City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

NeNe Leakes lands a role on new Ryan Murphy comedy pilot ‘The New Normal’

Nene-Leakes-on-Glee1While “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kim Zolciak landed a reality show spinoff on Bravo, her former friend NeNe Leakes has been making a heavy push into acting.

She’s had a well-received recurring role this season as a tough-talking swim coach on Ryan Murphy’s “Glee.” Now Murphy has tapped her again for another recurring role on his NBC comedic pilot “The New Normal” about a blended family of a gay couple and their surrogate, according to She plays a character named Rocky, though the article provides no details of what that entails.

Broadcast networks are shooting pilots across the country for the 2012-13 season (including two in Atlanta: J.J. Abrams’ Revolution” and an untitled Kevin Williamson project starring Kevin Bacon). On average, network pilots have about a one in three shot of making it on air the next season. “The New Normal” has the pedigree of Murphy, who has also created FX’s “Nip/Tuck” and “American Horror Story.” And NBC needs hits – badly.

Style Network last week aired an episode of “The Amandas” featuring Leakes getting her master closet remade. She scared Dionne Warwick and La Toya Jackson last year on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Recently, she made appearances as herself on BET’s “Let’s Stay Together” and “The Game.”

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 29, 3:32 p.m. EST. In an earlier version of this entry, I made a presumption that NeNe’s work in Los Angeles is making her need to stay on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” increasingly unlikely. But her attorney Darrell Miller, in response to a text query, said she is staying with the show, just “adding to her plate.” I can only guess Bravo feels it still needs her on the show and NeNe still feels a need to cash what is probably a very nice six-digit paycheck.

She has been increasingly checked out and disengaged from the other cast members, especially Kim. From a creative standpoint, what more can she do with these other ladies? Obviously, they are bringing in at least one (if not more) new members that could shake things up.

There are two more original episodes and two “reunion” episodes, where NeNe will likely engage in a fair amount of eye rolling and looking bored.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

78 comments Add your comment

Fred ™

March 27th, 2012
10:32 am

I’ve never watched Glee (or HOA lol), did she do a good job? I’ve always wondered if any of these “reality stars” could ever actually act………..

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


March 27th, 2012
11:05 am

I assume she’s playing a post op

Sean Eclectech

March 27th, 2012
11:05 am

Clearly NeNe is moving on and upward, while Sherree still works on getting her (mom’s) house built. >_>


March 27th, 2012
11:05 am

Good for her! I’m not a Nene fan, but she’s been okay on Glee. She was not that good on “The Game” but I wish her luck in her new role. She’s definitely working that 15 minutes of fame.

Ms. Peaches

March 27th, 2012
11:09 am

Say what you want, but she’s doing her thing. As “Hood” as she is, she’s making it work.

Donna P.

March 27th, 2012
11:09 am

Go NeNe, go NeNe. I love watching her.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

March 27th, 2012
11:16 am

Who C-A-R-E-S?? Her 15 minutes of fame should have ended long ago!!!!!

Mr. Ed

March 27th, 2012
11:22 am

While not a fan of Leakes, I will give her credit for making herself into a niche television brand.”Ghetto Proud” comes to mind at present.


March 27th, 2012
11:26 am

Wasn’t a fan of NeNe at first, but now I kinda like her. She’s ghetto, but grounded. Good for her.

Mad Russian

March 27th, 2012
11:27 am

There are so many highly talented actors here in Atlanta that have been working their behinds off to get jobs and this no name loser gets cast in roles? Tell me where the problem lies in the casting decisions? I wish everyone success but there is no way she’s earned it. She audited a class with a great acting teacher here in Atlanta and didn’t come back because she wouldn’t follow the rules about not using her cell phone during the class. He booted her and this is her reward? Pathetic.


March 27th, 2012
11:31 am

This article is a negative piece of crap, can you at least give her credit for once, her getting on this pilot has nothing to do with Kim and celebrity apprentice you always has something negative to say about nene just let it go Ho


March 27th, 2012
11:34 am

I have not really been a fan of RHOA or most of the “reality” shows but love her or hate her, at least she is working to build a career and make something of herself and that is always a good thing for anyone. Good luck.


March 27th, 2012
11:35 am

I wanna smash Nene Leakes!!!

campbell's mom

March 27th, 2012
11:35 am

However she is making it happen, she is indeed making it happen. She has no hollywood pedigree to rely on, she’s doesn’t do a stereotypical ghetto character, she is simply using whatever she has to make it work. Although I am not a “team NeNe” I am impressed that she is going after all that she can. There is absolutely nothing and I mean nothing wrong with that!!

