Why Ellen DeGeneres Refused to Appear in the 1997 ‘Ellen’ Crossover Event

On February 26, 1997, ABC released a crossover event among four of its shows: Coach, Drew Carey’s presentation, Ellen, and Grace under fire. In the stunt program called Viva Las Vegas cast members from each show appeared on the other shows. The concept attracted attention, but in the end there were several snags in the plan. Of course, Ellen DeGeneres reportedly did not like the idea of ​​the stunt and did not participate.

Ellen DeGeneres holds Golden Globe award
Ellen DeGeneres | Kevork Djansezian / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Many networks had attempted referral events

Crossover events were nothing new for ABC or other networks. In 1991, Steve Urkel from ABC’s Family Matters appear on a program of Full House. And the same year, Golden Girls, Empty nest, and Banaltraman they came together on NBC for one story. In addition, soap operas have become famous for crossovers.

However, just because every show has a huge fan base, it doesn’t always mean a successful crossover. ABC’s Viva Las Vegas crossover featured shows with a variety of settings and stories. The characters might have no reason to meet if it wasn’t for network intervention.

As ABC did its Viva Las Vegas crossover event

For the ABC crossover event in 1997, characters from Grace under fire, Drew Carey’s presentation, Coach, and Ellen they all ended up in Las Vegas and crossed trails.

“At first it was Grace under fire, where the titular character flies to Vegas to look into a retirement home for her mother-in-law Jean, ” ScreenRant reports. “While she’s there, she’s run in with Drew Carey and CoachLuther at a nearby gambling table. Over it Coach, Luther arrives in town to hunt for Elvis memories, finds himself in a warring war with Mimi from Drew Carey’s presentation.

“Also appearing briefly were Paige Clark and Spence Kovak from Ellen. For Drew Carey’s presentation, Drew finds himself tied to marrying a waitress after going out for a few drinks. In the program, Drew runs into Luther, Paige, and Spence at the craps table. Meanwhile, Grace is trying to sell tickets to Cirque du Soleil. ”

However, DeGeneres’ character stayed home in the story, and reportedly had the actor himself.

Ellen DeGeneres sat the crossover event

According to the book Ellen: The True Story of Ellen DeGeneres with Kathleen Tracy, DeGeneres was upset with ABC at the time because it kept moving time for Ellen. The DeGeneres manager also caught wind that the network was considering taking for a while Ellen off the air to try a new show.

“Ellen was so angry, she walked off the set for a day,” Tracy wrote. “She also declined to take part in a Las Vegas-themed stunt planned for a sweep in February, where all Wednesday participants would be based in Las Vegas, with a crossover appearance with the various members of the show on show. each other. ”

Also around the same time, DeGeneres was in the middle of contract negotiations. And she was waiting for ABC to decide if her character would come out as a lesbian, something that eventually happened and became a real moment in television history.

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