It's All Relative

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It's All Relative
All Relative Cast.jpg
Created by Anne Flett-Giordano
Chuck Ranberg
Starring Reid Scott
Maggie Lawson
Lenny Clarke
Harriet Sansom Harris
John Benjamin Hickey
Christopher Sieber
Paige Moss
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (2 Unaired)
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s)
Original channel ABC
Original run October 1, 2003 (2003-10-01) – April 6, 2004 (2004-04-06)

It's All Relative is an ABC sitcom about a man who dates the adoptive daughter of a gay couple, which forces their very different families to learn to coexist.


The show, created by Chuck Ranberg and Anne Flett-Giordano, premiered on ABC on October 1, 2003 and aired until it was cancelled, with two episodes unaired, on April 6, 2004. While the final two episodes produced were never aired in the US during the show's original run, they have been broadcast in the original run of the show abroad (such as in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where the channel Trouble, aimed at teenagers, showed the episodes), as well as in reruns.


The story revolved around two rather different realities, in Boston, Massachusetts. In one corner, there was Mace O'Neill, the rather stereotyped character played by Lenny Clarke, a Boston Irish bar owner close to retirement who watches with dismay as his son falls for a girl with a rather unorthodox family history: she is the adoptive, and somewhat spoiled, daughter of an upper-middle class gay couple. The situation forces the character to come to terms with his homophobia although this aspect of Clarke's character was substantially toned down, not wanting to overtly rip off Archie Bunker from All in the Family (also an urban, prejudiced bar owner, albeit one from New York City instead of Boston) any more than they already had; producers were more interested in light comedy than social satire. In addition, the audience is introduced to the also stereotypical Irish American wife (Harriet Sansom Harris), who helps in the pub but is generally a traditional middle-aged housewife (but oddly has little problems accepting her soon-to-be daughter-in-law's parents), as well as the couple's tough-but-kind daughter (Paige Moss), who waitresses in the family's bar.

On the other side, there were 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. Here, the comedy came from the couple's difficulties in adjusting to their daughter's boyfriend's family, especially his father (Lenny Clarke), and most notably from Philip's notion that his daughter was dating someone "beneath her", both socially and culturally.

The first (and as it turned out, the only) season followed Maggie Lawson's and Reid Scott's characters romance as it evolved from a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship into engagement and, eventually, marriage. During this process, the two families strived 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.

Cast and characters[edit]

Episode guide[edit]

Title Writers Director First Aired Obs.
Pilot Chuck Ranberg, Anne Flett-Giordano Andy Cadiff 1 October 2003 Taped on July 14, 2003
Truth and Consequences Barton Dean Steve Zuckerman 8 October 2003
Hell's Kitchen Ken Levine, David Isaacs Steve Zuckerman 15 October 2003
Take Me Out Jon Fener, Josh Bycel Steve Zuckerman 22 October 2003
The Doctor Is Out Ellen Byron Lissa Kapstrom 29 October 2003
Waking Uncle Paddy Barton Dean Barnet Kellman 5 November 2003
Swangate Josh Bycel, Jonathan Fener Barnet Kellman 12 November 2003
Road Trippin' Lissa Kapstrom, Ellen Byron Barnet Kellman 19 November 2003
Thanks, But No Thanks Anne Flett-Giordano, Chuck Ranberg Andy Cadiff 26 November 2003
Artistic Differences Jordan Hawley, Wil Schifrin Andy Cadiff 10 December 2003
The Santa That Came to Dinner Ken Levine, David Isaacs Ken Levine 17 December 2003
What's Up Anne Flett-Giordano Philip Charles MacKenzie 7 January 2004
And Our Sauce, It Is a Beauty Michael Markowitz Bob Koherr 14 January 2004
Ready, Aim, Sing! Michael Markowitz Barnet Kellman 21 January 2004
Tackleboxxx / The Love Below Michael Markowitz 28 January 2004 Title name after an Outkast album
Cross My Heart Jayme Petrille Ken Levine 11 February 2004
A Long Day's Journey Into Leonard's Charlie Hauck Barnet Kellman 18 February 2004
Oscar Interruptus 25 February 2004
Who's Camping Now 30 March 2004
Philip in a China Shop Barton Dean, Josh Bycel Barnet Kellman 6 April 2004 The show was cancelled after this episode.
Doggy-Style Barton Dean Leonard R. Garner Jr. UNAIRED
Fight For Your Invite to Party Lissa Kapstrom, Ellen Byron Barton Dean UNAIRED Last episode produced.
Total number of episodes: 22

External links[edit]