Ellen DeGeneres on the set of her show. (Michael Rozman/Warner Bros./PA Wire)
Ellen DeGeneres is calling time on her long-running talk show.
The daytime host, who has seen a ratings hit after allegations of running a toxic workplace, has decided that the upcoming 19th season will be the last, ending in 2022. It coincides with the end of her contract.
"You may wonder why I've decided to end after 19 seasons. The truth is, I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it's time," a tearful DeGeneres said Wednesday during a taping for Thursday's show.
"I promise you that we're going to have a fantastic final season. It will be a season where I truly get to say, 'Thank you. Thank you all.' Every day will be a celebration," she said.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which started airing in 2003 and is distributed by Warner Bros, has a mix of dancing, games and giveaways along with A-list celebrities. But the host, who built her brand on the motto "Be kind," opened season 18 in September with a lengthy apology.
Three of the show's producers exited over the summer amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harbored misbehaviour, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.
While the allegations were "very hurtful to me" they did not influence her decision to leave the show, DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter. "I wouldn't have come back this season" if they had, she said.
"Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that the truly great things never will," Mike Darnell, president of unscripted TV for Warner Bros., said in a statement on Wednesday. "It was and is an indelible piece of the television landscape, and it will be sorely missed."
Nielsen data shows The Ellen DeGeneres Show viewership dropped by 1.1 million people this season, from 2.6 million viewers to 1.5 million viewers.
DeGeneres said her post-show plans were uncertain. She was open to movie roles and wanted to be more involved in environmental conservation efforts.
DeGeneres's scripted TV show Ellen became a historic landmark in TV history in the 1990s when her character came out as gay.
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