“Be fair.” That’s what The New Normal creator Ryan Murphy said 20th Century Fox TV and NBC execs told him about doing an episode of the NBC sitcom from a Republican perspective. The episode, “Obama’s Mama”, airs tonight. “You have two gay clearly liberal guys at the heart of the show. We all collectively thought it would be great to do an episode where you presented Ellen’s point of view, the conservative point of view, the Republican point of view that hopefully was eloquent and was given equal time,” Murphy said today during a conference call about the show, about a gay couple having a baby through a surrogate. Ellen Barkin plays June, the conservative 58-year-old grandmother of the surrogate (played by Georgia King).

“I didn’t want to do a 100% pro-Obama episode, even though that’s where my political interests lie,” said Murphy, who back in June held a $40,000-per-couple dinner for President Obama’s re-election campaign at his Beverly Hills home. Tonight’s show “was influenced and inspired by my love of Norman Lear and the stuff I grew up watching,” he noted, adding that the episode is “the sweet spot of where I’d like the show to go.” Like Lear’s All In The Family, the show not only is trying to show differing political points of view but touch on hot-topic issues — in this case, race, abortion and Muslims. “I think it is a brave, honest examination of the world,” Murphy said.

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Murphy also said today that Marlo Thomas is joining The New Normal in its 10th episode playing a real estate agent and June’s mentor. “We’re also doing a really great Halloween episode, which I think is really interesting and wonderful, which pays homage to Honey Boo Boo,” Murphy said, teasing another upcoming episode.