Ellen DeGeneres to end daytime talk show after 19th season

Ellen DeGeneres plans to end her daytime talk show after its upcoming 19th season.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, DeGeneres said “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was no longer a challenge for her.

“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,” she said.

DeGeneres, 63, and the show’s producers have come under intense scrutiny in recent months after news reports detailed an allegedly toxic workplace.

In a report published by BuzzFeed News last July, anonymous former employees accused the show’s executive producers of harassment and claimed they experienced a culture of racism, fear and intimidation.

In response, WarnerMedia — the parent company of Warner Bros. Television, which co-produces and distributes the show — launched an investigation. DeGeneres apologized to the staff and three top producers parted ways with the show.

“I learned that things happen here that never should have happened,” DeGeneres said in the debut episode of the show’s 18th season in September. “I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”

DeGeneres is set to sit down with “TODAY” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for an interview airing Thursday morning.

In the wake of the BuzzFeed report, NBC News spoke to multiple former staffers who corroborated at least some of the accusations of misconduct by senior management, but they said they could not speak publicly because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements and feared retribution.

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which premiered in September 2003, was a ratings success for much of its run. The show was known for its celebrity pranks, gift giveaways and its host’s signature dance moves.

But over the last several months, as the comedian and her crew faced mounting criticism, viewership numbers started to slip.

The scrutiny on DeGeneres represented another chapter in the entertainment industry’s reckoning with allegedly toxic behind-the-scenes behavior from film sets to executive suites.

It was also a stark reversal for a host with a family-friendly image — and a show that went by the motto “Be Kind.”

In addition to her talk show, DeGeneres hosts a game show that airs on NBC, “Ellen’s Game of Games.” (NBC News and the NBC broadcast network share NBCUniversal as a parent company.)

Daniel Arkin is a reporter for NBC News who focuses on popular culture and the entertainment industry, particularly film and television.

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