Ellen DeGeneres Says 'My Instinct Told Me It's Time' to End Talk Show After 19 Seasons
The TV host announced Wednesday that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will end after the upcoming 19th season
Ellen DeGeneres is sharing more details about her talk show departure.
Following the news that The Ellen DeGeneres Show is coming to an end after the upcoming 19th season, the TV personality will be opening up about her decision to say farewell to her long-running talk show come spring 2022.
In her opening monologue for Thursday's show, which was taped and released on Wednesday, DeGeneres tells audiences that she has an announcement to make. "Today I'm announcing that next season, season 19 is going to be my last season," she says.
"The past 18 years ... has changed my life. You all have changed my life. 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," she continues, before thanking viewers.
Finally making the choice to end her show, the host says she "thought a lot about this decision," including discussing the major move with wife Portia de Rossi.
"I sat with it for a while. I meditated on it. I talked to Portia. I talked to myself. A few times I was talking to myself and Portia thought I was talking to her. One time I was talking to Portia but she thought I was talking to myself because of the other times when I was talking to myself and she thought I was talking to her," she says. "One time I was talking to Alexa and Siri answered, and another time I was talking to the TV and I accidentally texted my eye doctor," she jokes. "The point is, I need to take a break from talking."
For DeGeneres, concluding the daytime series with season 19 was always what she felt she should do.
"Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years. I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last," she explains, before later adding, "The truth is I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it's time. As a comedienne, I've always understood the importance of … timing. In all seriousness I truly felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter."
She goes on: "In 1997, I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth. Back then I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and set itself free because it needed to get out of that cage. Recently I had a dream that a bird, a beautiful bird with bright red feathers, came to my window and whispered, 'You can still do stuff on Netflix.' And that was the sign I was looking for."
"Eighteen years ago, on the very first show, I said that this was gonna be a relationship. And we're gonna continue that relationship even when this show ends. But not in this house. 'Cause you know I love to move," she shares.
Concluding the monologue, DeGeneres promises that she will "have a fantastic final season" — one that has "a lot of surprises," some "trips down memory lane" and where she gets "to say 'thank you'" to fans.
DeGeneres first announced the news that she is ending her eponymous talk show via The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
"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," DeGeneres, 63, told the outlet.
The announcement came about 10 months after the show was embroiled in controversy last summer amid allegations of workplace toxicity, prompting an internal investigation. Since the September premiere, during which DeGeneres addressed the allegations, the show has lost more than a million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.
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Three top producers — Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman — parted ways with the show amid the controversy, and staffers on the series learned in August that they would receive increased benefits.
"Ellen is definitely a perfectionist and knows she can be difficult, but she never wanted to come across as mean-spirited," a source told PEOPLE in September. "She is looking at herself to make changes."
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In her THR interview, DeGeneres said that while the controversy "almost impacted" her show, it was not the reason for her decision to end it.
"It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn't have come back this season," she said. "So, it's not why I'm stopping but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I'm like, 'Okay, this is hilarious.' Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn't stop."
She continued, "And I wasn't working, so I had no platform, and I didn't want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought if I just don't address it, it's going to go away because it was all so stupid."
Season 19 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is set to premiere Sept. 13.