12 Actors Who Became TV HostsFrom Bill Maher to Mario Lopez, these thespians like it better on the other side of the interview table
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She's come a long way since Mr. Wrong. Her first sitcom, Ellen, is best remembered as the venue Ellen DeGeneres used to have her character come out as a lesbian in 1997 during the controversial "Puppy Episode." But Ellen's ratings declined not long after DeGeneres' personal and onscreen revelation (DeGeneres herself had come out to Oprah Winfrey earlier in the year). After a second attempt at a sitcom failed, DeGeneres re-established herself as a wildly successful afternoon talk-show host when The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered in 2003. And while her stint as a judge on American Idol may have lasted only one season, it was the catalyst for DeGeneres' next career: music mogul. Last year, DeGeneres announced that she was starting her own record label in order to help launch the career of 12-year-old piano wunderkind Greyson Chance.