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As 2009 comes to a close, we take a look back at some of the people and events that made this the Best. Lesbian. Decade. Ever. in pop culture.
Luckily for all of us, there was far more information to have mentioned from the last ten years than we could have included in this brief survey. That's why our lists for each year are not intended to be exhaustive, but are instead snapshots of different memorable moments that included the representation of lesbians and bisexual women in film, television, music, literature, comics, sports and the Internet since the year 2000.
Chavela Vargas[/link] comes out
Mexican ranchera music legend Chavela Vargas publicly came out as a lesbian at the tender age of 81.
Angelina Jolie wins Best Supporting Actress Oscar
Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Girl, Interrupted and told Talk Magazine, "I only play women I would date. »
ABC has Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, and repeats of The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town; it's also new with Eastwick CBS has repeats of The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Criminal Minds, and CSI:ny Fox has repeats of Glee NBC has repeats of The Office The CW has repeats of One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl MTV has repeats of South Park and Teen Mom, and is new with the season premiere of Real World VH1 has 100 Most Shocking Music Moments and a repeat of Tough Love 2 Late-night highlights include Eva Mendes and Mary J. Blige on a repeat of Lopez Tonight on TBS; Wanda Sykes and Rachael Ray on a repeat of The Jay Leno Show on NBC; Penelope Cruz on a repeat of The Late Show With David Letterman on CBS; Zach Braff, Bear Grylls, Tony Bennett, William Shatner, and Sarah Palin on a »
Comedienne Wanda Sykes is having a cheap first Christmas with her baby twins - she refuses to buy them gifts because they won't even remember the occasion.
The funnywoman and her wife Alex became parents to Olivia and Lucas in April, but the tots are so young, Sykes insists it's not worth splashing out on expensive presents until they are a little older.
She says, "You don't need to buy them anything. They're seven months old, they won't know! I'm gonna give them some wrapping paper and take lots of pictures. 'Ooh, look at all that wrapping paper! You got a lot of presents that Christmas!'" »
In our annual Visibility Awards, we formally recognize the people who have positively or negatively impacted lesbian and bi visibility in American entertainment during the year. (See previous years here: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.)
From Best Movie to Worst Song to Lesbian/Bi Woman of the Year, these awards recognize the television shows, movies, music, books and people who entertained, inspired, or disappointed us in 2009.
Last year, some of the category winners were chosen by both the AfterEllen.com staff and AfterEllen.com readers. This year, AfterEllen.com staff and contributing writers chose the winners for each category, as readers will be given the opportunity to vote on a wider range of topics and categories in our first annual Lesbian/Bi Women's Choice Awards in January.
Once again this year, we've included international people, shows and movies as a reflection of the increasing awareness of lesbian and bisexual visibility around the world made possible by the Internet. »
In 2009, the number of leading lesbian characters on primetime broadcast TV doubled — from one to two.
Out of the estimated 600 lead and supporting characters on network TV, seven of them of are lesbian or bisexual. And of those seven, five of them kissed women last year. And of those five, three of them made out during Sweeps.
Things looked bleak at the beginning of the year, but with the growing trend of lesbian brides getting gunned down or cheating on their wedding days, and the continued trend of bisexual characters only expressing their same-sex attraction during Sweeps, and the loss of Showtime's lesbian drama The L Word, we're ending the year on a downward spiral in terms of lesbian visibility.
Scripted Television: Broadcast
ABC has Disney Prep & Landing and repeats of The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town, and is new Eastwick CBS is new with The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Criminal Minds, and CSI: NY Fox is new with So You Think You Can Dance NBC is new with The Sing-off The CW has repeats of The Vampire Diaries Bravo is new with Top Chef: Las Vegas and Launch My Line Comedy Central is new with The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report FX is new with Nip/Tuck MTV has repeats South Park and is new with Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins Reunion VH1 has repeats of Real Chance of Love 2: Back in the Saddle and For the Love of Ray J 2 Late-night highlights include David Beckham and Mariah Carey on Lopez Tonight on TBS; Sigourney Weaver and John Mayer on »
A beloved black athlete. A gorgeous blond wife. But no blood in the car? It's definitely not the Oj Simpson case.
But it's still got the Florida cops baffled. Turns out that Tiger Woods did not bleed in his crashed Cadillac SUV last Friday morning.â€¨â€¨ Cops from the Windermere Pd, first on the scene, noted that Tiger had a lower lip split open and some other wounds.
