TELEVISION: ELLEN DEGENERES: YEP, SHE'S STILL GAY

ELLEN'S HAVING A BUMPY FALL, ON AND OFF CAMERA

It's the oldest problem in show business: What do you do for an encore? Last spring Ellen DeGeneres, the star of the ABC comedy Ellen, revealed that she was a lesbian, and so did her character on the show (the rules of sitcoms generally require that the star and the lead share not only their first names but also their sexual proclivities). The coming-out episode became the highest-rated regular program on ABC for the entire season. Suddenly, after years of only middling success, Ellen was a cultural phenomenon--the first series on television in which the main character was gay. That left...

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