It's All Relative
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It's All Relative is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from October 1, 2003, until April 6, 2004. The series is about two families in Boston — one lower-class Irish Catholic and the other an upper-class WASP household headed by a gay couple — who are reluctantly joined together when their kids get engaged.
|It's All Relative|
|Created by||Anne Flett-Giordano
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||22 (2 unaired) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||19—22 minutes|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV)|
|Original release||October 1, 2003– April 6, 2004|
In one corner, there was the working-class O'Neill family, led by Mace (Lenny Clarke), the rather stereotypical Boston Irish bar owner of Paddy's, with his wife, traditional middle-aged housewife Audrey (Harriet Sansom Harris), and two kids, Bobby (Reid Scott) and Maddy (Paige Moss).
On the other side, there were the upper-class Stoddard-Banks family, with Simon (Christopher Sieber) and Philip (John Benjamin Hickey), a same-sex couple who takes pride in how well they were able to raise their adoptive daughter, Liz (Maggie Lawson).
These two polar opposite families collide when it is revealed Bobby and Liz have been secretly dating each other, and are now engaged. Both sides are against any relationship their child has with the other, let alone a marriage. Homophobic Mace and Stuck-up Philip especially drive the arguments between both of the families, with their very vocal disapproval of not only the engagement, but each other. Bobby and Liz move into Simon and Philip's guest house, and the families are now forced to come together — whether they like it or not.
The series follows the relationship between two people from two completely different worlds, and how they make their relationship work. During this process, the two families strove to come to terms with the inevitability of being "joined" by their children's union, which would force both sides to revisit their preconceptions and prejudices.
The show was created by Chuck Ranberg and Anne Flett-Giordano. In January 2003, the project received a pilot order at ABC, albeit untitled. The pilot was picked up by ABC on May 12, 2003, now with the title It's All Relative.
Reid Scott was the first cast on March 5, 2003. The next day, Maggie Lawson was cast, shortly following her leading role on the ABC pilot Nancy Drew. John Benjamin Hickey was cast on March 21, 2003. On March 31, 2003, Christopher Sieber was cast; Sieber had previously starred in another ABC sitcom Two of a Kind. Lenny Clarke was casted on April 9, 2003.
Despite initial high ratings, and airing between My Wife and Kids and The Bachelor, the series' ratings soon slid, especially as it had to compete against 60 Minutes Wednesday and American Idol on Wednesdays. In February 2004, ABC put the series on hiatus, before an impulsive move to Tuesdays in March 2004. The rescheduling worsened ratings, now competing against more established and popular series: established Top 50 series 24, The Guardian and Scrubs, and critical favorites America's Next Top Model and One Tree Hill. After two episodes in the new timeslot, the series was abruptly pulled from ABC's schedule on April 8, 2004, with the final two scheduled episodes left unaired. On May 17, 2004, ABC announced at their annual upfronts that it had cancelled It's All Relative.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Reid Scott as Bobby O'Neill:
- Maggie Lawson as Liz Stoddard-Banks:
- Lenny Clarke as Mason "Mace" O'Neill:
- Harriet Sansom Harris as Audrey O'Neill (née Corrigan):
- John Benjamin Hickey as Philip Stoddard:
- Christopher Sieber as Simon Banks:
- Paige Moss as Maddy O'Neill:
Notable Guest StarsEdit
- Victor Garber as Joffrey ("The Doctor Is Out")
- James Patrick Stuart as Charlie Carson ("Swangate")
- Olympia Dukakis as Colleen O'Neill, Mace's mother ("Thanks, But No Thanks")
- Ed McMahon as himself ("Our Sauce, It Is a Beauty")
- Ed Quinn as Brad, Simon's bandmate and ex-boyfriend ("Cross My Heart")
- Kevin Chamberlin as Wayne, Simon's bandmate ("Cross My Heart")
- Brooke Burke-Charvet as Park Ranger ("Who's Camping Now")
- Darby Stanchfield as Jordan, one of Liz's friends who Maddy fights with ("Who's Camping Now")
- Tom Bosley as Father Joseph, the priest at the O'Neill's parish ("Fight for Your Invite to Party")
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22 (2 unaired)||October 1, 2003||April 6, 2004|
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.
