L to R (Back row: Artie Lange, Norm Mac Donald, Faith Ford, Joann Baker (My Mom); Front row:
Me. March 16, 2001.
Faith Ford, star of Murphy Brown and Maggie Winters has joined the cast of ABC's Norm starring Norm
MacDonald and Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne"). She plays the role of Shelly Kilmartin, a probation officer, and on-again,
off-again love interest for the series title character, Norm Henderson. Ford created the role for six episodes during the
1999-2000 season, and now returns as a series regular for the 2000-01 to "do more with the character."
for the new season began August 18, 2000 with the Halloween episode (set to air Friday, Oct. 27, 2000 at 9PM/8CT,) and I won't
spoil anything for you... but Shelly's Halloween costume is sure to please Faith's male fans.
Shelly is already
much more a part of the "gang" than she was last season, and Faith seems excited about that. I believe you'll really
see her character grow this year. What excited me was that Faith informed me that she visited this website last Summer and
really liked it. Thanks Faith!
The second episode was filmed August 25, 2000. It guest stars
Courtney Thorne-Smith ("Ally Mc Beal") as a Lesbian friend of Laurie's (Laurie Metcalf) whom Norm tries to seduce.
Faith has only 2 scenes, but it's a very funny episode. Even Faith was laughing. She noted the improvements the show has made
and the feeling of comraderie on the set now. Be sure to tune in & share the fun.
I had occasion to have an
interesting chat with Alex Kingston (Dr.Elizabeth Corday) outside the ER set on my way to visit Faith at "Norm".
You can read about it under ER ENCOUNTERS on my George Clooney page.
The filming of September
15, 2000 was the second part of the season opener during which Shelly (Faith) returns and Nikki(Cox)exits. Nikki had some
of the co-horts from her new WB sitcom in the audience, including Susan Egan. A sweet lady I had met before. I wish the cast
of "Nikki" all the best!
Faith had a special guest on the set as well, her sister, Devon O' Day. How
nice she could visit for Faith birthday, September 14. Cast and crew celebrated with a cake during rehearsals! Faith has really
beome a part of the gang! I think it shows in the episodes. Shelly's fitting in much better!!!!!! Tune in! Faith has some
great lines in this one!
This week's ER encounter, was with Noah Wyle. Read about on my GEORGE CLOONEY PAGE.
The September 22nd filming involved Norm "helping" Shelly with "Girls in Crisis".
Needless to say, it ends in disaster. It was a difficult episode for Faith, who appears in all but one scene, as Shelly must
"walk a fine line" between attraction and disdain for Norm. It can be a frustrating challenge, as Faith and the
writers search for just the right tone for this character.
But Faith was fortunate to be enjoying the continued
support of her sister, Devon (whose visit is soon to end) and her husband, Campion, who trudged out on an unusually rainy
September night in Southern California. Despite a few last minute re-writes cast and crew were able to complete filming relatively
quickly...and after good-byes, we were off! Due to the weather, Mom and I didn't go exploring at ER, so no encounters to report.
On September 29, 2000, We met Faith outside the studio, carrying a basket of home-grown tomatoes
-- a gift for her co-star Norm. Faith also grows chives and other small vegetables in her garden, of which she is very proud.
She hopes her parents will come in to help her plant some lettuce --they are the real experts!
She was very excited
about this episode, which involves a tennis rivalry between Shelly and Norm. Faith is NOT a tennis player which made certain
scenes quite challenging, yet her comedic talents are finally shinning through. This is especially true in a climatic post-tennis
"dinner date" scene, which was specially written to showcase Faith talents.
After shooting, I talked
with Faith, Campion, and a friend of theirs in the parking lot. Faith explains that the producers are hoping to develop a
relationship similar to that of "Sam and Dianne of Cheers." This episode is the first sign that may be coming to
fruition. This episode is scheduled to air one of the first two week in November. For Faith Ford fans it is must-see TV! There
will be no filming the week of October 6, but Faith assures me she has meetings scheduled all week with an eye toward future
The most interesting thing about the October 13 filming of Norm was Faith's impromptu
interview with audience warm-up comedian, Ron Pearson. Pearson also appears in this episode, as a would-be adoptive parent
to an orphaned family of 5, temporarily housed individually by each of the series regulars.