But according to TMZ sources, there was absolutely no blood found in the SUV.â€¨â€¨
So much for Tiger's wife, Elin Nordegren's initial report to the Windermere cops claiming she smashed the back passenger window with the golf club, then unlocked the driver's door and dragged Tiger out.
With no traces of blood, it appears that Tiger's wounds were not caused by the fire hydrant or the tree he hit.
So what caused them? That's what the cops want to know. »
Tiger Woods will see no more professional golf in 2009 -- he has dropped out of the Chevron World Challenge.
Woods posted on his official website Monday, "I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week. I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I'm very sorry that I can't be there."
Greg McLaughlin, Tiger Woods Foundation President & CEO, throws his support to Tiger, saying, "We support Tiger's decision and are confident the strong field and excellent course will provide an exciting week of competition at the Chevron World Challenge."
Bummer. We were hoping to see Tiger back to being the one swinging the golf clubs.
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'CSI: Miami,' are you listening?
Wanda Sykes take on the Tiger Slam
Tiger says Elin 'acted courageously'
Photo credit: WireImage »
Wanda Sykes -- known for calling it like she sees it -- took an amusingly controversial stance on Tiger Wood's recent car accident on her new TV show.
About his wife Elin Nordegrin's reported "hovering" over Tiger when the police arrived, she has an interesting theory.
She added, "She beat the hell out of Tiger. That's what happened. But I don't know if she used the right club."
Do you agree with Wanda?
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More Tiger Woods/Rachel Uchitel dish:
Rachel Uchitel flies into arms of Gloria Allred
Tiger Woods: 'My wife acted courageously'
Rachel Uchitel flies direct from NY to Gloria Allred's office
Tiger Woods' alleged mistress Rachel Uchitel denies affair »
On Us telly this month, V gets a bland reboot, Wanda Sykes heads a rash of uninspiring new late-night talkshows, and Sex Rehab marks a new low in reality TV
Probe a geek of a certain age about his recollections of the cult 80s alien invasion series V and he – there's no question it'll be a he – will have only one response: the moment the alien commander extended her jaw until it was a foot long and then swallowed a gerbil. Over the course of two miniseries and a sporadically scheduled season of one-hour episodes, V chronicled the occupation of Earth by a seemingly benign race of visitors who swiftly revealed themselves to be evil lizards hiding under lifelike rubber flesh fomenting plans to take over the planet and colonise the flabbergasted inhabitants. V's journey from insanely addictive to entirely unwatchable was speedy. But it remained on the air long »
- Jonathan Bernstein
Matt Damon was shocked Shocked that Oprah Winfrey is quitting her show in 2011. "For good? Wow!" Damon, 39, was blindsided by an eager beaver Extra reporter on a red carpet in New York City for the premiere of "The People Speak" Thursday night. Damon was reeling: "I'm amazed. I don't remember life without Oprah. I don't remember life before Oprah very well." Life without Oprah. More Tyra Banks? Wendy Williams? Wanda Sykes? Shudders Damon composed himself and shared, "She's an amazing person, and she will continue to influence people no matter what she does. So I'm sure it'll be a bit of a shock at first... She's too incredible a spirit to not keep being a wonderful influence on »
- April MacIntyre
Comedian Billy Eichner has been making a name for himself in New York City for quite some time. A 2005 New York Times article called his late night fake talk show Creation Nation co-starring Robin Taylor "a theatrical phenomenon", and with subsequent appearances on Bravo's A-List Awards and The Showbiz Show with David Spade, Billy has kept bringing the funny ever since.
Billy has two shows coming up at Joe's Pub in Manhattan on November 23 and 24th and we recently threw some questions at the jokester to make him bring the funny on command.
1) Rosie, Ellen, Wanda or honorary gay Kathy Griffin? Why?
Ellen, because of the four listed here, she's the one that looks most like a chicken. Second place goes to Jay Leno, who looks like a lesbian. Third place goes to Wanda Sykes, because she's the only black person not in "Precious".
2) Who inspired you to become a comic? »
Fox has sent us along a few clips from The Wanda Sykes Show, Fringe, The Cleveland Show, House and So You Think You Can Dance. First up, there are five clips from "Fringe" including Observer: More Than One as well as a "Just the Facts" clip and another Observer spotted clip. "So You Think You Can Dance" has a recap clip from the top 16 as well as two behind-the-scenes looks - one for the choreography and the other concerning the look. Wanda Sykes talks about her career as well as her influences and her sidekick Keith for "The Wanda Sykes" show. "House" has preview clips from the "Ignorance is Bliss" episode which airs on November 23rd. Note, "House" clips will expire on November 24th, "The Cleveland Show" clips expire on November 23rd and "Fringe" clips expire on Saturday, November 21st. Catch them while they're live. »
This week, Out Magazine named Adam Lambert to their annual Out 100 list and even have him on the cover posing with Wanda Sykes, Cyndi Lauper and others. But it turns out that's not the only coverage Lambert gets in the current issue.
