The Ellen DeGeneres Show is coming to an end after 18 years on the air.
On May 12, hostess Ellen DeGeneres confirmed the syndicated talk show will end after its 19th season. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres shared, "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."
"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," she told the outlet. "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."
DeGeneres previously revealed that she was contemplating leaving the show in a 2018 interview with The New York Times. At the time, she explained that her brother, Vance DeGeneres, opposed the idea, while her wife, Portia de Rossi, was in favor of the move.
As Portia told the NYT in 2018, "I just think she's such a brilliant actress and stand-up that it doesn't have to be this talk show for her creativity... There are other things she could tackle."
In the same interview, the author questioned DeGeneres about rumors that she was cruel to staff. DeGeneres claimed it was all gossip, explaining, "That bugs me if someone is saying that because it's an outright lie. The first day I said: 'The one thing I want is everyone here to be happy and proud of where they work, and if not, don't work here.'"
"No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That's the rule to this day," she added.
Two years later, the show was the subject of an internal investigation following multiple reports of workplace misconduct. DeGeneres herself was never accused of misconduct in any form, but she addressed the controversy in a letter to staff last July.
"On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness—no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect," she acknowledged. "Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case."
Though DeGeneres wasn't accused of wrongdoing, she added, "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that."
Executive producer Andy Lassner later confirmed changes were being made to the show and promised the controversy would not impact Ellen's hosting duties. In an August tweet, he shared, "Nobody is going off the air."
Following a hiatus and the conclusion of an internal investigation, in which current and former employees were interviewed, the show returned for its 18th season on Sept. 21. At the time, Ellen remained the chief host, while DJ Stephen "Twitch" Boss occasionally filled in for her.