Anyway, at the request
of Gus and Faye Siamis, (parents of former Murphy Brown producer and co-creator, Korby Siamis) Faith treated the audience
to her rendition of "There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," something she often did on the Murphy set, as well
as on The Howie Mandel show. She also spoke of her childhood in the "swamps of Louisiana", and her days as a hunter.
She doesn't talk about it much, as hunting has become politically incorrect. However, in her younger days, she loved to eat
duck. Her grandmother told her: "If you want to eat one, you have to hunt for it yourself." And she did.
Faith was also very kind to my sister, Jeanne Poggensee and our friend, Carol Mc Carthy , who was visiting from the Sacramento
area. Faith and I also discussed our mutual love of musical theater, and our disdain for theater critics. And we'd both like
to remind you that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.Do all you can to fight this dread disease. I hope you'll enjoy
episode, which will air at an as yet unspecified date. It shows a different side of Norm and features Faith in almost every
scene. Good luck to Norm in the celebrity edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, airing on ABC in November. She also told
me that Joe Regalbuto of Murphy Brown, is directing episodes of Nikki for the WB, and hopes to act again soon. Grant Shaud
is happy with Madigan Men...but Maggie's Clea Lewis was dropped after the first episode.
***Due to personal circumstances,
I was unable to attend the Oct. 20 filming. Norm is "down" the week of Oct. 27. I also did not attend November 3
due to illness... Sorry!
Finally, something to report for November 10, 2000. First of all, Faith
was relieved to see me, as she didn't get the message about my illness. Ian Gomez (Danny, whom you also may know as "Javier"
on Felicity) was also quite concerned. Thanks! I was sorry I missed the previous week because that meant I also missed a visit
from Faith's Mom, a nice lady, whom I have met previously.
Faith drove herself this week, because Campion was
busy providing some physical training services for Candice Bergen, who Faith reports is doing quite well. We also discussed
recent news reports that she and Campion are planning to start a family. According to Faith, if that is to happen, it will
probably be "sometime next year."
Faith wasn't very busy in this episode, she looked into "Danny's"
family tree, as Laurie hit a snag in her continued relationship with a younger man... So, we sort of hung out and talked about
things like her wardrobe. She tries not to wear anything too revealing as she didn't think a probation officer could wear
those kinds of clothes. A group of Faith's fans from UCLA were chanting her her name, so she went over to greet them...and
that was about it. The next filming is scheduled for Thursday, November 16, 2000.
November 16 rolled
around and they filmed and episode in which Shelly and Danny pose as foster parents to help an adoption along, While Norm
copies one of Laurie's old term papers for his social work class. This episode is scheduled to air December 15, 2000.
Faith was very pleased, as she was able to pull off a surprise birthday party of the husband, Campion last weekend. It
wasn't a "big" birthday or a large party...but she thought if she waited until he turned 40, he might expect it
more, so she did it a bit early.
They will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with Campion's family, but come
Christmas Faith and Campion will be hosting their families at their house. A prospect which makes Faith a bit nervous, being
a novice at this... But, my Mom's who's an old pro at holiday gatherings, assured her all will be fine. I didn't get to talk
to Faith much more, as I got a migraine headache in the middle of filming and had to leave. Obviously, there is no filming
next week due to the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Filming resumed December 1. Norm and
Artie's obnoxious dad, played by Tommy Smothers, visit. Norm's real-life Mom attended. In this episode, Shelly is persued
by both Mr. Denby & Danny, as Faith sports a new curly hairdo, which is getting mixed reviews. She loves to experiment
though. Judge for yourself January 12, 2001 when this episode is scheduled to air. Faith & Campion, who was there this
week, had a nice Thanksgiving and are excited that Faith's Mom, Dad & Sister are coming to California for Christmas--
they usually go back to Louisiana! So, hosting is a new experience for them. No filming now until December 15. See you then!
