Ellen DeGeneres will end her daytime talk show after 19 seasons
Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Brooks Kraft/Getty Images
Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running syndicated talk show will end this year after 19 seasons.
The talk show host recounted The Hollywood Reporter that she informed her team of the decision on Tuesday and that she will meet with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday to discuss the news.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not challenging anymore,” DeGeneres told commercial publishing.
The announcement also comes after reports of a toxic work culture, discrimination and sexual harassment over the past year at the show. At that point, she recognized that the atmosphere had become something that didn’t reflect the values she started the show with and pledged to do better.
“It almost had an impact on the show,” Ellen told THR. “It hurt me a lot. I mean, very. But if I had left the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season.”
The backlash impacted the show’s ratings, yet. While the Season 18 opener had the highest rating for an “Ellen” premiere in four years, the show has lost more than a million viewers since September. According to Nielsen data, the program averaged about 1.5 million viewers in the six-month period between September and March, compared to 2.6 million during the same period last year.
DeGeneres, 63, has been a trailblazer in the LGBTQ community since her “Yep, I’m Gay” cover on Time magazine nearly torpedoed her career in 1997. Since debuting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the comedian has racked up over 64 Daytime Emmys and helped normalize queer representation on television.
In the Hollywood Reporter interview, DeGeneres said she planned to end the show after season 16, but agreed to extend her contract for three years.
“That’s been the plan from the start,” she said.
It looks like DeGeneres will remain the host of “Ellen’s Game of Games,” a series based on the gaming segments from her daytime talk show, which airs on NBC.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal, CNBC’s parent company, syndicates episodes of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”