news site and stick around long enough to get to the comments, read them, and post. I hope the ads in the sidebar weren't too damaging (*cough* appealing).

    @Oz in OK: Civil rights for minority groups are won via SCOTUS or changes in state laws. A very real possibility exists that SCOTUS, (particularly if Romney were to win and, say, Ginsberg's seat were to become vacant) will not rule favorably with regard to marriage equality. So that pushes the issue to the states. Effective protest requires time and money, and real change requires winning the hearts and minds of those in the majority. I ask you: do you really think that protesting a perfectly constitutional and legal act in a state that will likely never support gay marriage is worthwhile? Do you think that it's going to win anybody nationally to our cause? Or do you think, like the Chick-fil-A protest, it will only entrench and mobilize those against us and potentially alienate those who might have been for us? I remember protesting stuff all the time in high school and college, but then I became an adult and began to see what worked and what did not.

    Posted by: Stefan | Aug 26, 2012 6:30:26 PM

  20. @Craig....I dont believe in your HOODOO aka Moronism. Shove those gold tablets up your bum. And take off those RIDONKULOUS magic underwear.

    Posted by: Chicklets | Aug 26, 2012 6:57:38 PM

  21. @CHRIS: really? According to their website, SNL is on their schedule. Exactly what other shows do they not air?

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 7:29:12 PM

  22. @CRAIG: you want to talk about scorn and wickedness? How rich! The religious fundamentalists have made that an art form and judging others has been their trademark for years. Give it up.

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 7:35:04 PM

  23. @CHRIS: Sorry, I take that back. Apparently SNL isn't on their schedule.

    Posted by: WHAT? | Aug 26, 2012 7:39:18 PM

  24. @ Stefan, put a sock in it with all your clap trap

    Posted by: J. | Aug 26, 2012 9:07:11 PM

  25. Ok, I actually live in Salt Lake City. This isn't the first show that KSL has put to the way side. For YEARS they haven't shown "Saturday Night Live," and last year they didn't show "The Playboy Club." But somehow, "Law and Order: SVU" and previously "Will and Grace" were ok. I'm over it!!!! Personally, I feel my time is better spent encouraging channels like CW 30 that will air those shows dissed by KSL than boycotting KSL itself. Honestly, I'm kind of wondering when they will stop airing "Days of Our Lives," when one of the "gay-themed" storylines get a little uncomfortable for them. Just sayin...

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 27, 2012 4:45:04 AM

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