This image was lost some time after publication.

With the Nielsen sweeps period upon us and The O.C.'s most annoying character (Marissa, obvs) on the verge of her maiden voyage on Rosie O'Donnell Cruise Lines, the NY Times takes a look back at the girl-on-girl ratings stunts of yesteryear:

Hooray for the all-purpose lesbian kiss, then, cynical though it may be. "L.A. Law" did it in 1991. "Picket Fences" did it in 1993. In 1994, 1997 and 1999, big prime-time shows - "Roseanne," of course "Ellen," "Party of Five" and "Ally McBeal" - did it. And, though 2004 was dry, we've had about one a year since 2001.

One day in the not-too-distant future, when we're getting all our television programming via disposable TiVo suppositories, we're going to click over to the Fox sweeps spectacular Pansexual Donkey-Banging Double-Ended-Dildo-Swallowing Bastard Variety Hour, look back at the quaint lesbian-lite stunts of our youth, and sigh with nostalgia.