The Ellen Show

CBS (ended 2002)


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The Ellen Show

Show Summary

"What's a small-town girl turned L.A. businesswoman to do when her high-profile, high-finance start-up Internet company goes belly up? And when her social life out west is not doing so great either? Well, as played by Emmy winner Ellen DeGeneres, she reacts by saying goodbye to her dot-com world and heading back to her hometown to put her life together. It remains to be seen, however, whether the best way to do that is by becoming a counselor at her old high school--they still teach Home Economics, for crying out loud--and by moving in with her eccentric mother and unlucky-in-love sister."

"Ellen Richmond (DeGeneres)...decides to trade the stresses of her fast-track, big-city lifestyle for the slower pace of her quieter hometown, where she is known and loved. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not returning to her hometown, a fishbowl of a place, and her eccentric mother, Dot (Cloris Leachman), and scatter-brained sister, Catherine (Emily Rutherfurd), is the best course of action. At home, Ellen becomes reacquainted with her senior prom date, Rusty (Jim Gaffigan), who thinks they can pick up where they left off, and her befuddled high school teacher, Mr. Munn (Martin Mull). Though worlds apart from the people who love her, Ellen begins to adjust to a very different way of life." (CBS press release)

DeGeneres bounced back from the cancellation of her ABC sitcom with this star vehicle, previously titled Ellen, Again. Like her ABC sitcom, her character was, yep, gay. (The series was nominated in 2002 for a GLAAD award for Outstanding Comedy Series.) Unlike her ABC sitcom, it was actually funny. Ellen was in good company, surrounded by a supporting cast full of actors from a wide array of failed CBS TV series. The chemistry was great, the scripts were good. All the cards seemed to be in place. Except for the audience one. A roaring ratings failure from Day 1, The Ellen Show was on just about every pundit's list as one of the sure-thing casualties of the fall -- especially after its lead-out bit the dust after two weeks -- with many of them speculating that CBS was waiting until Ellen's gig hosting the November, 2001 Emmy Awards (that it was their turn to broadcast, and that were postponed a couple times thanks to 9/11) was over and done with before rendering the show over and done with. That way, Ms. DeGeneres -- never one to accept rejection graciously -- couldn't get even by hosting them the Whoopi Goldberg way. But then a funny thing happened. Ellen did a fine job hosting the ceremony, winning lots of critical raves and managing to make people forget about what was going on in the world. And while The Ellen Show probably should have been cancelled anyway, CBS followed up her hosting performance with something even better than a standing ovation or a bouquet of roses. They awarded her show a 22-episode full season. Those same pundits were stunned, and the ailing sitcom seemed like it had a new lease on life when the network followed up the announcement with one stating that it would get a 3-week trial run Mondays at 8:30, a time slot that was nothing if not better than the dead-air equivalent it held on Friday. Unfortunately, after the Monday tryout was over, it returned to Friday -- as if CBS CEO Les Moonves had forgotten when the same exact programming move worked wonders for the languishing ratings of a certain self-entitled Gregory Hines vehicle four years earlier. Ratings even worse than they had been before it moved to Monday, coupled with limp numbers when it was on Monday, prompted Moonves and company to wish they hadn't been so magnanimous, and after the cast and crew managed to shoot 18 of those 22 episodes, the plug was pulled. As was the show itself, so as not to do damage to the Don Bellisario project, First Monday, scheduled to air following it. CBS had 5 episodes of The Ellen Show at their disposal, and chief CBS spokesman/B.S. artist extraordinaire, Chris Ender, swore that they'd air in March and April, 2002 -- going so far as to insult everybody's intelligence by claiming that the series was under consideration for the fall, and production was only stopped because they didn't "have room" for 4 more episodes (crapola nonsense that they'd later rehash for another lame duck, The Stones). Of course, the only thing they didn't have room for anymore were the huge defecits. Advertisers had their fill, and those 5 episodes went straight to the nearest trash can. Curiously, although Ellen's complaints about ABC's supposed mistreatment of a show given four and a half seasons, great time slots and a huge send-off could fill volumes, her complaints about CBS' actual mistreatment of a show given three and a half months, terrible time slots and no send-off couldn't even fill a postcard. Perhaps this was because she had already set her sights on her daytime talk show, which would debut to big hoopla, if not big ratings, two seasons later.

A little trivia: The Ellen Show was originally proposed as a show-within-a-show that lampooned the TV industry, featuring Ellen as the host of a fictitious variety series (The New Ellen Show). Practically no one at CBS was interested, and so instead, we got this. Ellen said she got the idea of The Ellen Show while watching Ed. The series was originally set to be produced by Michael Ovitz's production company, the Artists Television Group, who did make the pilot. However, the editor bankrupted them, and CBS took over their ownership stake before the first episode aired. The other ATG show picked up for Fall, 2001, WB's Lost in the USA, was not so lucky. When ATG died, so did it.

