Ellen DeGeneres is ending her longtime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The upcoming season, the daytime show’s 19th season, will be its last.
“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,” DeGeneres, 63, told The Hollywood Reporter, later adding that she never wavered on her decision.
The “Finding Nemo” star informed the show’s staff on May 11 and will discuss the news in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on the show’s May 13 episode.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” debuted on Sept. 8, 2003, and DeGeneres recently celebrated its 3,000th episode. To date the talk show has earned an impressive 64 Daytime Emmys and has donated more than $70 million in charitable donations and given away more than $300 million in audience giveaways.
“Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that truly great things never will,” Mike Darnell, president of unscripted TV at Warner Bros., told the outlet. “‘Ellen’ was an is an indelible piece of the television landscape, and it will be sorely missed.”
Darnell called the show “an absolute phenomenon” which established itself “as the premiere destination for both superstars and incredible human-interest stories” over it’s nearly two decades on TV.
Though DeGeneres was open about wife Portia de Rossi encouraging her to move beyond the show in a 2018 New York Times profile, she ultimately decided to continue.
The announcement that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will soon end comes after a BuzzFeed story from last July which detailed a toxic work environment for the show’s staff.
This led to the ousting of three producers following an internal investigation and DeGeneres even addressed the controversy in the daytime talk show’s season 18 premiere.
The host said she took the allegations “very seriously” and apologized to those who work under her that were affected. DeGeneres said with her being “in a position of privilege and power” she took full responsibility for what happened at the show and looked forward to “starting a new chapter” since the “necessary changes” had been made.
DeGeneres said the allegations were “very hurtful” and “destroyed” her but they were not the reason why she decided to pull the plug on the show.
“But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient said.
DeGeneres said the hate directed at her because of the allegations were not deserved because she viewed herself as a good person.
“I started saying ‘be kind to one another’ because I really believe people should be kind to one another and so it was easy clickbait to say, ‘Oh, the be kind lady isn’t so kind.'” she said. “I am kind, I’m also a woman and I’m a boss.”
As for what comes next for DeGeneres after she signs off for the last time from her iconic chair in the studio, the comedian said there probably isn’t a return to sitcoms in her future, calling them “a walk in the park” when compared to shooting 180 episodes a year of a daytime talk show. However, she did express interest in films “if there were a great role.”
“This all became bigger than I ever could have dreamed of,” she said of her career. “I’m not the pretty girl who made it in Hollywood because of the way I looked.”
“I worked from nothing to doing standup to having this career and I’m so proud of this show,” DeGeneres said. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. And so I’ll miss everything but, in my gut, I know it’s time to do something different.”
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