The New Normal's Ryan Murphy Teases Honey Boo Boo Homage, Marlo Thomas Guest Spot

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Andrew Rannells, Honey Boo Boo | Photo Credits: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC

First, she took on Grey Gardens, and now The New Normal star Bebe Wood is coming for Honey Boo Boo.

The NBC comedy (Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c) is planning an homage to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for its Halloween episode.

"Shania loves that show so they decide to go en masse as that family," co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.

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The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo homage comes weeks after Wood delivered a spot-on Grey Gardens impression in the series' third episode. "The one thing that I've been absolutely shocked by is how many people have stopped me or written me about the Grey Gardens stuff we did," Murphy said. "Bebe is such an eccentric exotic child and she was doing that imitation while we were shooting the pilot so of course I had to take that and run with it."

Murphy estimated that the Halloween episode will feature approximately 15 costume changes, including Jane (Ellen Barkin) dressed as Bewitched's Endora. The episode will take a serious turn as well, when David (Justin Bartha) must confront gay male stereotypes. "Like if a gay guy is drawn to anything fashion or feminine, why is that considered a stereotype? Why is that considered controversial?" Murphy said. "One of David's doctor friends has a 5-year-old son who is sort of a gender-bender. He has long hair and also loves to play with toy soldiers, and his son announces that he wants to go as a pink fairy for Halloween which throws his father into a state."

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So what else is coming up on The New Normal? Murphy offered five more teases for what's ahead:

Get ready to Sing! Murphy said the show will dive deeper into Bryan's series, Sing, including an send-up of one of the stars of Glee in the Halloween episode. "Bryan has a very lengthy moment with the actress Clea on Sing, which is very clearly Lea Michele," he said. "She gets a kick out of it. It's all done in a very sort of loving, sweet way."  Like Murphy, Bryan has a few other shows viewers will get a glimpse at as well. "One of the fun things for me ... is the ability that I have with this show to send myself up which I've quite enjoyed and the writers have quite enjoyed," he said. "We will be exploring that world of sing and Bryan's other shows."

Who's That Girl?: Murphy said he has been talking to Marlo Thomas about guest-starring on the show, possibly around Episode 10. "I want her to play the opposite of what she's always played in her career and she loves that idea," he said. "I want her to be Ellen Barkin's mentor and I want her to sort of run this real estate agency."

A New Normal wedding! An upcoming wedding will address gay marriage, but not in the way you might expect.  "Shania gets proposed to on her playground. She goes through a pretend wedding, which ignites Andrew Rannells' character into planning this huge pretend child-like extravaganza largely because he cannot throw one of his own," he said.

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Meet the parents: Viewers will soon meet David's mother, played by comic Jackie Hoffman, but the show is still casting for Bryan's mama. "That's obviously a personal thing because I have to cast my own mother," Murphy said. "Andrew and I have talked a little bit about who that should be."

Leap of faith: Murphy said an upcoming episode will tackle the question about gay people and spirituality, when Bryan and David ask their old friends, a lesbian couple played by Constance Zimmer and Leisha Hailey, to be their baby's godparents. "They're this wonderful couple who have been together for a really long time and they are struggling to have a baby. They're dealing with infertility issues, which strikes so many couples," he said. "I thought it would be interesting to follow a couple as they move through that process."

The New Normal airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC.


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