USMagazine, Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 9:07am (PDT)
NeNe Leakes has appeared on camera for Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta for four years, and she tells Us Weekly it was a cinch to switch from reality TV to scripted comedy on NBC's new fall series The New Normal.
Appearing as Rocky, the fierce and fabulous assistant to dad-to-be Bryan (Andrew Rannells), Leakes, 44, tells Us she's already getting a warm audience reception -- and the pilot hasn't even officially aired yet!
"People come up to me and repeat my lines," Leakes tells Us of her role in the premiere -- costarring Justin Bartha, Georgia King and Ellen Barkin -- which previewed online prior to Sept. 11's official debut.
"That's how I know it's a good show if people are quoting my lines back to me!" continues Leakes. "It feels great, it really, really does."
Though the Ryan Murphy-created comedy has angered right-wing conservatives due to its depiction of a gay couple and their child's surrogate mother -- a Utah station has pulled it from the lineup and declared it "inappropriate" -- Leakes isn't worried.
"It's about two guys who love each other trying to start a family," Leakes reasons. "The show is about love, it's about drama, it's about comedy -- and I think if you tune in, you'll be able to relate to at least one of the characters, no matter who you are."
The New Normal airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. (EST) on NBC.