Etheridge To Star In Sitcom Series

Wed. September 29, 2004 12:00 AM by

Los Angeles, CA - Out lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge is making the switch to acting. Etheridge will star in an as yet unnamed sitcom for ABC the Hollywood Reporter said in Wednesday editions.

The singer will play a lesbian music teacher who lives with her best friend, a straight man. The two are raising the daughter of another friend.

The project is being readied by 20th Century Fox TV and produced by Brad Grey TV which describes it as a reversal of "Will & Grace" with a kid.

The pilot will be written by Linda Wallem, who co-created and executive produced Fox's comedy series "That '70s Show" and its short-lived spinoff, "That '80s Show."

The show will be the first sitcom helmed by an out lesbian since the same network's "Ellen" starring Ellen DeGeneres. When that series first began airing DeGeneres had not come out. Once she did and it was worked into the script ratings began to fall and the series was dropped.

Since then, the number of gays and gay issues on TV has grown, but, this year saw a decline in gay characters on the networks. ( story)

Last year Etheridge and her partner actress Tammy Lynn Michaels officially became domestic partners in California.

Before meeting Michaels, the two time Grammy winner shared her life for 12 years with Julie Cypher. They went on to have two children together, Bailey and Becket, each carried by Cypher with singer David Crosby contributing his sperm. Etheridge and Cypher split up in 2000 but continue to share custody of their children.

Michaels, 28, is best known for playing high-maintenance princess Nicole Julian on the defunct WB series Popular. She had a recurring role in Showtime's lesbian drama series The L Word and appeared in the film D.E.B.S..

by Ed Welch Newscenter
Los Angeles Bureau
© 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.