One of Ryan Murphy’s critically acclaimed and LGBT-inclusive shows has been canceled. With only one season under its belt, The New Normal received the axe due to low ratings.
“I’m absolutely proud and honored to have been a part of that series and to have worked with Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler and all of the cast and crew who did a beautiful job,” said New Normal cast member Justin Bartha in an interview with the Huffington Post.
“When we started the show we had a very specific conversation that our goal was to portray a homosexual couple in a realistic matter on network television and I think we achieved that goal.”
A slew of other LGBT-inclusive shows have also received cancellation including Smash, Happy Endings, and Malibu Country. And while there are countless shows with LGBT characters still on air like Modern Family, Glee and Pretty Little Liars, there remains a lack of shows centered exclusively around an LGBT storyline.
The few shows in the history of television that have narrated such a story include Queer as Folk, The L Word, Ellen, and Will and Grace.
“The NBC executives get a lot of critique from the press but they should be applauded for putting us on the air in the first place, because we still have a long way to go with equality in this country and around the world,” Bartha said.
“Just read the comment section on your website and you’ll see people spewing hateful language and hateful words about all types of people. So we already know that we have a long way to go for that and I’m not saying that ‘The New Normal’ was a lightning bolt to the cause but I do think it was a drop in the bucket and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
The New Normal is anchored in the story of a gay couple using a surrogate to conceive, and the family dynamics that ensue. The first season, and series, finale will culminate in the birth of their child. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the second season would have featured the newly married couple raising their son.
The show has received criticism from many conservative religious groups.
During GLAAD’s 24th annual Media Awards, The New Normal won for Outstanding Comedy Series and celebrated cast members Andrew Rannells and Ellen Barkin.
With the departure of The New Normal, what show will carry the mantle of full LGBT representation? With HBO producing a new show about the lives of gay individuals living in San Francisco, the void may be only temporary.