TELEVISION: LOOKING FOR AN OUT

IS ELLEN GAY? A CONTROVERSY OVER SEXUALITY IS THE LEAST OF THIS MUDDLED SITCOM'S PROBLEMS

Ellen DeGeneres made the rounds of the hipper talk shows last week in what appeared to be the coyest exercise in trial ballooning since Colin Powell's book tour. Her new comedy CD, Taste This, was the ostensible reason for DeGeneres' visits with David Letterman, Rosie O'Donnell and Conan O'Brien, but the sitcom star reserved her vigor for teasing--and testing--audiences with what has become the Grand Question of the TV season: Will Ellen Morgan, the sneaker-loving, jewelry-avoiding bookstore manager that DeGeneres plays on her ABC series Ellen, soon realize that for her, the world will hold only Ms. Rights?

DeGeneres neither confirmed...

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