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
Composer(s) Bruce Miller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (2 unaired)
Executive producer(s) Craig Zadan
Neil Meron
Anne Flett-Giordano
Chuck Ranberg
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network ABC
Original release 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 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.

Cast and characters[edit]


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
1 "Pilot" Andy Cadiff Chuck Ranberg & Anne Flett-Giordano October 1, 2003 (2003-10-01) 1
Note: Taped on July 14, 2003.
2 "Truth and Consequences" Steve Zuckerman Barton Dean October 8, 2003 (2003-10-08) 3
3 "Hell's Kitchen" Steve Zuckerman Ken Levine & David Isaacs October 15, 2003 (2003-10-15) 2
4 "Take Me Out" Steve Zuckerman Jon Fener & Josh Bycel October 22, 2003 (2003-10-22) 4
5 "The Doctor Is Out" Lissa Kapstrom Ellen Byron October 29, 2003 (2003-10-29) 5
6 "Waking Uncle Paddy" Barnet Kellman Barton Dean November 5, 2003 (2003-11-05) 7
7 "Swangate" Barnet Kellman Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener November 12, 2003 (2003-11-12) 8
8 "Road Trippin'" Barnet Kellman Lissa Kapstrom & Ellen Byron November 19, 2003 (2003-11-19) 10
9 "Thanks, But No Thanks" Andy Cadiff Anne Flett-Giordano & Chuck Ranberg November 26, 2003 (2003-11-26) 9
10 "Artistic Differences" Andy Cadiff Jordan Hawley & Wil Schifrin December 10, 2003 (2003-12-10) 6(?)
11 "The Santa That Came to Dinner" Ken Levine Ken Levine & David Isaacs December 17, 2003 (2003-12-17) 11
12 "What's Up" Philip Charles MacKenzie Anne Flett-Giordano January 7, 2004 (2004-01-07) 12
13 "Our Sauce, It Is a Beauty" Bob Koherr Michael Markowitz January 14, 2004 (2004-01-14) 16
14 "Ready, Aim, Sing!" Barnet Kellman Michael Markowitz January 21, 2004 (2004-01-21) 14
15 "Tackleboxxx/The Love Below" TBA Michael Markowitz January 28, 2004 (2004-01-28) 13
Note: Episode title from an Outkast album.
16 "Cross My Heart" Ken Levine Jayme Petrille February 11, 2004 (2004-02-11) TBA
17 "A Long Day's Journey Into Leonard's" Barnet Kellman Charlie Hauck February 11, 2004 (2004-02-11) 15
Note: Episode title is a play on words of the title of the famous play by Eugene O'Neill.
18 "Oscar Interruptus" TBA TBA February 25, 2004 (2004-02-25) TBA
19 "Who's Camping Now" TBA TBA March 30, 2004 (2004-03-30) 21
20 "Philip in a China Shop" Barnet Kellman Barton Dean & Josh Bycel April 6, 2004 (2004-04-06) 22
Note: The series was pulled from the air after this episode aired.
21 "Doggy-Style" Leonard R. Garner Jr. Barton Dean Unaired 19
22 "Fight For Your Invite to Party" Barton Dean Lissa Kapstrom & Ellen Byron Unaired 20
Episode title is a play on words of the title of the famous song by The Beastie Boys.

External links[edit]