Normal, Ohio

Last updated
Normal, Ohio
Created by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner
Bob Kushell
Starring John Goodman
Joely Fisher
Anita Gillette
Orson Bean
Mo Gaffney
Charles Rocket
Composers Ben Vaughn
Jeff Sudakin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (7 aired, 5 unaired episodes) + 1 unaired original alternative pilot
Executive producers Marcy Carsey
Caryn Mandabach
Tom Werner
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesBonter Productions
Carsey-Werner Company
Original network FOX
Original releaseNovember 1 (2000-11-01) 
December 13, 2000 (2000-12-13)

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 .



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]

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, that were seemingly at odds with the way his character was presented most of the time. 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!")



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code [3]
1"Homecoming Queen" Philip Charles MacKenzie Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner & Bob Kushell November 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 MacKenzie Bob Nickman Unaired105
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
00"Don't Ask (Unaired Alternative Pilot)" [4] David Trainer Bonnie Turner and Terry TurnerUnairedTBA

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  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.