There is only one person who can save The Ellen Show from slipping further down the ratings, and host Ellen DeGeneres thinks she is the one for the job.

Amid all the controversy surrounding the show’s work environment, DeGeneres is desperate to get two huge guests to pluck it from the doldrums – Michelle Obama and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

“Ellen has been calling in favors determined to save the show herself. She is begging Michelle Obama to be the first guest after the show returns following all the ugly accusations to show America that if Michelle still loves Ellen, then so can you. The booking isn’t confirmed yet, but everyone is hopeful,” sources tell OK!  

If Obama sticks to her recent Democratic National Convention speech, she should be eager to help DeGeneres out of this mess.

On Monday night, the former First Lady said: “Empathy: that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes; the recognition that someone else’s experience has value, too. Most of us practice this without a second thought. If we see someone suffering or struggling, we don’t stand in judgment. We reach out because, ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I.’ It is not a hard concept to grasp.”

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For DeGeneres to enlist the help of Oprah is almost expected. Winfrey’s house in Montecito, California, is just over 1000ft away from DeGeneres’ courtyard and the properties border one another.

According to sources, DeGeneres understands that if the show is going to continue filming, it must make a huge comeback.

“The show must return with a bang after the ugly summer accusations of sexual misconduct, racial insensitivity, and other problems in the work environment. Ellen will be addressing the problems on-camera for the first time and will still be signing off with her signature ‘be kind to each other,’ message,” a source told OK!

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On Monday afternoon, during a staff meeting in which DeGeneres spoke via a video conference call, it was confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman had been fired.

Other than DeGeneres’ reputation taking a dive, the show’s ratings have also plummeted to record-low levels.

Ratings agency Nielsen gave the talk show as 1.0 Live + Same Day rating for the week ending 26 July. That means that only 1% of the 120.6 million households monitored by Nielsen watched an episode. That’s a 20% drop from the previous week.

The first week of August’s viewing didn’t get any better, as The Ellen Show remained at a 1.0 Live + Same Day rating for its third week in a row. In comparison, Dr. Phil rose 6% for a rating of 1.9, and Live with Kelly and Ryan was rated as 1.6.

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“The shows summer ratings have been a blood bath, dropping 20%. Ellen pulling in the same numbers as the Steve Wilkos show isn’t good. If the numbers are bad when Ellen returns, the show won’t survive. In the TV business you can survive racist and sexual misconduct accusations, but you can’t survive bad ratings. That is the real barometer,” a source confirmed.

DeGeneres is also aware that if the show keeps on tanking in the ratings, the network could pull the plug on the whole thing and replace her with someone else.

A source close to the network has told OK! that the likely successor, if it goes that route, is Kristen Bell.

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The actress has privately been considered the “heir apparent” for a long time and has been a regular on the show, and Warner Bros. executives have been “quietly grooming her to take over.”

A set insider said: “With Ellen’s scandal, Kristen’s name tops the shortlist. Kristen has been quietly honing her hosting skills. Even better for Warner Bros., everyone in Hollywood loves Kristin.”

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