The Ellen DeGeneres Show is ending after 19 seasons
'As great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore,' DeGeneres says
After 19 years, over 60 Emmy awards and more than a little controversy, Ellen DeGeneres is ending her talk show. The comedian and host made the announcement in a Wednesday story by The Hollywood Reporter.
"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 was quoted as saying.
Mike Darnell, president of unscripted TV for WarnerBros., later confirmed the move.
"Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that the truly great things never will," he said in a statement. "It was and is an indelible piece of the television landscape, and it will be sorely missed."
The news comes during the The Ellen DeGeneres Show's 18th season and nearly a year after allegations of workplace abuse on set damaged the show's reputation.
WATCH | Ellen DeGeneres to end daytime talk show:
A report by BuzzFeed News in July 2020, based on 36 interviews with unidentified ex-staffers, alleged sexual misconduct and harassment by executive producers on the show.
That story prompted an internal investigation by WarnerMedia, which found what it called "some flaws in the show's daily management."
Three top producers departed over the summer, and DeGeneres opened the 18th season with an apology for things "that never should have happened."
"I know that I'm in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility. And I take responsibility for what happens at my show," she said.
Ellen's legacy in question
Stacy Lee Kong, founder of pop-culture newsletter Friday Things, told CBC News she wasn't surprised to see that DeGeneres is ending the show.
"When you think about the overall climate of where we are in the world right now ... she's not necessarily as relevant as she once was."
Lee Kong said although the show's ratings have significantly dropped in the latest season, she understands why viewers were able to relate to her over the years.
"The idea of her was this authentic, kind [and] approachable person that was the figurehead for the show," she said.
But moving forward, Lee Kong believes her legacy will always be complicated.
"I don't think people are going to completely forget about these things that happened ... I think we all know one thing about Ellen, [which is] that she knows how to overcome, and she knows how to reinvent herself."
Still, while DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter the allegations were "very hurtful," they didn't influence her decision to leave the show.
"I wouldn't have come back this season" if they had, she said.
She said the original plan was to finish the show after season 16, though contract negotiations led her to agree to three more seasons instead. That deal, signed in 2019, ends in 2022.
DeGeneres was the recipient of the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2015 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom under former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016.
In addition to her talk show, she has had a hand in Fox's The Masked Dancer, NBC's Ellen's Game of Games and HBO Max's Ellen's Next Great Designer.
DeGeneres's scripted TV show Ellen became a historic landmark in the 1990s when her character came out as gay.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air its final episode in spring 2022, at the end of the show's 19th season.
With files from Reuters and The Associated Press