Melissa Etheridge to star in new sitcom
Melissa Etheridge is crossing over to television as the star of an ABC sitcom. After competitive bidding among several networks, the project from 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Brad Grey TV landed at ABC with a script commitment plus a six-figure penalty. To be written by Linda Wallem, the untitled project is described as a nontraditional family comedy and as a reversed Will & Grace with a kid. It centers on a gay woman (Etheridge), a music teacher who lives with her best friend, a straight man. The two are raising the daughter of another friend. With her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk rock, and raspy vocals, Etheridge became a popular recording artist in the late '80s and '90s. The singer's pop crossover breakthrough came with her fourth album, 1993's Yes I Am, which also marked her official coming out. The album, which sold more than 6 million copies, spawned the hit singles "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" and earned Etheridge a Grammy. Wallem cocreated and executive-produced Fox's comedy series That '70s Show and its short-lived spin-off That '80s Show.