It has graced our televisions across the country for over 40 years and whether you’ve ever seen the show or not, most have heard of This Old House. It’s the very first reality series and the true home improvement pioneer of the do-it-yourself television genre born right here in New England in Boston. Now these shows are everywhere, especially on TLC.
Master carpenter Norm Abram bids farewell after an incredible, award-winning career that has earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award for “This Old House.” This iconic, historic career ends in October 2022. The show won 20 Emmys.
Born in Rhode Island, Norm grew up in the Boston suburb of Milton and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
WGBH via Facebook
WGBH via Facebook
Norm is an icon in the do-it-yourself world and one of the most loved and beloved characters in sitcom history is based on him. I’m talking about “Al” played by Richard Karn in the award-winning comedy Home Improvement, starring Tim Allen, which ran for 8 seasons on ABC.
Like Richard’s character, Al, Norm is known for his humility, common sense, signature plaid shirt, and dedication to his craft. I even included a montage of Al’s funniest moments at the end of this article.
A television maker asked Norm to build a barn in 1978 and after seeing his work invited him to help restore a historic house in Dorchester while he was being filmed by a WGBH television crew for a new series. This Old House was an instant hit when it premiered in 1979.
Norm ships off with an hour-long tribute special, The House That Norm Built, which premieres Monday, October 3 at 9pm EST on PBS and streams on The Roku Channel.
If you would like to see some incredible photos and learn more then please click here on the This Old House website. It’s a great journey.