Ellen, which debuted under the title "These Friends of Mine", followed the misadventures of Ellen Morgan (Ellen Degeneres
), a thirty-something bookstore employee who has to deal with the comedic ups and downs that come her way, as well as her overbearing parents, Harold (recurring guest star Steven Gilborn
) and Lois (recurring guest star Alice Hirson
). But with help from her close friends, Paige (Joely Fisher
); Adam (Arye Gross
), an insecure photographer; Joe (David Anthony Higgins
), the big-egoed coffee shop guy; her self-conscious cousin Spence (Jeremy Piven
); and the obnoxious, yet lovable Audrey (Clea Lewis
), Ellen is able to make it through the insanity she calls life.
The show made history during its fourth season when, in a controversial one-hour episode, Ellen (similar to Ellen Degeneres in real life) decided to come out of the closet as a lesbian. The fifth and final season dealt with controversial topics involving Ellen's sexual preferences. But with the controversy came a decline in ratings, causing ABC to cancel the sitcom in 1998.
currently airs on the Oxygen Channel and TVTropolis in Canada.