NeNe Leakes Fan

March 27th, 2012
11:43 am

Congrats to NeNe! She is moving on and securing her future!!

True b that.guy

March 27th, 2012
11:46 am

The DUMBing down of America continues, is it a stripper pole dancing show?

[...] arguing over none sense, Nene has been making this housewife thing work for her. According to the AJC, she was very well received as Roz, the hard nosed swim coach on Fox’s Glee and creator Ryan [...]

juan carlos diego raul sanchez

March 27th, 2012
11:54 am

is she on “Finding Sasquatch”? “I think we have found the Squatch!”

carla roqs

March 27th, 2012
11:58 am

loved her on the show where they re did her closets.


March 27th, 2012
12:00 pm

Rocky? Hmm, male or female?


March 27th, 2012
12:04 pm

Seriously? Oh dear.


March 27th, 2012
12:07 pm

Whether you like her or not she’s getting paid and she is getting different role on different sitcoms. Apparently, it doesn’t matter that she didn’t take the acting classes, she apparently didnt’ need it to land her role. Ghetto or not she cashing her checks and getting paid. Stop drinking hater-raid.

[...] (via ajc) While “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kim Zolciak landed a reality show spinoff on Bravo, her former friend NeNe Leakes has been making a heavy push into acting. [...]


March 27th, 2012
12:15 pm

Mad Russian don’t be mad!!!!!!!! lol


March 27th, 2012
12:20 pm

Playing a character name “Rocky” suits her or do I say him?


March 27th, 2012
12:22 pm

NENE, I’m so happy for you and many good blessings for you to come. Beautiful inside and outside.


March 27th, 2012
12:27 pm

Well she should do well since she and the show is such a JOKE! It makes Atlanta look like a city that it is NOT!


March 27th, 2012
12:31 pm

Even though she was in part responsible for my decision to cease watching RHOA, I honestly cannot fault her hustle.


March 27th, 2012
12:31 pm

VERY PROUD OF YOU NENE! Everyone is doing something Kandi (Music), Phardea (Attorney/Funeral director), Kim (Nursing degree/good husband), Cynthia (modeling agency), and Sheree (?)…..


March 27th, 2012
12:34 pm

mad russian is a hater its alot of those in Atlanta like you actor want a be’s….do your thing girl cause no one will do it for you…go nene

seemore's mom

March 27th, 2012
12:36 pm

I think her and RuePaul would make a good tv show!! thanks for the warning, another show I will not watch. you can get things done by not being a BTCH.


March 27th, 2012
12:39 pm

you go nene!


March 27th, 2012
12:47 pm

I’m not a big fan of her’s anymore, but at least she’s trying to make her own way, not trying to latch onto a rich man to take care of her – um, hello Kim and Marlo.

Simple Jack

March 27th, 2012
12:55 pm

…..and a quick look at the polls shows that no one cares!!!


March 27th, 2012
1:02 pm

I was never a big fan of NeNe’s, but kudo’s to her for using whatever “it’ is that she has that is keeping her moving upward.


March 27th, 2012
1:03 pm

Mad, Angry, No Talent Black Woman gets role – what a freaking waste of television air time to even show her on anything other than her collecting the garbage which is what she is.


March 27th, 2012
1:07 pm

I have to say, I am actually happy for NeNe. She is becoming famous and she did not have to take her clothes off or sleep with anyone.

MissV, Raleigh NC

March 27th, 2012
1:09 pm

“Ghetto but grounded?” And America continues the hardy march towards telling people of color that you’re only good for laughs.

The Rock

March 27th, 2012
1:32 pm

Rodney, now this is news. Good to see NeNe coming up she’s putting in the work and its paying off Congrats!


March 27th, 2012
1:41 pm

As Randy Moss would say-Straight Cash Homie!!


March 27th, 2012
2:03 pm

Go head NeNe!! I aint mad at cha!!


March 27th, 2012
2:22 pm

Will she be playing a man or a woman>?


March 27th, 2012
2:34 pm

I am not a fan of RHOA, but I am impresed with how business minded Ne Ne is…good for her.