In Aaron Hicklin's Editor's Letter (which you can read on the next page), Hicklin wonders if Lambert knew that his management laid down certain stipulations for Adam's cooperation in doing the interview including not making him look "too gay" in either the photos or the interview itself. (Adam is currently represented by 19 Entertainment, the creator of the Idol franchise and with whom every Idol contestant is initially under contract.) Hicklin also wonders if Lambert knew Out wanted him for the cover of the magazine before American Idol was even halfway over.
The Wanda Sykes Show is a late night talk show that airs once a week. It's hosted by Sykes and her trademark biting wit to a monologue, skits, and interviews. Comedian Keith Robinson co-stars as her sidekick.
The show debuted on November 7th to a 2.2 household rating. According to Variety, that placed the Wanda Sykes premiere 16% higher than the average of MADtv a year earlier (1.9/4) and double the performance of Talk Show with Spike Feresten from last winter (1.1/2).
The first episode was also in part competing against the highest-rated episode of Saturday Night Live of the season.
Last Saturday's episode wasn't quite »
15 November 2009 10:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Over on TBS, the first four days of "Lopez Tonight" rose and fell largely based on the strength of the talk show host's lead-in.
After Monday's "Lopez Tonight" premiere generated 1.7 million viewers on the network (plus an additional 1.5 million via simulcasts on other Turner networks), Tuesday dropped 18% to 1.4 million viewers -- nearly matching its "Office" lead-in.
With "Meet the Browns" generating big numbers Wednesday, "Lopez" rose to its highest TBS audience yet -- 2 million viewers. Then the chat show plunged to 1.3 million Thursday after a similarly rated airing of "Meet the Parents."
Naturally, it's »
- By James Hibberd
Some comedians might use their talk show premiere to safety belt their audience into an eco-friendly car, lull them to sleep with unoffensive political jokes and airy A-list interviews, and then gently push the Ford-skinned Prius into the John D. Long Lake, killing all ratings in a confusing act of self-sabotage. Not Wanda Sykes, who jolted Fox's Family Guy viewer base awake during her bumpy Saturday night premiere with Ann Coulter jabs, drag queens, Mary Lynn Rajskub martinis and a four-minute pre-taped sketch on recycling sex toys. »
8 November 2009 12:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Sykes debuted Saturday to the preliminary 2.2 household rating among metered-markets at 11 p.m.
The trick is what do you compare it to.
"Wanda Sykes" is replacing "MadTV" in the slot as Fox's alternative to NBC's "Saturday Night Live." NBC's sketch show hit a season high 5.0 rating while featuring Taylor Swift as host and musical guest.
"Sykes" was 16% higher than the "MadTV" winter average in the time period and 100% higher than the average of Spike Feresten in the slot during January and February. Note that these are averages and not premieres.
Sykes also favorably compares to the first Monday episodes of the broadcast season for Conan, Kimmel and Fallon, yet these weren't premieres either since the shows had already been »
- By James Hibberd
Allow me to begin my discussion of Saturday (Nov. 7) night's premiere of Fox's "The Wanda Sykes Show" with a caveat: It's completely unfair to critique a talk show on the basis of any one episode, especially its first episode. I know this fact, but in the past six months, I've provided this sort of initial evaluation (sometimes calling them reviews, sometimes not) for Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno, so if I didn't do the same for Wanda Sykes, I'm sure she'd be offended. [Well, she probably wouldn't actually be offended. Not by me allowing her time to find »
- Daniel Fienberg
It's not just you. Wanda Sykes actually is everywhere. She plays Barb on CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine." She pops up on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" whenever Larry David needs the perfect actress to play Wanda Sykes. She's the voice of a cow on Nickelodeon's "Back at the Barnyard." She's high on every talk show host's lists of favorite guests. And she just earned some of the best reviews of her career for the HBO comedy special "Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me," in which she discussed everything from Barack Obama to parenting to belly fat. Naturally, what Wanda »
- Daniel Fienberg
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