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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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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 Deadline.com. 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) [...]

ACE

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. >_>

ATLPeach

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.

K-10

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.

shelby

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

Shep

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.

Nephew

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.

Angela

March 27th, 2012
12:00 pm

Rocky? Hmm, male or female?

Flibberty-Gibberts!

March 27th, 2012
12:04 pm

Seriously? Oh dear.

KGray

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. [...]

Secret1209

March 27th, 2012
12:15 pm

Mad Russian don’t be mad!!!!!!!! lol

Sandra

March 27th, 2012
12:20 pm

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

Gail

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.

Fedup

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!

Pebblebeach

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.

DON

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 (?)…..

comeon

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.

lisa

March 27th, 2012
12:39 pm

you go nene!

Joel

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!!!

Cammi317

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.

NO TALENT BLACK WOMAN

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.

notaracist

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!

Courtney

March 27th, 2012
1:41 pm

As Randy Moss would say-Straight Cash Homie!!

Tiffany

March 27th, 2012
2:03 pm

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

Courrtney

March 27th, 2012
2:22 pm

Will she be playing a man or a woman>?

BIGCITYLIGHTS

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.

ashley

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) [...]

Shay

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.

TLDATL

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!!