March 27th, 2012
2:46 pm

I definitely won’t be tuning into her show but good for her at least she isn’t being a gold digger for a living. She seems like she could play a lesbian very well. I assume she will be one of the “moms” and not the surrogate is why i say that. I would say the same thing about Justin Bieber too. Well, when he had his old hair…

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


March 27th, 2012
4:05 pm

She was pretty entertaining on Glee, so good for her. I certainly have no hate for someone trying their hand at something new, especially since she seems to have a flair for it.


March 27th, 2012
4:19 pm

It’s the ENTERTAINMENT business people!!!! They are PAID to entertain and if you are not entertained don’t watch. I am not a NeNe fan but more power to anyone that is making money and NOT trying to steal mine. That means, No One can make me watch a show or buy a movie ticket. People get too caught up. If you don’t like her fine, don’t watch her. I don’t, but I am not going to put her down because she has a better hustle than me. lol and Mad Russian, it all about being in the right place at the right time. Talent has nothing to do with it! Just listen to some of the music being made lately.

True Colors

March 27th, 2012
4:56 pm

Good for her! Do I like her? Not at all! But why can’t SHE have her shot? Someone has faith in her to try her out in a MAJOR network! So good for you NeNe!

True Colors

March 27th, 2012
4:59 pm

@No Talent Black Woman…since you are all infuriated, I have two words for you…HALLE BERRY! That’s NO TALENT. But SHE is what the INDUSTRY wants us to believe is TALENT! Talking about being hoodwinked! LOL!!

Shawnta Turner-Richard

March 27th, 2012
5:03 pm

Go NeNE! do your thang!

Gwendolyn Stone

March 27th, 2012
5:14 pm

I thought NeNe had a boob job. Her boobs are hanging lower than mine and I am a Jitterbug over 64. Phaedra had on the ugliest outfit to go to her husband’s speaking engagement. it made my eyes cross!!!

I have never seen so much behind on so many women in my life. Have they never heard of girdles or exercise?
I still have my own hair and now Kandi’s mom has joined the “Fake Hair” troupe.
Sheree’s daughter’s boyfriend manned up and told her that he was not ready to marry her. You Go Boy!!
Kim fired Sweetie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has anyone seen or heard from her?. Check the Ladies Shelter. Kroy is whooped……All things in time.
Cynthia and Peter are a tragedy waiting to happen. By the way, where is the new bar? Did they really spend $10,000 on their Anniversary? Why? Next chapter.

Waiting to expel.


March 27th, 2012
5:30 pm

Congrats, NeNe!! I’m happy for you. Do you need an assistant?

Cascade Shaniqua

March 27th, 2012
6:18 pm

Please just make NeNe go away. She is an insult to all the black sisters. She has no talent and is disgusting to watch.


March 27th, 2012
6:28 pm

Let her go as far as she can, she couldn’t be any worse than some other no-talent reality stars who work the business- let her get hers. It’s just entertainment!

just as I am

March 27th, 2012
6:30 pm

Ya’ll be nice and stop hatin’.

what if

March 27th, 2012
7:44 pm

notaracist… you said , “I have to say, I am actually happy for NeNe. She is becoming famous and she did not have to take her clothes off or sleep with anyone.”…..if she would have taken her clothes she definitely would NOT be getting any jobs.

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Fact Check

March 27th, 2012
7:49 pm

“Ghetto Proud” Lmao. Come on now. LOL

black girls rock

March 27th, 2012
8:41 pm

this wack especially when real actress cannot get roles!


March 27th, 2012
9:06 pm

I’ll be sure not to watch.


March 27th, 2012
9:23 pm


A Commenter

March 27th, 2012
9:30 pm

I really enjoyed NeNe’s “keep it real” attitude at first but definitely dislike the “I cash Donald Trump checks” diva that she morphed into. I’m glad that she’s turning her stint on RHOA into a broader career. Her history as a former stripper or ghetto girl doesn’t and shouldn’t hold her back.

Brenda Keyton

March 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

Very proud of you Ne Ne, hope and pray that God will give you peace, and the wisdom and knowledge to make the right decision. I think she has a Great Heart…..


Dee T.

March 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

This woman is a joke and an embarrassment to the entire city of Atlanta.


March 27th, 2012
9:51 pm

NENE you go girl put god first and he will take you places,congrates,love you and i will be watching.


March 27th, 2012
10:19 pm

Personally, I like NeNe. I never saw RHOA, so I was first exposed to her when I saw Celebrity Apprentice last season, and I really liked her. I’m not saying she doesn’t have her flaws, but at then end of the day, she respects her elders (remember “Miss Dionne”?) and she keeps it real.

