Ellen DeGeneres is set to executive produce a new comedy series for NBC based around a lesbian starting a family – but insists it is not another “lesbian comedy”.
The out TV host is producing ‘One Big Happy’ along with writer Liz Feldman, whose life the show is loosely based on.
24 actress Elisha Cuthbert will star as Liz – a single woman who decides to settle down and have a baby with her male best friend (Nick Zano), only for him to meet his dream woman (Kelly Brook).
However, DeGeneres warned audiences and reporters not to typecast the show as a ‘lesbian comedy’.
She said: “It just happens to be a very funny show. It happens to have a lesbian character in it.
“It’s not like I formed a production company and said, ‘Bring me all your lesbian scripts.’
“I’m not just going to be a lesbian machine that just turns out stuff. All I wanted to do was put out really funny material [that’s] smart and thought-provoking.
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“If this is thought-provoking and helps people open their minds a little bit and see a multiracial couple, to see a lesbian character and to see a guy who is her best friend that has a relationship, that’s a whole other story.
“They’re just going to be people that you love and watch and don’t think twice about any of it being weird.
“It’s just friendship or family or whatever that is. I think friendship is obvious, but family is not so obvious. Family changes all the time.”
The show will act as a spiritual sequel to the TV host’s own sitcom Ellen, which ran from 1994 until 1998.
Feldman said: “What we’re trying to do is almost pick up where [Ellen] left off, in a way.
“It’s not coming from any sort of agenda, ‘what can we do to put another lesbian on that television?’ It’s coming from the truth.
“I set out to be honest and tell an authentic story that felt really true to me.”
The show will première in the US in March. A UK broadcast date has not been announced.
Watch the clip below (US only):