NeNe Leakes: Fan Reaction to My New Normal Character Has Been "Great"

Entertainment Sep. 11, 2012 AT 12:07PM

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!

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"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.

Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Ellen Barkin as Jane, and Nene Leakes as Rocky in
Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Ellen Barkin as Jane, and Nene Leakes as Rocky in "The New Normal"
Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

"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.

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"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.

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