And on Glee? She’s great! Her character is very believable. Honestly, in the role, I don’t look at her and think “Great, another loud black woman” stereotype… she’s basically the perfect counter to Sue Sylvester. I see her as a sassier, more comedic version of Sue. I don’t know that Nene will do more than those comedic roles, but I don’t really see why she would need to branch out – there’s a place for her talent (yep, I said talent) there in Hollywood.

I agree with those of you who said, love her, hate her, gotta admire her hustle – and I do! I wish her tons of success, just like I wish success to anybody who works hard and makes use of the resources available to them.


March 28th, 2012
9:04 am

Not a fan of NeNe, but am a fan of Kim and Kandi… hopefully NeNe horrible attitude will disappears, the Girl is Ghetto too the bone….yes she is Ghetto…she is the typical bougie-ghetto sister that got a little cash and it went to her head… Kims a Nurse,Kandi, Starr Jones and Phaedra are the only sisters that have really made it on their on because they have true smarts and talent.
NeNe and Sheree are nothing more than mattress backs with big mouths and trouble makers…

[...] Source [...]


March 28th, 2012
11:18 am

You idiots continue to whine about ‘who cares?”, yet continue to follow every article on this broad and even take out time to comment…ummm, who’s the loser here? Nene, who by the way could probably care less about your envy and obvious bitterness, is laughing all of the way to the bank… Please keep the comments and her FREE publicity flowing. Yeah, that’ll make her go away…..

[...] to the AJC: She’s had a well-received recurring role this season as a tough-talking swim coach on Ryan [...]


March 29th, 2012
12:45 am

Good for you Nene! Doesn’t matter what we say or think. You do you!


March 29th, 2012
1:20 am

She’s a man baby!


March 29th, 2012
5:03 am

As Don King said only in america. I can not stand any of the women on that show. The only thing I have seen worse on tv . The Jerry Springer Show had black women showing their brest while they were fighting Real House Wives comes in second. I keep reading where a lot of black women are calling this making it. Really . I call this blood money. I have always thought that a woman who stripped would do anything . NeNE has proven me right remember she was a stripper at the Gold Club in Atlanta at one time. Where are the black women at who had the problem with rapers ? This show and others like it are sending a message to black women. That if you are loud and willing to be disrespectful of black people and date white men who have money, and hang around gay black men we will put you on tv and pay you for it. Black people wake up while you are glued to these types of shows you are being exploited in so many ways it would take me days to write it out. There is nothing wrong with watching shows that stop you from thinking but shows that show black people disrespecting each other at this time in history there is no place for it. Will someone please tell me where is one show on tv that shows a positive good looking black male?


March 29th, 2012
6:04 am

Its about time nene or pepe lol leave the show!!!! She is an ego long as peachtree street and the rest of the ladies on the show have great class except marlo!!! The real housewives of atlanta will be much better without nene and maybe she need to go back to magic city and dance(she is not a great dancer at all lmao) because is is very fake and stuck up! Plus she will never have anything on kandi when it comes to talent, class and beauty!! :-)


March 29th, 2012
6:14 am

Don’t let any of these jealous losers give you shade, NeNe! You are one strong black woman and people across America just fell in love with you on your 1st season of RHOA. (even the Silver Fox aka Anderson Cooper called you out as his fave early on) Your performance on Glee has been awesome, as well. Keep on grabbing that brass ring, and Sheree will still be stirring crap and looking at that empty lot where her mansion should already be!

carla roqs

March 29th, 2012
6:33 am

romeo, wow–of couurse there are not any non AA women who rose from the ranks of stripping. sit down somewhere! even those of us who do not like the show nor the fake lifestlyes give ne ne credit for wanting more and working towards achieviing something other than bashing others.

bee gee

March 29th, 2012
6:54 am

What is y’all problem? Whatever negative feelings about Nene Leakes do not mean a thing. As ghetto as some of you think she is, Nene has outgrown that housewives show and is moving on. Producers contact who they want to be on their shows, whether it’s one of the many highly talented actors that have been working their behinds off to get jobs or a no name loser. It’s the producer’s decision. Good for Nene.


March 31st, 2012
12:25 am

Good for you Girl!!. I have always been a fan. She kinda scared me last year, but really stepped up and owned her behavior and well at least taking a look at how disgraceful at times it was. ….Who does that..?..The light just always gets brighter…