|1||"Pilot"||Andy Cadiff||Chuck Ranberg & Anne Flett-Giordano||October 1, 2003||101||10.8|
|Liz and Bobby are recently engaged, after months of sneaking around in a secret relationship. When the two finally tell their parents (Bobby's lower-class Irish Catholic parents and sister; Liz's adoptive fathers, an upper-class gay couple), they are not amused. A fight at their first meeting results in Bobby being kicked out of the house, and both him and Liz moving into her fathers' guest house.|
|2||"Truth and Consequences"||Steve Zuckerman||Barton Dean||October 8, 2003||103||10.2|
|Liz has found out Bobby is the "King of Break-ups", and gets upset at him. Liz forces Bobby to apologize to all his ex-girlfriends, but this backfires when one of them tries to break them up. Meanwhile, Audrey wants to go to an Amish quilt festival, but Mace refuses to take her.|
|3||"Hell's Kitchen"||Steve Zuckerman||Ken Levine & David Isaacs||October 15, 2003||102||10.2|
|Bobby accidentally breaks the coffee breaker, and everyone gets roped into helping him cover it up from Philip. Meanwhile, Maddy falls for Liz's study partner.|
|4||"Take Me Out"||Steve Zuckerman||Jonathan Fener & Josh Bycel||October 22, 2003||104||9.9|
|Liz and Bobby encourage the two families to bond: Simon and Philip reluctantly go to a Red Sox game with Bobby and Mace, while Liz goes with Audrey and Maddy to a basement sale. However, both days end disastrously with Bobby getting hit with a baseball, and Liz getting her, Audrey, and Maddy banned from the store.|
|5||"The Doctor Is Out"||Ken Levine||Ellen Byron & Lissa Kapstrom||October 29, 2003||105||9.4|
|When Mace's hernia is acting up, he refuses to go to a doctor Simon and Philip know, based on the fact he's gay. A concerned Audrey decides to trick him into going. Meanwhile, Maddy and Liz help each other with their Halloween costumes for Philip and Simon's party.|
|6||"Waking Uncle Paddy"||Barnet Kellman||Barton Dean||November 5, 2003||107||8.6|
|Audrey's Uncle Paddy dies (watching The View), and Bobby invites Liz to go along to the funeral. However, she ends up embarrassing herself and also gets the family in trouble. Meanwhile, Mace tries to get Paddy's $650 tab, while Philip and Simon run the bar and become popular.|
|7||"Swangate"||Barnet Kellman||Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener||November 12, 2003||108||10.3|
|For once, both the O'Neills and Stoddard-Banks agree on something — a political candidate, Charlie Carson, who is for a revival of the older neighborhoods and gay marriage. However, the parents find out he has killed a locally-famous swan, and he asks them to help him cover it up. Meanwhile, Liz uses the bar to do her science project, which makes Bobby mad at her.|
|8||"Road Trippin'"||Barnet Kellman||Lissa Kapstrom & Ellen Byron||November 19, 2003||110||10.2|
|For the three-month anniversary of their engagement, Liz and Bobby trick their parents into throwing them an engagement party. However, their arguing causes Liz and Bobby to run off to Vermont, to the ski lodge they met at. Due to misinformation from Maddy, the parents think they are eloping, and go to top them. Meanwhile, Liz and Bobby get stuck at a run-down lodge with the creepy manager (and the same one the parents eventually also get stuck at), and Maddy tries to persuade Mace into letting her new band perform at the bar (which drives away customers).|
|9||"Thanks, But No Thanks"||Barnet Kellman||Anne Flett-Giordano & Chuck Ranberg||November 26, 2003||109||8.5|
|Mace's mother, Colleen, does a surprise Thanksgiving visit, much to everyone's annoyance. Due to her perceived homophobia, Mae and Audrey try to hide Simon and Philip from them – made all the more difficult by Liz's invitation to their Thanksgiving dinner.|
|10||"Artistic Differences"||Andy Cadiff||Jordan Hawley & Wil Schifrin||December 10, 2003||106||9.4|
|Everybody thinks Audrey's new painting is hideous, but it turns out to be very valuable. When Mace sells it with Audrey's knowledge, she forces him and Philip to get it back from a blind man.|
|11||"The Santa That Came to Dinner"||Ken Levine||Ken Levine & David Isaacs||December 17, 2003||111||8.2|
|The O'Neills and Stoddard-Bankses are spending Christmas apart, much to the relief of the parents. However, while bringing Philip and Simon a new Christmas tree, Mace dislocates his back, and they are forced to spend Christmas together with their different traditions. And complicating the holiday is everybody giving Mace muscle relaxers. Meanwhile, Bobby struggles to find the perfect present for Liz that nobody else has bought her. Ironically, they end up buying the same gifts for each other.|
|12||"What's Up"||Philip Charles MacKenzie||Anne Flett-Giordano||January 7, 2004||112||8.7|
|Bobby and Liz are having bedroom problems, and begin to argue to the edge of a break-up. Mace and Philip are thrilled, but Audrey and Simon secretly decide to get them back together. Meanwhile, Maddy assumes Bobby is gay and ready to come out.|
