Ellen DeGeneres has called time on her long-running daytime American talk show, revealing the 19th season will be the final one.
The decision came amid slumping ratings following allegations by former and current staffers that The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been a toxic place to work.
Though the Emmy award winner insisted her decision to bring the curtain down had nothing to do with allegations against the show in the past year.
“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,” Ellen told the publication.
Ellen is expected to make a public announcement on Thursday's show with guest and daytime-TV predecessor Oprah Winfrey.
She also said the plan all along had been to end the show when her contract is up next year.
"I knew [the 19th Season] would be my last," she said. "That’s been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, 'You know, that’s going to be 19, don’t you want to just go to 20? It’s a good number.' So is 19."
According to Ellen, wife Portia de Rossi wanted her to call it quits in 2018 already, but her brother, Vance DeGeneres, changed her mind. Now she's content with her decision.
"Look, it’s going to be really hard on the last day, but I also know it’s time," she admitted.
"I need something new to challenge me."
The writer, producer, actress and comedian won dozens of Emmy awards for the show and has been a pioneer of the LGBTQI community in America since she came out as gay in 1997. Her show then debuted in 2003.
Ellen DeGeneres herself was not accused of wrongdoing, but she was blamed for allowing the issues to develop.
"It almost impacted the show,” Ellen said. "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."
Since September the show's ratings have plummeted by more than one-half compared to last season, to 1.2 million viewers per show.
Ellen was co-producer of her show and last year earned an estimated 84 million dollars, largely thanks to that program. That made her the 12th highest-paid celebrity in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
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