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Ellen DeGeneres developing comedy for NBC with lesbian lead

The landscape of network television was radically different 16 years ago when Ellen DeGeneres came out on her ABC sitcom "Ellen" during the "Puppy Episode." The scene sent shock waves across the country, and ground was both broken and paved for gay rights and gay characters on television.

Today there are a host of gay characters on TV, although some would argue not nearly enough. So it's fitting that Ellen DeGeneres has teamed with NBC and openly gay writer Liz Feldman to create a sitcom with a lesbian lead.

DeGenres and Feldman will executive produce the untitled project, which centers on a lesbian woman who gets pregnant with her straight male best friend just as he meets his soul mate and gets married.

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Warner Bros. TV and DeGeneres' company A Very Good Production are producing the half-hour, multi-camera show.

NBC, under its openly gay entertainment chairman, Bob Greenblatt, has been extremely open to shows with gay characters and themes. This season saw the premiere of "Sean Saves the World," starring Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace."

That show, however, is struggling with dwindling viewership and a lukewarm critical reception. If the show goes on to be canceled it will join a number of gay-themed shows from last season that were also canceled, including NBC's "Smash" and "Go On" and ABC's "Happy Endings."

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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