The last day of summer hits Sept. 21. But for most folks, the season has a Memorial-Day-to-Labor-Day symmetry to it: 15 glorious weekends to luxuriate in swimming pools, ice cream trucks and air-conditioned movie theaters. For the box office, however, summer petered out weeks ago, coming to a dead stop the weekend after The Bourne Legacy got released and limping forward for another three weeks on cheap-ass horror movies (The Apparition, The Possession). So, now that it’s all over, who triumphed and what got marked as a tragedy in the dog days of 2012?
TV writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy has had a solid run of it. He went from “Popular” to “Nip/Tuck” to “Glee” to “American Horror Story.” Now, he’s trying his hand at sitcoms with “The New Normal.” Murphy’s never shied away from humor, but he’s always had the hour-long format to play in. That’s allowed him plenty of room in which to shoehorn his trademark social criticism. “Glee,” for example, has about a 1:1 song-to-sanctimonious-speech ratio. Clocking in at a network-standard 22 minutes, “The New Normal” doesn’t leave a ton of room for the funny. But Ryan’s working on it.