Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Ellen DeGeneres: "We're Not Coming Back." (Actress Admits to Impending Cancellation of Her Sitcom 'Ellen')

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Ellen DeGeneres: "We're Not Coming Back." (Actress Admits to Impending Cancellation of Her Sitcom 'Ellen')

Article excerpt

"It's a really hard time for me, because there's no closure. There's no way of saying good-bye." The final word had yet to come from ABC on Ellen DeGeneres's show, but in an acceptance speech March 7 for an award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the actress admitted that the end was in sight. "I know it," she said. "I can just tell by the indications that I'm getting nothing, so I'm assuming we're not coming back.

Ellen's demise would have been impossible to predict a year ago. With huge ratings for the title character's coming-out episode as well as the tremendous publicity DeGeneres herself received for acknowledging she is a lesbian, the show's success seemed guaranteed. But the past year has found the program grappling with falling ratings, a skittish network, and complaints from critics who no longer think the sitcom is funny.

Even as the program seemed to be winding down, a fresh controversy was heating up. In remarks published in the San Jose Mercury News and later picked up by Daily Variety, Chastity Bono, entertainment media director for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, was quoted as saying the program was "too gay-specific" to attract a large audience. "A lot of the stuff on it is somewhat of an inside joke," Bono said. "It's one thing to have a gay lead character, but it's another when every episode deals with pretty specific gay issues."

Bono, who has led a grassroots effort to keep the show on the air, insists that the quotes were taken out of context. …

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