Question: I could swear that when Ellen debuted, it was originally called Friends. This has been bugging me for a long time. Please help put an end to my wondering. Stacey M., Piney Flats, Tenn.
Televisionary: Close. When the Ellen DeGeneres vehicle debuted on ABC in March 1994, it was called These Friends of Mine and Ellen managed the Buy the Book bookstore rather than owning it, as she later did before it bit the dust in an earthquake and she ended up selling the rebuilt operation to a chain and managing it again. Pals Holly (Holly Fulger) and Anita (Everybody Loves Raymond's Maggie Wheeler) helped with the humor, dishing with Ellen about their love lives.Come September, the show had a new name and Holly and Anita had gone the way of the dodo. In their places were Spence (Jeremy Piven) and Audrey (Clea Lewis).