In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen DeGeneres announced that her upcoming 19th season of Ellen will be its last. She says the decision was several years in the making and that she informed her staff on May 11 about the change.
“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,” She said.
Ellen will chat with talk show icon Oprah Winfrey on her Thursday episode about her decision to call it quits. Conversations around her finishing the show sparked in 2018, when she previously told the New York Times that those around her—including wife Portia de Rossi—encouraged her to end her run, while her comedian brother and executives urged her otherwise. She eventually signed on for a final three seasons.
“Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that truly great things never will,” Warner Bros’ Unscripted TV President Mike Darnell told THR.
Of course, Ellen’s departure comes months after a Buzzfeed expose which detailed a toxic work environment on the set of the talk show and led to the removal of show executives. Despite the impact that had on the host and public perception of her and the show, she claims it didn’t lead to the decision to end things entirely.
The comedian explained in the interview that her options are open for her next steps, and that working on a scripted show would be a “walk in the park” compared to the talk show cycle she’s been doing for years.