|13||"And Our Sauce, It Is a Beauty"||Bob Koherr||Michael Markowitz||January 14, 2004||116||7.8|
|Philip is irritated that his buyers are awed and more interested in Mace watching television and eating junk food. However, he decides to take advantage of their interest.|
|14||"Ready, Aim, Sing!"||Barnet Kellman||Michael Markowitz||January 21, 2004||114||6.2|
|Simon is putting on a play for anti-gun control that is quickly spiraling out of control. When the lead actress in injured, sewing lady Audrey takes the leading role, much to Mace's horror, and bringing up a debate about gun control. Meanwhile, Philip is irritated he is not apart of the play, but playing gopher for Simon.|
|15||"Tackleboxxx/The Love Below"||Philip Charles MacKenzie||Michael Markowitz||January 28, 2004||113||6.7|
|Simon comes to the bar with his new teaching assistant, Lance, who Maddy develops an attraction to. Simon tries to set them up by having her help out in the class' project, but Philip surprisingly shows up and tries to stop Simon's matchmaking. Meanwhile, Mace's old friend is in town, much to the chagrin of Audrey.|
|16||"Cross My Heart"||Ken Levine||Jayme Petrille||February 11, 2004||117||6.7|
|It's Valentine's Day, and just as Simon's "Where Are They Now?" boy band episode is about to air, Mace decides to run for President of the Merchant's Association. To win, Mace convinces Simon's band to have a reunion, which turns out to be disastrous – especially with the arrival of Simon's ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, Bobby tries to find a more romantic plan for Liz than his usual Valentine's day routine, while Audrey and Philip are angry that their significant others are more concerned with their issues.|
|17||"A Long Day's Journey Into Leonard's"||Barnet Kellman||Charlie Hauck||February 18, 2004||115||7.0|
|Maddy blabs to the parish priest that Bobby and Liz have slept together, and the parents call for the wedding to happen as soon as possible. While looking into a popular reception hall, Bobby gets nervous about marriage and Maddy crashes a wedding. Meanwhile, Philip uses Mace to get into the "O'Neill's club", since Mace is a great-nephew of Philip's idol, Eugene O'Neill.|
|18||"Oscar Interruptus"||Steve Zuckerman||Ellen Byron & Lissa Kapstrom||February 25, 2004||118||N/A|
|An argument between Philip and Mace causes them to break the television set, and miss a big game and the Oscars. Meanwhile, Maddy teaches Audrey what a "free pass" is, and she annoys the others with her frequent gossip about it.
Note: This episode was the final episode to air before the series went on hiatus.
|19||"Who's Camping Now"||Bob Koherr||Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener||March 30, 2004||121||8.6|
|Liz and Bobby are having their Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, and force the other to invite their family. Mace and Bobby take Simon and Philip, who make a bet about if Simon and Philip can survive; eventually, Mace cheats with the guys by ditching Simon and Philip to join the guys at a cabin, and Simon and Philip win the bet while also pranking them by making them look for them all night. Meanwhile, Liz invites Audrey and Maddy to come to her boring Bachelorette party with all her rich friends, but Maddy invites a stripper to give them stripping lessons that intimidate Liz.
Note: Starting with this episode, the series began airing on Tuesdays.
|20||"Philip in a China Shop"||Barnet Kellman||Barton Dean & Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener||April 6, 2004||122||6.9|
|The families are going to register for Liz and Bobby's wedding. Philip gets trapped on top of a display, and refuses to come down, while Audrey and Maddy fight in line for a popular daytime TV doctor. Meanwhile, Simon and Mace put together a crib for the baby shower of one of Philip and Simon's friends, with little success.
Note: This was the final episode produced, and was the final episode that aired in the series' original run.
|21||"Doggy Style"||Leonard R. Garner Jr.||Barton Dean||Unaired||119||TBD|
|Liz and Simon find out Philip has been lying about a dog allergy for years, and both adopt a stray. The topic then turns to child rearing, which puts the families – including Liz and Bobby – at odds for how to raise kids.
Note: This episode was scheduled to air April 13, 2004.
|22||"Fight For Your Invite to Party"||Barton Dean||Lissa Kapstrom & Ellen Byron & Michael Markowitz||Unaired||120||TBD|
|Liz is over stressed with wedding planning and finals, which causes her to make a bad impression with the priest at Bobby's church. Meawhile, the parents argue over the wedding invitations, and Maddy tries to get her way by acting as messenger for both sides.
Note: This episode was scheduled to air April 20, 2004.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (EDT)||Season Premiere||Season Finale||TV season||Rank||Viewers
|1||22 (2 unaired)||Wednesday 8:30 PM (1–18)
Tuesday 9:30 PM (19–20)
|October 1, 2003||April 6, 2004||2003–04||57||8.60|