Ellen DeGeneres: NBC's One Big Happy 'Just Happens to Have a Lesbian'

One Big Happy Lesbian

As the news broke that the Supreme Court would decide whether all 50 states must allow gay marriage, Ellen DeGeneres and Liz Feldman were setting the record straight about the new NBC comedy they’re producing/writing and which stars Elisha Cuthbert as a lesbian.

Based on Feldman’s own life — Cuthbert plays Liz, a woman planning to have a baby with her male BFF (2 Broke Girls’ Nick Zano) when he meets the love of his life (Kelly Brook) — One Big Happy “in a way is almost trying to pick up where [Ellen] left off,” Feldman said, alluding to DeGeneres’ eponymous 1990s sitcom, about a bookstore owner who ultimately came out as gay (after the star herself famously did). “The world is ready for that… but the most important this is that it’s funny.”

DeGeneres echoed that sentiment when waving off the suggestion that she seeks out gay-themed projects to shepherd. “It’s a very funny show — it just happens to have a lesbian character on it,” she said. “What’s going to be great about this show is [the characters are] people you’ll love and watch, and you won’t think twice about any of it being ‘weird.'”

Versus Ellen‘s time, DeGeneres said, “It’s obviously a more accepting world that we live in, for the most part.” But there is always work to be done. So, “If this is thought-provoking and helps people open their minds a little bit,” she is fine with that, of course. “But I don’t focus on that. I just look at it as a funny show.”

During their Friday appearance at the TCA winter press tour, the producers at one point were taken to task for having Cuthbert’s Liz be the only gay character on the series. DeGeneres responded by noting that in Episode 2, for example, an ex-girlfriend will pop up, albeit only in a guest-starring capacity. The character of Liz, after all, is “difficult” and hard to love, she explained.

DeGeneres then looked ahead to the year “2030,” at which time she’ll produce a comedy with “an entire lesbian cast and one token heterosexual — but we’re not there yet.”

Asked about the “challenge” in playing a lesbian, 24 and Happy Endings alum Cuthbert said plainly, “It’s like playing a human being, with a heart and a sense of humor, and who’s a little dorky at times and has a great collection of blazers” — just as Feldman famously sports. “That’s what it feels like.”

One Big Happy premieres March 17. Watch a trailer:

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23 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    Don’t know if One Big Happy could mark Elisha Cuthbert’s comeback since her amazing run on Happy Endings but it would’ve been great if 24 wants Kim Bauer back into the mix. As for Nick Zano who was great in his guest starring stint on 2 Broke Girls, is he and Kat Dennings done in real life now that the actress who plays Max Black is currently with new boyfriend Josh Groban?

    • Q says:

      Funny, really?!
      Are you all out of your mind?
      Where is now all that organisation “caring” about children’s health???
      Not just physical, but and mental health.
      Or anyone from you try say, that children growing up in this totally abnormal family, will grow up like others normal childs?
      And yes, baby will be in show soon.
      This all is just L&G propaganda.
      Adults maybe get some smile about this abnormality, but kids….
      This show is only for the hypocrites.
      Sorry I will not support this stupidity, never!

  2. Kay L says:

    As a gay woman, I am incredibly happy to see this project underway :) We’re so rarely shown as just normal everyday people- there’s always a point, an agenda. It’s nice to see us represented as a lead character on what hopefully will be a wonderful show.

    • Spencer says:

      YES! Also loved Elisha’s answer when asked about the “challenge” in playing a lesbian.

    • Buck says:

      Agreed. I’m so tired of “gay” or “black” or “Asian” or ” Fat bearded guy” being forced into a cast with no true reason for them being there. They are just there to fit a type. I’m looking at you Marry Me.

  3. J.B. says:

    So basically they took one season arc story arc from “Will & Grace” and made an entire show around it. Hrm.
    At least they switched the genders of the two characters.

  4. asm says:

    This is hilarious, coz Eliza Cuthbert played Ellen on one of Happy Endings episode

  5. Drew says:

    Yeah, this doesn’t look funny. The trailer kinda annoyed me.
    Two more comments:
    1. “Ellen” crashed and burned after the big coming out story because it wasn’t funny anymore. It became all about that one thing. It wasn’t because the world wasn’t open-minded enough.
    2. Aren’t there already shows with mostly gay characters? I thought there were.

  6. Lenon says:

    It’s ridiculous Ellen has to explain why she produces a show with a lesbian character. Why don’t people ask straight producers why do they keep making tv with straight characters?

  7. Hey Matt, Not to be ‘that guy’, but rather in an attempt to just be helpful, “this” in the last line of the second paragraph should probably be “thing”. Keep up the good work!

  8. Lizo says:

    Sounds good. Degeneres is a great producer and Cuthbert is really talented. I for one would watch that show with the token straight person.

  9. Derision says:

    Not surprising really, Hollywood these days is all about putting gays, less than 10% of the population in the US, in every show.

  10. disonba3 says:

    Anyone who kicks at Ellen for being gay is an asshole!! She and Portia are wonderful people even though they don’t fit into the stereotype that so called normal do, sad that they are comfortable in their own skin while the world fights about them because they hate being in their own skin! Let’s hear it for Ellen, I LOVE U!

  11. christine says:

    Some of these comments are very disheartening.