"I can't wait to get back to work and back to our studio," host Ellen DeGeneres said in a statement ahead of the premiere

By Robyn Merrett
September 08, 2020 05:40 PM
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The Ellen DeGeneres Show is returning, if a bit later than expected.

Season 18 will premiere on Sept. 21, according to a news release sent Tuesday. The daytime talk show was originally expected to return this Wednesday, Sept. 9.

"I can't wait to get back to work and back to our studio," host Ellen DeGeneres said in a statement.

The comedian, 62, also hinted that she will discuss the show's recent scandal, saying, "Yes, we're gonna talk about it."

Tiffany Haddish will join DeGeneres in-studio for the premiere. Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin and Chrissy Teigen are slated to appear as guests on the first few episodes.

Ellen DeGeneres (left) and Tiffany Haddish
| Credit: Getty IMages (2)
From left, Kerry Washington, Chrissy Teigen and Alec Baldwin
| Credit: Getty Images (3)

DeGeneres will also sit down with comedians Chris Rock, Amy Schumer and Adam Sandler this season, as well as actor Orlando Bloom. According to the release, Stephen "tWitch" Boss will guest host episodes this fall. There will not be an in-studio audience due to COVID-19 precautions.

The premiere comes as WarnerMedia conducted an  internal investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show following numerous complaints of workplace toxicity.

Ellen DeGeneres
| Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

In July, BuzzFeed News published a report in which one current and 10 former staffers spoke anonymously about their experiences on set, including claims of being penalized for taking medical leave, instances of racial microaggressions and fear of retribution for raising complaints.

DeGeneres has since apologized to her staff, and three top producers — Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman — have parted ways with the show. Staffers on the show also recently learned that they will now receive increased benefits.

In an emotional video conference with staff earlier this month, DeGeneres admitted that she "wasn't perfect," a source who was on the call told PEOPLE.

"I'm a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes," she said. "I'm hearing that some people felt that I wasn't kind or too short with them, or too impatient. I apologize to anybody if I've hurt your feelings in any way."

Last week, producer Andy Lassner addressed the controversy in a video on Instagram.

"Oh look who it is. If it isn't Andy Lassner," Lassner began, speaking directly into the camera. "Well, yes it is. Your eyes do not deceive you. I'm back. I've been away for a little bit, dealing with — you know, some stuff. You may have read about it."

"It's been a couple of rough months. But it's when we go through these things, I guess, when we learn the most about ourselves, and maybe even some growth," he continued. "But to tell you it hasn't been rough would be a lie, and I've always been honest with you. It's been rough. But I'm back."

Lassner ended the video by telling fans, "I love you guys; I miss you and I'll talk to you soon."