It’s the end of an era.
It looks like the Ellen DeGeneres show is coming to an end. Comedian and longtime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is calling for the end of her longstanding daytime television show. On May 11, DeGeneres informed her staff that she wants the next season, season nineteen, to be the final season of the show. She’ll also announce this fact on her show while talking to Oprah Winfrey on May 13.
“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 told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that truly great things never will,” says Warner Bros.’ Unscripted TV President Mike Darnell said in his own comments about the announcement.
It seems that this decision has been a long time in the works. Back in 2018, we reported that Ellen DeGeneres was considering leaving her daytime talk show. At the time, DeGeneres shared that she extended her contract for three more years, but she was considering declining. DeGeneres also shared that her wife, Portia de Rossi, and her brother, comedian Vance DeGeneres, often fought over whether Ellen should quit the show or not.
“She gets mad when my brother tells me I can’t stop,” DeGeneres said while talking beside her wife.
“I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and standup that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity,” de Rossi said. “There are other things she could tackle.”
“I don’t see the end of her show as her career ending,” de Rossi added.
And according to Ellen in her recent talk with The Hollywood Reporter, she was determined to stop after that 2018 contract ended.
“I was going to stop after season 16. 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.”
Keep in mind that the past three years have also been a difficult time for DeGeneres. Not only did the show struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, but it struggled with a scandal as well. Allegations against DeGeneres gained traction in 2020. While there had always been rumors that the “Remember to be kind” comedian wasn’t actually as nice as she pretended to be, accusations of a toxic workplace behind the set led to an investigation. The show’s eighteenth season then opened with DeGeneres issuing an apology.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” she said.
She continued, “I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
While the show’s ratings initially seemed to be unfazed by the scandal, it didn’t stay that way. By March of this year, the show had lost 1.1 million viewers, according to Entertainment Weekly. The viewership went from 2.6 million to 1.5 million. Those numbers account for a 43 percent decline in viewership and a 38 percent decline in viewership of her core demographic, adult women under 54.
So, Ellen DeGeneres might be right. It is time to end the show. Both for her benefit and for the show itself.