After 19 seasons, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is officially coming to an end.
The comedian and host, 63, announced the news in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, saying, "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."
The beloved talk show premiered all the way back in 2003, and won 64 Daytime Emmy Awards throughout its tenure.
But there's no denying DeGeneres's news is, well, timely. A year ago, she and series producers were hit with allegations of workplace toxicity, which led to an internal investigation. Since then, the show lost over a million viewers. Three key producers left, while staffers finally received better benefits.
In the Season 18 premiere, following that news, DeGeneres said, "As you may have heard, this summer there were accusations 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. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. ... Being known as the 'Be Kind Lady' is a tricky position to be in. The truth is I am that person you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient — and I am working on all of that. ... I am a work in progress."
While speaking with THR, DeGeneres denied that any of last year's controversy had anything to do with her decision to end the show.
"It almost impacted the show," she admitted. "It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn't have come back this season. So, it's not why I'm stopping but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I'm like, 'Okay, this is hilarious.' Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn't stop. And I wasn't working, so I had no platform, and I didn't want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought if I just don't address it, it's going to go away because it was all so stupid."
In a statement, Warner Bros.’ unscripted TV president Mike Darnell said, “Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that truly great things never will." He called the series “an absolute phenomenon" and “the premier destination for both superstars and incredible heartfelt human-interest stories.”
As has become the custom once again – and thank god for that – DeGeneres will be sitting down to discuss the end of the series with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday's episode.
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