Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show reign is coming to an end.
The comedienne announced on Wednesday that she is bringing The Ellen DeGeneres Show to a close after 19 long seasons.
"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 a challenge anymore," she told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview.
"I was going to stop after season 16," she explained elsewhere in the conversation. "That was going to be my last season and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I'd sign for maybe for one. They were saying there was no way to sign for one. 'We can't do that with the affiliates and the stations need more of a commitment.' So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That's been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, 'You know, that's going to be 19, don't you want to just go to 20? It's a good number.' So is 19."
DeGeneres garnered praise for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as an openly gay talk-show host, and it grew into adoration as she populated the program with her signature dance breaks, games, touching giveaways, light-hearted interviews, and overall emphasis on love and positivity.
However, the show recently courted controversy when, in 2020, a BuzzFeed News article was published that details allegations of a toxic work environment on the set from one current and 10 former employees. A subsequent report published claims from 36 anonymous former workers of "harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault from top producers."
DeGeneres told THR that stories about people having to "chew gum" before they speak with her to be "hilarious." "Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn't stop," she said. "And I wasn't working, so I had no platform, and I didn't want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought if I just don't address it, it's going to go away because it was all so stupid."
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. Ellen DeGeneres
In the aftermath, an investigation ensued into the claims of a toxic work environment and three executives left the show. DeGeneres apologized to her current staff multiple times, and mentioned that her "introverted" nature could've been misinterpreted as not being nice.
DeGeneres returned to her show in September and addressed the reports with her audience.
"I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say, I am so sorry to the people who were affected," she said. "I know that I'm in a position of privilege and power. I realized that with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show."
According to The New York Times, The Ellen DeGeneres Show lost 1.1 million viewers after the allegations.
Speaking with THR, DeGeneres said the allegations "almost impacted the show."
"It was four solid months. And you have to understand, in that time, someone got into our house and robbed us and I lost four animals — three cats and a dog died. It was a tsunami," she said in part. "When it started, with that stupid 'someone couldn't look me in the eye' or whatever the first thing was, it's like a crest of a wave. Like, 'This isn't going to be that big of a wave.' And then it just keeps getting bigger and bigger until it was out of control. And I really, honestly, felt like, 'I don't deserve this. I don't need this. I know who I am. I'm a good person.'"
DeGeneres already has other things cooking, including four series for HBO Max.