Well, December 15th's episode found Mr. Denby quiting over Norm's pranks, Laurie taking over, and
Danny trying to resolve his feelings for Shelly. My sister and brother-in-law accompanied us to this shooting, which went
a little slowly. Faith isn't in this one much. So, she was working on Christmas plans and squeezing in meetings with her manager
between takes. Also, her hair is straight again, at the producers' request. By the way, Ian swears he knows nothing about
the winter finale shooting on Felicity. I guess we'll have to wait until Spring! Don't know what Christmas week looks like
for me yet...so I don't know if I'll make the filming on the 22nd or not! Check back and see!
make it to last night's show, because Mom had a severe cold, but Faith phoned me from the set and asked me to wish all her
fans a Happy Holiday season...All of us at the JHB Website wish you all the best in the New Year! The next filming is not
until January 12, 2001! See ya next year!
Happy New Year Everyone! We hope you all have enjoyed
your Holidays. Faith & Campion enjoyed time with family, and now they've put Faith to work in a sweet episode centering
on Danny (Ian Gomez) & Shelly's budding relationship... it looks promising... but, as Faith said: "Who knows?".
Filming took an unusually long time... but Mom and I chatted with Campion quite a bit. Faith had guests from the modeling
agency/school in New Orleans she worked with as a teen. Faith now sponsors a scholarship for deserving young talent through
the school and ceremonies were to be held today (January 13) at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Faith & Campion
are busy working toward some exciting upcoming projects, but can't break any news officially yet! Stay tuned!!!
Sorry, didn't make it to the January 19 show due to personal commitments...Cast & crew are off the week of January
26. See ya soon!
February 2 was a short night. Faith was only in one scene (the second one). She
had twelve words. Faith counted. I didn't. The episode guest stars Brian "Kato" Kaelin of "OJ" fame as
a water delivery man who dates Laurie. Shelly & Danny have already broken up. We joked Faith should enter this one for
Emmy consideration! I don't know how it ends. Faith was leaving, so we did too. Only 5 more episodes left to be filmed this
February 9, 2001: Faith phoned last night to say she had already pre-filmed her scenes
for this week (so there couldn't be many). She will not be at tonight's filming, so we won't either. I'll keep you posted!
February 17, 2001: Last night was a great night for Faith and MARCH 9, 2001 will be a great night
for Faith Ford fans, as Faith finally has an episode she could sink her teeth into, as a fake romance between Norm and Laurie
forces Shelly to admit her feelings for Norm. Faith was tested both comedically and dramatically throughout this episode.
"It was written as a farce." Faith explained. "But Shelly had to believe in (Norm and Laurie's romance)
or it would have ruined it. So, I couldn't play it (as a farce)."
Faith was glad to have something big to
do, but she was also happy to have next week off. She and Campion plan trip to Sedona, Arizona where they met.
haven't been since September," Faith said. "We even take the dogs." added Campion. "..."and our Gecko!"
Faith piped in.
That's right Faith and Campion adopted a Gecko, named Marley. She enjoys shedding her skin, and
mama Faith enjoys rubbing Marley's belly. Whatever!
It was also nice to meet Faith's manager, Becca, who used to
be her publicist, but is enjoying her new job! Becca informs us that if Norm has a fourth season, Faith will probably be around
for it. As previous noted cast & crew are off next week. Then, three more to go! See ya then.
filming of March 2, invovled Shelly's former flame, Travis, from Colorado coming for a visit. Travis is played by Diedrich
Bader of The Drew Carey Show. He is a fine actor and one of the nicest people I've ever met. The show also features audience
warm-up comedian, Ron Pearson as a juggler at a society party at which Laurie and Denby are hired to entertain. This is a
funny episode and Faith has plenty to do. In fact, it is one of her personal favorites! It is currently scheduled to air APRIL
6, 2001. Faith feels it should be the season finale, as a twist at the end sets up the the premise for next season (if there
Faith and Campion enjoyed their time in Sedona, though it rained and time was cut short due to business
responsibilities. But only two more episodes to go!
March 10, 2001:Didn't make it to last night's
NORM. A major traffic accident tied up the freeway for more than an hour and a half... But there's still one more to go..
