Ellen DeGeneres Admits She 'Never Thought' Her Talk Show Would Last 19 Seasons

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which premiered in 2003, is ending in 2022 after 19 seasons

Ellen DeGeneres' namesake talk show has been on air since 2003, but she never anticipated it going on for as long as it has.

Joined by Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez on the set of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres opened up about the piece of advice she would give her younger self in the year of her show's debut.

"I think I gave the advice on day one. I mean, I wanted to make a show that was really fun for everybody and an escape for an hour a day. Whatever was going on in the world, I wanted this to be a happy place," the 63-year-old comedian said. "I wanted everyone here to have fun working here and I wanted to not take it for granted, to enjoy [it]."

All those years ago, DeGeneres never could have predicted her show's success and longevity.

<a href="https://people.com/tag/ellen-degeneres" data-inlink="true">Ellen DeGeneres</a> Season 18
Ellen DeGeneres. Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

"But if you would have told me that in 19 years that I would be doing this 19 years later, I never thought it would last this long," she admitted.

"I thought it would do well, but, you know, talk shows don't last that long usually," she continued. "So I'm, you know, beyond blessed and grateful for it going this long."

DeGeneres announced in May that her long-running talk show would conclude next year after its 19th season.

"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 may be for one," she told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "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," she added.

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Later addressing her decision while in conversation with Oprah Winfrey, DeGeneres said it was the "right thing" for her to do.

"I didn't rehearse the monologue. I knew what I was going to say, but the words hadn't come out of my mouth. So I was okay until I started talking and it became real," DeGeneres previously said on her show. "Obviously, I got emotional because it's real now. But I'm feeling good."

"I feel like it's the right thing to do, but I'm charged," she continued. "It's a weird thing to announce that I'm stopping."

The ending of the series comes a year after accusations that the show's set was a toxic workplace.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show's farewell season premiered on Sept. 13. To tune in, check your local listings.

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