Theme song "The Ellen Show (Main Title Theme)" written by Jude Christodal

The Ellen Show is produced by The Hurwitz Company / CBS Productions, in association with Columbia TriStar Television

Broadcast History -----------------

Sep 2001, Mon 9:30-10:00 Sep 2001-Oct 2001, Fri 8:00-8:30 Oct 2001-Nov 2001, Fri 8:30-9:00 Dec 2001, Mon 8:30-9:00 Dec 2001-Jan 2002, Fri 8:30-9:00

First telecast: September 24, 2001 Last telecast: January 11, 2002 Show type: Multi-Camera Sitcom Number of episodes: 18 Media: 35mm filmmoreless

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    • My Heroes

      Dear Ellen,

      I love your show, I watch it everyday. I just finished watching the story about Drew Brees and the two friends. I bawled like a baby, I am so glad you were able to share that with the world. You use your forum to do so many good things. It also impresses me that you are an astounding business woman. The world could use more people like you.

      I wanted to tell you about two of the heroes in my life. The first one is my 76 year old mother-in-law, Rosalie Taylor. She raised four beautiful children and has been a part of my life for the last 40 years. She has inspired me to be a better person through her actions. At this moment in time she is the total care giver for my 81 year old father-in-law, he has Alzheimer's. A devastating disease I know about first hand, my mother passed away because of it. Mom T fixes all of his meals, cleans him up, administers his medications, exercises him, everything. I know she gets very tired, but she never complains.

      They lived in a beautiful home in Preston, MO for 16 years. They tried to sell their home for 2 years, but were unable to. The house is in the middle of a forest on a rock road and a 30 minutes or more drive to almost everything. Not everyone wants to live that far from amenities. They loved it, but it became apparent that staying there with my father-in-law being ill, that the situation had to change.

      That brings me to my second hero, my brother-in-law, Jeff Taylor. He knew his parents were suffering and he said forget the house and come to Dallas, TX and live by me, he lives in Murphy, TX, just outside of Dallas. He found them a very nice one bedroom apartment 3 miles from his house. My in-laws sold their vehicles and for the last year he takes them to all their appointments, shopping, etc... He is fortunate he is an entertainer, he plays a beautiful trumpet. He has time during the day between rehearsals and bookings to help them with whatever they need. He is always there for them. Jeff and his wife in the last few years have purchased two cars from my in-laws to help with their bills. Unfortunately when they moved they were still making $900.00 a month house payments and added the $1,100.00 payment for the apartment to their already tight budget. They live on Social Security and my father-in-law's pension. The kids knew their parent's were financially strapped and did what they could, but it wasn't enough.

      Jeff is a cancer survivor, he was diagnosed 8-10 years ago with severely advanced stomach cancer. He has since had lymph nodes removed that were cancerous, but he remains positive and upbeat. Recently he has been diagnosed with an Aortic Aneurysm and I believe a misshapen heart valve, it is hard to know because he doesn't like to complain. I get most of my information from Mom T. He started the Tinman Band a few years back and they are very popular in the Dallas area. He signed with an agent a couple of years ago that keeps him booked, but if he is unable to work he doesn't get paid, something I know you understand all too well.

      He is always willing to help out in his community, he has played for cancer benefits, donating his time and expertise. I am not sure how often because he doesn't like to brag. One other interesting caveat he played at Bill Clinton's brother's wedding during Bill Clinton's presidency. He got to meet the president and got a signed trumpet case and great picture with the president. He has also traveled a lot of the world to play trumpet. He feels very blessed.

      Jeff hated to see his parents so strapped financially that recently he purchased their home in Preston to get them out from under their house payment. He also saw my father-in-law deteriorating and he and his wife invited my in-laws to live in their home, they plan to move in two or three weeks. He doesn't have a lot of money, but it is a good income and his wife works as well. Their house is not tiny but they could use some more space, it is about 1700 square feet. Their son has rebounded and moved back home a few months ago. He plans to move out in Jan. Jeff's wife works from home, so space is at a premium. My heart goes out to my wonderful family and I know the stress they must be under, but they are managing very well. They are just rolling with what life gives them and doing the best they can. That and the extraordinary things they do because they love and care about each other makes them heroes.

      I hope this is not too long and I appreciate the time you have taken to read this. Thanks so much and I hope you and Portia are doing great.

      Oh by the way, I have recently moved to your home state of Louisiana, Youngsville, and I love it here.


      Mary Taylor

      (337) 573-7053

    • A Dark Mind set in The Age of Science.

      We the progressive people live in muslim countries face much problems to deal with the people .

      They have black and backward mind set in the age science . we suffer from dangers . I hope u can do something for them.
    • Ellen and Loni Love

      These two make the funniest team I have seen in a long time.

      The show rocks with you too.
    • ellen's dj

      what happened to the dj tony?he was my favorite an was wondering why hes not on the show anymore.
    • Everybody should have a figure 8 bodychain

      My name is Trudy and I live in New Zealand Ellen,I have been watching your show for sometime and enjoy that you try to improve the quality of peoples lives and their health. I thought you may like to know about the Figure 8 bodychain. If you wear the bodychain around your waist, and lose weight you have the luxury of taking it in link by link. Eat too much and you have to take your bodychain out link by link. A phsycological disciplining product and fun. Affordable as you pay once and no products required. A purely holistic product that has worked for myself, my daughters and several friends. Even a friend who needed to put weight on! Everybody should have one. Its affordable.moreless

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