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Laura San Giacomo,
Ellen Morgan is a neurotic, 30-something, bookstore employee who tries to get by life in dealing with her various friends who include the outgoing redhead Paige, insecure photographer Adam, her unsure-of-himself cousin Spence, coffee shop guy Joe Farrell, the critical and obnoxious Audrey, and most challenging of all, Ellen also has to contend being around her annoying and overbearing parents Lois and Harold. Written by
Many episodes opened with Ellen DeGeneres introducing a performer who was playing the theme song that week while she held up a sign with the name of the show. Acts such as Sharleen Spiteri from the band Texas and ZZ Top played the theme song. See more »
Ellen, Ellen, where are you?
[walks out of a coat closet]
Here, I was in the closet.
It's big isn't it?
Yeah, but I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time in there, entertaining or anything.
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It has now been 20 years since "Ellen Morgan" and "Ellen Degeneres" came out of the closet and television and gay rights have never been the same.
It is hard to imagine that there were no regular leads in television shows where the lead character was gay. Most of the times gay characters were almost non existent. A gay man was always used as the "Comic relief" and lesbians were always shown as anything but human. That all changed when "Ellen" came out.
Ellen was pretty. She also well known. Her show was entering its fourth season when "Ellen Degneres" decided that "Ellen Morgan" would be coming out of the closet.
The show at the time had very small ratings. It wasn't a big hit for ABC but it did well enough. The show from the very beginning however was always in some sort creative turmoil. In fact when Season 4 started none of the original cast (Except Ellen) were still on the show.
Ellen Degeneres however was at the top of her game when she demanded that the ABC-Disney allow her to have "ellen" come-out. For months there was lots press being generated about this possible story-line. Finally after 9 months of headlines both "Ellen Degeneres" and "Ellen Morgan" came out and made history.
Now as for the episode that Ellen came out on it became an event. It was historic. The episode was the #1 rated show of the week and one of the most watched television episodes of the past 10 years! Now after 4 years on the air the show found its voice and direction however one year later the show was canceled. That's was sad. The last year the show was on the air was the shows best collections of episodes. It was focused and funny. ABC however failed to promote the show. They show failing in the ratings. Had ABC wanted the show to die! You can than Michael Eisner and Bob Iger for this.
Now after 20 years we can now look back at the show and see what a mess the shows first 3 seasons were but upon viewing these episodes now we can view them as the main character being on a closet and that makes those seasons funnier than when the originally aired when we had no idea of the characters sexuality. The shows however major growth was at the tail end of season 4 and continued until the show ended in season 5. "The Puppy Episode" went on to win "Ellen DeGeneres" and her show an Emmy for Best Writing. It also won a Peabody Award which is a rare accomplishment for a Network television show.
For a few years Ellen career took a hit, However she made the biggest come back in when "Finding Nemo" became a major box office hit. Ellen supplied the voice of Dory! That same year she started her talk which continues to be a major success today. In 2016 Ellen struck gold again when "Finding Dory" became the highest grossing animated film of all time.
It is nice to see that with the huge risk that she took she went on to become not only a role model but one the biggest stars in television history.
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