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Normal, Ohio
Format Sitcom
Created by Bonnie Turner
Terry Turner
Caryn Mandabach
Starring John Goodman
Joely Fisher
Anita Gillette
Orson Bean
Mo Gaffney
Charles Rocket
Country of origin United States United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time approx. 23 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel FOX
Original run November 1, 2000 – December 13, 2000

Normal, Ohio is an American television sitcom, which aired on the Fox Network in 2000. The show starred John Goodman as William "Butch" Gamble, a gay man returning to his Midwestern home town. The cast also included Joely Fisher, Anita Gillette, Orson Bean, Mo Gaffney and Charles Rocket.

The original concept for the series was an odd Couple-style situation 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, series 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, a bear type, was an average blue collar guy 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 dye her hair, that was seemingly at odds with the way his character was presented most of the time. As a result, many 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 the show was not generally a success in the Nielsen ratings. Thirteen episodes of the series were made, but only seven were aired before its cancellation.

Notes

  1. ^ Tropiano, Stephen (2002). The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV. New York, Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. ISBN 1557835578. p. 252
  2. ^ Maitra, Rob. "Getting Back to Normal". popmatters.com. http://www.popmatters.com/tv/reviews/n/normal-ohio.html. Retrieved 2009-06-24.  

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