"Norm" finished season three on March 16, 2001. Faith didn't have much to do -- only
3 scenes. She almost called me not to come though because she though they were going to film a left-over scene from last week's
show, in front of this week's audience. It involves Faith singing "There's A Hole In the Bottom Of The Sea" to three
monkeys. Faith knows I have an irrational fear of primates, so she didn't want me to have any surprises.
a quick filming -- under 3 hours, a speed record! Faith spent much of her "down time" cleaning out her dressing
room, with the help of her manager, Becca. Apparently, she'd built quite a nest in there. The problem was that they finished
so early Campion had not yet arrived to help her mover her stuff out, but it was all in shopping bags ready to go. Faith is
considering some pilots, in case season four doesn't happen. They should find out in May. So, we took some photos (They'll
be on this page as soon as they get developed, so check back in coming weeks.) and Faith and Becca said they'd let me know
when something official happens. When I know, you'll know.
Thanks to the entire cast and crew. And thank you for
all your loyalty and support have a great Summer!
P.S. We met Campion in the parking lot, so Faith was able to
get all her stuff home!
ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 2000 JHB ONLINE
On the set of "Norm" with Faith
I was fortunate enough to visit with Faith Ford on the
set of ABC's "Norm" as she filmed her third of six episodes of the series on September 3, 1999. I had not been in
touch with Faith since "Maggie Winters", and really have to thank Roger Schoolcraft for letting me know about this.
Faith recently got a new assistant, and consequently, could find my phone number, as I had given it to her former assistant,
who has moved on to a new position.
Anyway, she said she new I'd find her and I did -- with the help of the great
production staff at Norm. Faith looks great! Her hair is a bit longer than last time we saw her. She said she wanted a new
look for a new character. I don't want to give away too much but her character's name is Shelly, and she is Norm's probation
officer, who he constantly hits on, though she has no interest. I think the intention here was to create a "Cheers' Sam
and Diane" kind of tension. I'll let you decide if it works or not.
Faith did not have a lot to do in this
episode. So, we did have time to talk but first she had to get my seat changed. Where the wheelchair space was there was no
monitor, so unless they were working directly in front of me, there wasn't much to see. I told her I didn't mind (and I meant
it!) But Faith insisted. I ended up at a monitor with the writers and producers. Everyone was so nice.
truly excited about her upcoming role in "Crimes of The Heart" at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, California. She
has never really had the opportunity to do a complete play for a long run. (She has done scenes in workshops or short-run
plays.) She also told me that she'd love to do another series someday (perhaps an hour-long drama) but she like to be on the
creative process from the beginning next time.
Faith's husband, Campion Murphy, was also there to lend support,
for which I know she is grateful. I also spoke to series star, Norm MacDonald. He seemed glad to have Faith on board, having
been a fan of "Murphy Brown."
We had to leave before they were finished. I don't know if I'll get there
again or not Faith is not in the next episode. Mom and I are busy the next week We'll just have to see. I do plan to attend
her play though! I'll let you know.
Faith On Norm II
October 1, 1999
On my second visit to the Norm
set, I almost literally ran into Faith leaving her trailer on her way to the set to have her hair and make-up done. She noted
that she didn't think I liked the show and wasn't coming back since I didn't attend her last filming. I assured her that wasn't
the case. I had another actor friend (who isn't as famous as she is-- yet!) and that was opening night of his play. Faith
told me that she was only in the first two scenes of this episode, which centers around Laurie's (Laurie Metcalf) run for
the City Council (except for a small bit in the "tag" that rolls with the closing credits). So, if I wanted to leave
early she would understand. She knows it takes 45 minutes to an hour for us to get to the Warner Bros studios in Burbank.
