“Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy is about to expand his TV reach to NBC, as it’s looking like his comedy “The New Normal” is on the verge of a pickup for next season.
NBC hasn’t made a formal announcement yet, but Vulture reports Murphy and co-creator Ali Adler (“Glee,” “Chuck”) have been given the thumbs up to start hiring a writing staff for the show. That usually means a pilot is all but assured of a series order. “The New Normal” stars Justin Bartha (“The Hangover”) and Andrew Rannells (“The Book of Mormon”) as a gay couple who hire a surrogate (Georgia King, “One Day”) to carry a child.
“Save Me,” a comedy starring Anne Heche as a woman who thinks she’s channeling God, has also been cleared to start staffing, Vulture says.
The early all-but-pickups — along with the series order already given to “Go On,” a comedy starring Matthew Perry — could give NBC the option of launching some of its 2012-13 schedule in August on the heels of the network’s Olympics coverage. Reports have indicated “Grimm” might get an early start to its second season, along with perhaps “Go On” and at least one of “The New Normal” and “Save Me.” The network will also have the final weeks of “America’s Got Talent” to air after the Olympics.
The Olympics can serve as a big promotional platform for NBC’s fall lineup, but it doesn’t guarantee success. The network launched a few shows right after the 2004 games — including “Friends” spinoff “Joey” and the cop show “Hawaii” — but saw little ratings benefit. NBC shied away from a post-Olympics launch four years ago, rolling out nearly all of its shows in the traditional late-September window.
NBC will introduce its 2012-13 schedule at its upfront on May 14.