'Ellen DeGeneres' to End After Next Season

Ellen DeGeneres on talk show 'Ellen'
Ellen DeGeneres is opting to end her eponymous talk show after 19 seasons on the air. (Image credit: Warner Bros./The Ellen DeGeneres Show)

Ellen DeGeneres is ending her eponymous daytime talker, Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show, after next season, the show's 19th, the star confirmed Wednesday. 

The story was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. DeGeneres told the magazine that as a creative person the show no longer challenged her. 

That said, DeGeneres and her show  have been challenged on other fronts. The show was pummeled all last summer by stories in BuzzFeed and other publications that cited unnamed staffers who said the show harbored a toxic atmosphere. As a result, three executive producers were fired prior to the beginning of this season. 

Ratings for the show never bounced back. This season alone, the show is averaging a 1.0 national household rating through May 2, down 47% compared to last year at this time when it was averaging a 1.9. Almost all syndicated shows are down year to year but none as much as Ellen among the top-tier talkers.

Also Read: Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil,' 'Live' Tie for Talk Lead as Daytime Bounces Back

DeGeneres' decision takes the show and the star through the end of its current contract, which was agreed to in 2019. DeGeneres told the New York Times in 2018 that she expected to end the show after this contract expired.

According to THR, Oprah Winfrey will join DeGeneres on her show on Thursday to discuss the decision. Winfrey herself made a similar decision when she ended her own eponymous talker in May 2011 after 25 years on the air.

Ellen has served as an anchor show for the NBCUniversal owned television stations since its launch in 2003. NBCUniversal executives have said over the past year that they expect to move sophomore talker Kelly Clarkson into Ellen’s slots once that show ends, although they did not confirm those moves on Thursday. NBCUniversal Syndication Studios is in active development for fall 2022, said a spokeswoman.

The Ellen Show is an iconic American TV program, and Ellen DeGeneres is a trailblazer and a one-of-a-kind talent who has entertained and enlightened our daytime audience for nearly two decades. Fans tuned in to the talk show as an hour of laughter, positivity, and inspiring stories. Ellen always brightened our weekday afternoons, and while we all wish the show could continue for years to come, we are grateful for what she and her entire production team have created. They have been an amazing group to work with, and we wish them the very best. You will be missed,” said Valari Staab, president, NBCUniversal Local, in a statement.

“The stations are working on their lineups and The Kelly Clarkson Show will be an important part of them,” said an NBCUniversal Local spokeswoman.

Just because DeGeneres’ daytime show is ending, doesn’t mean her TV ventures are. Her deals with Warner Bros. to executive produce such programs as NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games and HBO Max’s Ellen’s Next Great Designer remain in place, and Warner Bros. also has a stake in her digital ventures as well. DeGeneres also just signed a deal with Discovery in March to produce natural history specials and documentaries. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.