This time the Norm staff gracious arranged our own monitor.(I believe, at Faith's request.) So we could see much
better! Faith's scenes went pretty well. She did flub one line and then uttered an exclamation unbecoming of Corky Sherwood
The audience got a big laugh out of it though. During her scenes, Faith's assistant, Hillary told me that preparations for
her play at the Falcon Theatre are going well. Word is Faith is going to be great! I can't wait!!!!! By the time the two scenes
were finished, Faith's husband Campion Murphy had arrived to offer support. She went to change her clothes and then come back
to say "good-night" and "see ya next week for her final episode. We also talked about the big spash Douglas
Sills made on Broadway in The Scarlet Pimpernel, a fabulous show Mom and I saw in NY. Doug played Corky's date at her New
Year's Eve party in an early Murphy Brown episode. Faith was thrilled to here he was doing so well. We left not long after
that. One more "Norm" to go. I plan to be there. More then.
Faith on Norm III
October 8, 1999
Faith's final taping of "Norm" was the most interesting one. Mom and I took my sister, Jeanne, along. She had
been to tapings of both Murphy Brown and Maggie Winters, so she had met Faith previously. And she had the night off from her
job at Disneyland, so she thought she would join us. She got a big surprise!
We got to the Warner Brothers studios
as usual. As we approached Faith, we noticed that she was talking to some people. One of them was Laurie Metcalf. Faith's
assistant, Hillary, was also there. But someone else was hidden in the corner. When we got a few steps closer, Mom said to
my sister: "Don't have a heart attack!" I couldn't understand when she was talking about. I got close enough to
greet Hillary and Faith before I heard: "Hey, Buddy!" And turned to realize it was George Clooney! (Jeanne is a
big fan and she wasn't around the last time I met George.) I was shocked! I never expected to see him again. Mom asked if
he remembered us. George said "Sure!", but I still wasn't convinced. George seems very sincere, and was, again,
being extremely friendly but it had been more than a year and a half. No one could be expected to remember Could they? Then,
Mom introduced him to Jeanne, who was very excited!
Anyway, George kept asking about my health, etc. It was as if
we had seen each other just the other day. He asked me what I was doing there. "I know you used to go to Murphy Brown",
he said. (OK, so he did remember. ) He looked at Faith, "Oh!"
Faith explained about our time at "Murphy",
moving on to "Maggie Winters" and now "supporting her" at "Norm." I said, "We just follow
her where she leads us."
George laughed, "Watch out. She'll get a restraining order"
George turned to me: "That's OK, she'll have to get one for me, too."
was Faith's last night at "Norm", talk turned to her upcoming play,Crimes of the Heart" (also starring Crystal
Bernard and being directed by Garry Marshall at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California). We also talked about George's
current film, "Three Kings". Ironically, Mom and I had just seen the movie the day before. I told George I liked
it, Faith hadn't seen it yet. Soon, it was time to get back to work-- Faith and Laurie to the "Norm", and George
to his office, which was apparently just around the corner. So, we said good-byes to George, were off to the set.
inside, Faith and Hillary made sure we were set up with our monitor for the sets we couldn't see. Thanks to the incredible
crew, we were ready to go! Faith had four scenes in the episode, really a continuation of the previous one. She and Norm had
already pre-shot their farewell once. So, they would just take one more pass at it for different angles and audience reaction.
Other scenes had been pre-shot, as well. So, it promised to be an early night. The audience warm-up comic, Ron Pearson, is
the best I've ever seen, and this was a particular good audience (and not just because it happened to be packed with students
from both my alma maters Cal State Fullerton [B.A.] and Chapman University [M.A.]. )
The audience got really excited
when Faith came over to greet them, as was her custom on both "Murphy" and "Maggie." Faith was wearing
a really nice suit, with a pretty pink jacket for the final scene. She wasn't too sure about it, but I really thought it brought
our her hair and eyes. In fact, Ron said: "Isn't Faith Ford hot!" The audience went wild. "She is really hot!"
At that point, Faith waived to the audience and then came over to us. She was slightly embarrassed. She told us she was going
to her trailer to have a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, but she would come over after the last scene to say goodbye.
"Shelly and Norm's" last moments together went well, but when it was all over, Faith admitted she was ready to go
on to other things. She knew she would see us in November at Crimes of the Heart, so she went off to say her final farewells
to Norm's cast, crew and producers. Her time at Norm was done...or so we thought, there was no inkling at the time that Faith
would return as a series regular for the 2000-01 season.
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