Normal, Ohio

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Normal, Ohio
Created by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner
Bob Kushell
Starring John Goodman
Joely Fisher
Anita Gillette
Orson Bean
Mo Gaffney
Charles Rocket
Composer(s) Ben Vaughn
Jeff Sudakin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (6 unaired)
Executive producer(s) Marcy Carsey
Caryn Mandabach
Tom Werner
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Bonter Productions
Carsey-Werner Company
Original network FOX
Original release November 1 (2000-11-01) – December 13, 2000 (2000-12-13)

Normal, Ohio is an American television sitcom aired on the 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 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 was 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, and yet 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. (All episodes are available for view on Hulu.)

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. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
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 MacKenzie Gregg Mettler November 8, 2000 (2000-11-08) 104
3 "Caught on Tape" Phillip Charles MacKenzie Jimmy Aleck & Jim Keily November 15, 2000 (2000-11-15) 106
4 "A Thanksgiving Episode" Phillip Charles MacKenzie Miriam Trogdon November 22, 2000 (2000-11-22) 102
5 "Buyer's Remorse" Phillip Charles MacKenzie Brad Walsh & Paul Corrigan November 29, 2000 (2000-11-29) 103
6 "Working Girl" Phillip Charles MacKenzie Lynnie Greene & Richard Levine December 6, 2000 (2000-12-06) 108
7 "Just Another Normal Christmas" Phillip Charles MacKenzie John Schwab December 13, 2000 (2000-12-13) 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 "Pilot"[4] TBA TBA Unaired TBA


  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. Retrieved 2009-06-24. [dead link]
  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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