"It's a weird thing to announce that I'm stopping," Ellen DeGeneres said

By Dory Jackson
May 13, 2021 12:23 PM
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Ellen DeGeneres knew just who to turn to in order to discuss her decision to end her longtime daytime talk show.

During Thursday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres spoke with friend Oprah Winfrey about how she's "really feeling" about her decision to end the show after the upcoming season 19.

"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," she said. "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. It's a weird thing to announce that I'm stopping," she added. 

Winfrey, 67, said that she was in "this exact position" 10 years ago when she ended The Oprah Winfrey Show in May 2011 after 25 seasons.

"I know what those feelings are. I also know the feelings leading up to it," she said. "So hearing you say and announcing to the world that it was your instinct and that you thought long and hard about it because anybody would know that for something that is as powerful as this show is in other people's lives, that you would not take that lightly and that the coming to the realization that now it is time is a process."

ellen Degeneres, oprah
Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Mike Marsland/WireImage

DeGeneres, who previously said she knew almost two years ago that season 19 would be her last, told Winfrey that she is looking to "be challenged" creatively in her day-to-day life moving forward.

"There's just different things as a creative person that I feel like I need to do," DeGeneres said. "We still have the digital Ellen Tube, Ellen Tube is huge. We have original shows, that's going to continue. Our social media's going to continue. I still am going to be very much involved with digital."

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When Winfrey told DeGeneres that what she misses most from her own namesake show is the "camaraderie with the audience," the comedian explained that she also misses her studio audience, saying it's "not the same energy" with fans being virtual amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeGeneres also recalled the difficulties of telling the show's crew her plans for the series.

"There were tears. It was really hard because I do love everyone here. We do have a relationship," she said. "You know, it's every single day for me. I come in every day and this is my life and theirs too. But I wanted to give them a year. I wanted to give them enough time to know. I didn't want to do it the last year I was here. I wanted to give them a year to celebrate with me and stay with me."

Ellen Degeneres
Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Ellen Degeneres
Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

DeGeneres announced on Wednesday that she would end The Ellen DeGeneres Show with season 19 in 2022. The news was revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where she said that "as great as this show is and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore."

DeGeneres additionally addressed the end of her longtime series in the opening monologue of Wednesday's episode. "The past 18 years ... has changed my life. You all have changed my life," the TV mogul, who's series faced allegations of a toxic work environment last year, said. "I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing — sometimes crying. This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you." 

Season 19 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is slated to premiere on Sep. 13.