The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the American talk show that aired for 18 years, will end with its 19th season this year, stand-up comedian and host DeGeneres announced in a video on social media on Thursday.
Today is a big day. Next season is a big season. pic.twitter.com/Ii4m9IDuYv
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 13, 2021
According to the video, DeGeneres decided to end the show that earned her 64 Daytime Emmy Awards, trusting her “instincts”.
“As a comedian I have always understood the importance of, timing. In all seriousness I truly have felt like he next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter,” she said drawing an analogy to her 1997 sitcom where she came out as a lesbian.
While DeGeneres announced it earlier in the day, the news broke on Wednesday after an exclusive interview by The Hollywood Reporter where she said, “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 maybe for one. They were saying there was no way to sign for one,” but because of commitment to and affiliations with broadcasting stations they “settled on three more years”.
The show that debuted in 2003, is executive produced by Warner Bros. and airs on NBC Channel and Hearst Television. Since then, DeGeneres has worked on the show full-time crossing 3,ooo episodes. She was asked to reconsider her decision by Warner Bros. unscripted TV president Mike Darnell, who kept requesting her until April, as per the former Oscar host.
She told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’m a creative person, and when you’re a creative person you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand-up when I didn’t think I would. I just needed something to challenge me. And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore.”
The show, apart from being a regular talk show with celebrities ranging from Chris Evans and Jennifer Lawrence to singers Justin Bieber and Pink, also holds several minor segments that feature non-celebrities like intelligent kids, individuals who have gained traction on social media because of their work or video, etc. apart from making charitable donations of around $70 million.
However, it the show came with its own set of controversies.
In 2018, anonymous reports suggested a toxic work environment on the sets of the show. The 63-year old actor, comedian, writer and producer along with the studio were accused by several unnamed former employees of misbehaving and harassment.
While she rubbished the news, similar reports emerged in 2020, she said, “almost impacted the show”, clarifying that that was not the reason for her to quit the show. However, at one point it was, for “four solid months”.
She said, “And at first I didn’t believe it because I know how happy everybody is here and how every guest talks about, ‘Man, you have a great place here. Of all the talk shows I’ve done, everyone here is so happy’. That’s all I’ve ever heard. So, there was an internal investigation, obviously, and we learned some things, but this culture we’re living is [is one where] no one can make mistakes,” adding, “I check in now as much as I can through Zoom to different departments, and I make sure people know that if there’s ever a question or ever anything, they can come to me, and I don’t know why that was never considered before.”
After the show, DeGeneres is considering giving films another shot.
She said, “I don’t know if that’s really what I want to do next, but movies for sure. If there were a great role, I’d be able to do that, which I’m not able to do now,” and adding, “I’m opening up my campus in Rwanda next year, and I want to be more involved with conservation and everything that matters to me as far as the environment and animals.”
DeGeneres has also worked with Netflix on the stand-up comedy show Relatables and hosted Ellen’s Game of Games.