Ellen DeGeneres to end daytime talk show after 19 seasons

Key Points
  • Ellen DeGeneres' long-running daytime talk show will come to an end after 19 seasons.
  • In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres said she had planned to end the show after season 16, but agreed to extend her contract by three years.
  • DeGeneres said the allegations of workplace harassment did not factor into her reasoning for ending the show.
Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres' long-running syndicated daytime talk show will come to an end this year after 19 seasons.

The talk show host told The Hollywood Reporter that she informed her staff of the decision on Tuesday and will sit down with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday to discuss the news.

"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 trade publication.

The announcement also comes after reports of a toxic work culture, discrimination and sexual harassment in the last year at the show. At that time, she acknowledged that the atmosphere had developed into something that did not reflect the values with which she started the show, and pledged to do better.

"It almost impacted the show," Ellen told THR. "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."

The backlash did take a toll on the show's ratings, however. While the season 18 opener had the highest rating of an "Ellen" premiere in four years, the show has lost more than a million viewers since September. According to data from Nielsen, the program averaged around 1.5 million viewers between in the six month period between September and March, down from 2.6 million during the same period last year.

DeGeneres, 63, has been a pioneer for the LGBTQ community ever since her "Yep, I'm Gay" cover story on Time magazine nearly torpedoed her career in 1997. Since starting "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the comedian has racked up more than 64 Daytime Emmys and helped normalize queer representation on television.

In the Hollywood Reporter interview, DeGeneres said she had planned to end the show after season 16, but agreed to extend her contract by three years.

"That's been the plan all along," she said.

It appears that DeGeneres will remain as the host of "Ellen's Game of Games," a series based on the game segments from her daytime talk show, which airs on NBC.

Read the full report from The Hollywood Reporter.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, CNBC's parent company, syndicates episodes of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."