Normal, Ohio

Normal, Ohio is an American television sitcom aired on Fox in 2000. The show stars John Goodman as William "Butch" Gamble, a gay man returning to his Midwestern home town. The cast also includes Joely Fisher, Anita Gillette, Orson Bean, Mo Gaffney and Charles Rocket. The title is a reference to Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.

Normal, Ohio
Created byBonnie Turner and Terry Turner
Bob Kushell
StarringJohn Goodman
Joely Fisher
Anita Gillette
Orson Bean
Mo Gaffney
Charles Rocket
ComposersBen Vaughn
Jeff Sudakin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (+1 unaired pilot, 6 unaired)
Executive producersMarcy Carsey
Caryn Mandabach
Tom Werner
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesBonter Productions
Carsey-Werner Company
Original networkFOX
Original releaseNovember 1 (2000-11-01) –
December 13, 2000 (2000-12-13)


The original concept for the series was an Odd Couple-style situation comedy called Don't Ask, with Goodman as "Rex", sharing his West Hollywood apartment with college friend David (Anthony LaPaglia). Although the pilot was well-received, creators Bonnie and Terry Turner felt that the premise was not strong enough for an ongoing series. LaPaglia's character was written out and the series was relocated to Ohio.[1] i The show was most notable for the divisions it exposed regarding American culture's view of homosexuality. Gamble is an average blue collar bear-type gay man, with many traits typical of American masculinity, including a love of football and beer, and very few of the traits stereotypically associated with gay men. Nevertheless, his sexuality itself was signified in part by isolated moments of more stereotypically gay behavior, such as singing snippets of Broadway show tunes and helping his sister to color her hair. As a result, some media outlets dismissed Goodman's role as unrealistic.[2]

Goodman won the People's Choice Award for Best Actor in a New Comedy Series, but, up against the second half hour of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, it flopped in the Nielsen ratings. Twelve episodes of the series were made, but only seven were aired before its cancellation.

Goodman appeared on the cover of TV Guide's 2000 Fall Preview issue, along with three other actors starring in new sitcoms: Geena Davis, Bette Midler and Michael Richards. The magazine proclaimed them a "fab foursome", but none of the shows was a hit. (In the 2001 Fall Preview issue, the 2000 cover was re-printed with thought balloons over the actors' heads, with Goodman's saying, "Even I didn't buy me as a gay dad!")

The show is now best known for being one of the canceled shows referenced in the opening scene of the renewal of Family Guy in 2005.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code [3]
1"Homecoming Queen"Philip Charles MacKenzieBonnie Turner and Terry Turner & Bob KushellNovember 1, 2000 (2000-11-01)101
2"Foreign Affairs"Phillip Charles MacKenzieGregg MettlerNovember 8, 2000 (2000-11-08)104
3"Caught on Tape"Phillip Charles MacKenzieJimmy Aleck & Jim KeilyNovember 15, 2000 (2000-11-15)106
4"A Thanksgiving Episode"Phillip Charles MacKenzieMiriam TrogdonNovember 22, 2000 (2000-11-22)102
5"Buyer's Remorse"Phillip Charles MacKenzieBrad Walsh & Paul CorriganNovember 29, 2000 (2000-11-29)103
6"Working Girl"Phillip Charles MacKenzieLynnie Greene & Richard LevineDecember 6, 2000 (2000-12-06)108
7"Just Another Normal Christmas"Phillip Charles MacKenzieJohn SchwabDecember 13, 2000 (2000-12-13)107
8"Pamela's New Boyfriend"Phillip Charles MacKenzieBob NickmanUnaired105
9"Forgotten, But Not Gone"Philip Charles MacKenzieBrad Walsh & Paul CorriganUnaired109
10"The Favorite"Phillip Charles MacKenzieKira ArneUnaired110
11"He Always Get His Man"Phillip Charles MacKenzieGregg MettlerUnaired111
12"Charlie's Gamble"Phillip Charles MacKenzieJimmy Aleck & Jim KeilyUnaired112
13"Don't Ask (Unaired Pilot)"[4]David TrainerBonnie Turner and Terry TurnerUnairedTBA


  1. ^ Tropiano, Stephen (2002). The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV. New York, Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. ISBN 1-55783-557-8. p. 252
  2. ^ Maitra, Rob. "Getting Back to Normal". PopMatters. Archived from the original on January 17, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
  3. ^ From the United States Copyright Office catalog: "Public Catalog - Copyright Catalog (1978 to present) - Basic Search [search: "Normal, Ohio"]". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  4. ^ From the Writers Guild of America, West catalog: "Signatory Project Confirmation [search: "Normal, Ohio"]". Writers Guild of America, West. Retrieved 2017-10-31.

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