The end of an era. Ellen DeGeneres announced in May 2021 that she decided to end her talk show’s nearly 20-year run.
“It’s going to be really hard on the last day, but I also know it’s time,” the Finding Nemo star told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “I’m a creative person, and when you’re a creative person you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand up when I didn’t think I would. I just needed something to challenge me. And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore. I need something new to challenge me.”
Since The Ellen DeGeneres Show debuted in 2003, the comedian has welcomed tons of celebrity guests, many of whom became targets of her good-natured pranks. The show’s reputation took a hit in 2020, however, after allegations of toxic set behavior surfaced.
In a July 2020 letter to staff obtained by Us Weekly, the host said she’d always wanted the show to be a “place of happiness,” and she apologized for the change that had taken place. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” she wrote. “And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
The Emmy winner later said that the accusations were “very hurtful” to her, but she claimed they weren’t the reason she decided to end the show. “If I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she told THR.
Shortly after DeGeneres announced the show’s end, an insider told Us that the host wanted to make sure she goes out with a bang.
“The entire next season is going to be a celebration of the past 18 years,” the source explained. “It’s not going to be just the last show that’s a huge hooray, it’s going to be every show that season.”
The source added that the Louisiana native told her staff so far in advance of season 19 because she wanted them to have time to adjust to the news.
“Her team is her priority,” the insider told Us. “She wanted to make sure that she was telling everybody way in advance, so they can have another year to celebrate and make it the best possible year they can.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Keep scrolling for everything to know about the final season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show: