It really isn't Ellen DeGeneres' year.
Once dubbed the "The Queen of Daytime TV," taking over Oprah Winfrey's mantle with a huge contract, it seemed DeGeneres could do no wrong.
But 2020 has seen The Ellen DeGeneres Show embroiled in controversy, and the embattled show is now struggling after a summer of accusations of racism and sexual misconduct.
Even though DeGeneres addressed claims that her talk show set was a "toxic" place to work during the season 18 premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, September 21, earning her highest ratings in years, things have spiraled downhill since then — with ratings dropping by 25 percent.
The 62-year-old's show doesn't even rate in the top five TVNewsCheck reports.
Their figures claim that Judge Judy, which is in its 25th and final season, in the session ending September 20, blew away all other shows. According to TVNewsCheck, it jumped "6 percent from the prior venue to an eight-week high 5.7 live-plus-same-day national rating," easily topping the Nielsen chart. That was triple the rating of the next highest daytime program.
Among talk shows, Tamron Hall was hottest, kicking off its second season with a 33 percent increase to a nine-week high 0.8. Hall’s opener made worldwide headlines with a widely praised exclusive Andrew Gillum interview.
The Drew Barrymore Show is performing well with a very respectable 0.7, the third-highest pure talk show premiere since 2017.
But not DeGeneres — her rating slipped 11 percent to a new series low 0.8 — 56 percent below its comparable week one year earlier. However, the show’s premiere week in the 56 metered markets was down 25 percent from its year-ago time periods.
The initial surge in her ratings may have been the public's fascination into how she would finally address the elephant in the room after a summer that dubbed her the "Queen of Mean" online, which goes against her "be kind" mantra.
After addressing the NBC show's turmoil, DeGeneres was criticized for the opening monologue, with some former employees less than impressed.
Though the talk show host admitted she was "a work in progress," she jokingly added that her summer was "super terrific."
"Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her," one former employee told BuzzFeed News on September 21.
"When she said, 'Oh, my summer was great' and that was supposed to be funny, I thought, 'It’s funny that you had a rough summer because everyone was calling out all of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?'” another former worker said.
In July, former staffers from the series came forward and claimed there were incidents of racism and sexual misconduct going on behind the scenes, BuzzFeed News reported. As a result, Ed Galvin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman — who were all top producers — were fired after WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation.
"When you’re talking about people who have accused her leadership of the seriousness that is sexual misconduct, I don’t think it’s appropriate to have jokes in the monologue," another former employee said.
"Ellen is in a lose-lose situation. She is finding herself having to grin like the Cheshire Cat, or else people will say the old, mean Ellen has returned. You can tell being this nice is already getting annoying. Ellen technically is the boss of over 250 staff — now each and every one of them thinks they can walk into her office with any complaint,” a source exclusively told OK!.