The upcoming season will be the last for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the popular midday talk show launched by the out comedian in 2003.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres said the decision to end the show has been one she’s considered for years. In the interview, DeGeneres said that she’d intended to end the show after the 16th season, but settled on signing for an additional three years. She remained determined to keep herself to the three-year deadline, however, ending the show in 2022.
“Look, it’s going to be really hard on the last day, but I also know it’s time,” she said. “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,” she said. “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.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres told her staff of the decision on May 11th. She’ll address the decision on the May 13th episode of her show, when she’ll sit down with long-time friend Oprah Winfrey.
She also said that while allegations of a toxic work environment on the set, which broke last summer, impacted her, they did not lead to her decision to end the show. “It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very,” she said. “But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season.”
Before it ends, “Ellen” will have aired over a staggering 3,000 episodes, featuring 2,400 celebrity interviews. As for her upcoming plans, DeGeneres says that she doesn’t quite know yet. “I have some ideas but my agent is just like, ‘Why don’t you just sit still for a minute. You probably don’t even know how exhausted you are and what it’s going to be like to sit still.”