“The New Normal” on NBC
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.
“American Horror Story” on FX
The idea of “Glee” writers-producers-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk dreaming up an erotic-grotesque horror series for FOX’s envelope-pushing cable cousin FX sounds, at first, like a really bad idea. But then you might remember the duo also gave us six seasons’ worth of the FX-based plastic surgery drama “Nip/Tuck.” That show had more than its fair share of sick and twisted storylines (cannibalism, penis-free serial rapists, lobster claw babies, Brooke Shields as a stalker, Richard Burgi having sex with a couch). So, maybe they’ve got more than inspirational high school karaoke in them.