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.
|Created by||Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||12 (+1 unaired pilot, 6 unaired)|
|Executive producers||Marcy Carsey|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production companies||Bonter Productions|
|Original release||November 1 –|
December 13, 2000
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. 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.
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.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Homecoming Queen"||Philip Charles MacKenzie||Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner & Bob Kushell||November 1, 2000||101|
|2||"Foreign Affairs"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Gregg Mettler||November 8, 2000||104|
|3||"Caught on Tape"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Jimmy Aleck & Jim Keily||November 15, 2000||106|
|4||"A Thanksgiving Episode"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Miriam Trogdon||November 22, 2000||102|
|5||"Buyer's Remorse"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Brad Walsh & Paul Corrigan||November 29, 2000||103|
|6||"Working Girl"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Lynnie Greene & Richard Levine||December 6, 2000||108|
|7||"Just Another Normal Christmas"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||John Schwab||December 13, 2000||107|
|8||"Pamela's New Boyfriend"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Bob Nickman||Unaired||105|
|9||"Forgotten, But Not Gone"||Philip Charles MacKenzie||Brad Walsh & Paul Corrigan||Unaired||109|
|10||"The Favorite"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Kira Arne||Unaired||110|
|11||"He Always Get His Man"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Gregg Mettler||Unaired||111|
|12||"Charlie's Gamble"||Phillip Charles MacKenzie||Jimmy Aleck & Jim Keily||Unaired||112|
|13||"Don't Ask (Unaired Pilot)"||David Trainer||Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner||Unaired||TBA|
- 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
- Maitra, Rob. "Getting Back to Normal". PopMatters. Archived from the original on January 17, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- 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.
- From the Writers Guild of America, West catalog: "Signatory Project Confirmation [search: "Normal, Ohio"]". Writers Guild of America, West. Retrieved 2017-10-31.