Ellen Shuffles Off the Air After 19 Seasons

Ellen DeGeneres' chat show signs off after an award-winning run as a daytime TV institution

Ellen DeGeneres’ chat show signs off after an award-winning run as a daytime TV institution

Having spent nearly two decades defining the “feel-good” space in the talk-show genre, Ellen DeGeneres takes a bow with the last original episode of her syndicated program on Thursday, May 26. To fill out the commitment to stations carrying it, the series will remain on the air through this summer, with guest hosts introducing compilations of highlights culled from its run… but DeGeneres’ own farewell is upon us this very week. 

If it seems her decision to end the show is a recent development… well, it isn’t. Long before some staff members went public with workplace complaints, the comedian had been thinking of stepping away from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as she indicated in a 2018 interview for her Netflix special Relatable. 

At that time, she told us, “The talk show has been great, but I want to challenge myself, so I’ll go and host the Oscars [which she did in 2007 and 2014]. As much as I love the [weekday] show, it’s so comfortable for me, nothing scares me about it… and I just like to stay creative. That’s really who I am at heart—a standup performer, and writing is everything to me.” The Ellen DeGeneres ShowCTV

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been a considerable force in its genre. The series has won 61 Daytime Emmy Awards to date, including four for Outstanding Talk Show and eight for Outstanding Talk Show—Entertainment. Before the aforementioned workplace controversy in 2020, the ratings regularly placed it near or at the top of the heap for syndicated weekday shows. 

Along with surprise celebrity encounters and quirky gifts for guests, an aspect of the series DeGeneres has been well-known for is her dancing, venturing into the studio audience and busting a few moves. Also something of a trademark: taking selfies with stars, which caught on after DeGeneres did that with such celebrities as Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt while emceeing the 2014 Academy Awards. And certain comedy bits on The Ellen DeGeneres Show caught on so well, they became series of their own (Ellen’s Game of Games, Family Game Fight!). 

Many stations currently carrying The Ellen DeGeneres Show—particularly those owned by NBC—intend to move The Kelly Clarkson Show, which has a somewhat similar approach (and is produced by NBCUniversal), into the slot this fall. Meanwhile, Ellen DeGeneres Show studio Warner Bros. Television will look to build a new syndicated talker around Oscar- and Grammy-winning singer-actress Jennifer Hudson. But whatever the succession plan may be, one thing is clear: The Ellen DeGeneres Show has left its mark on daytime.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs Thursday, May 26th at Noon on CTV2; 3 p.m., CTV & NBC