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Ellen DeGeneres In Free-Fall: TV Show 'Loses 400,000 Viewers' In December Despite Workplace Scandal Damage Control

Ellen DeGeneres' Talk Show Ratings Are Tanking After Workplace
Source: The Ellen Show/YouTube

Jan. 8 2021, Published 1:18 p.m. ET

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It seems as though Ellen DeGeneres can’t shake her past! The controversial TV host has been hit with some bad news: her talk show fell to a new season low in the final week of 2020 — with just 900,000 viewers tuning in.  

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DeGeneres lost 400,000 viewers in December; the show aired reruns for weeks, after the television personality contracted coronavirus. The month was off to a rocky start for the daytime talker after being down over 35 percent from December 2019, and it doesn't seem like things are getting any better.

“It is a disaster. All the bad publicity might have finally caught up with her. Plus, Ellen tested positive for COVID-19 and had to shut down taping and then was spotted holiday shopping without a mask. She isn’t doing herself any favor,” a source tells OK!, noting that “the fear is that numbers will continue to decline until her contract expires in 2022. Then she can retire.” 

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To put it in perspective, more than 2 million viewers tuned in to Live with Kelly and Ryan during the same period.

Still, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been on the air for nearly two decades, and the comedian isn’t planning on giving up just yet. “Ellen sees the numbers and is aware of what is going on. But she doesn’t plan to go down without a fight,” says the insider.  

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The source stressed that “the show has lots of stunts and big-name guests booked when it returns next week." Added the source, "She is determined to survive the workplace scandal that tarnished her reputation and keep the show going. She will not allow her TV legacy to be that of a 'toxic boss.'"

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2020 was quite the year for the 62-year-old. OK! previously reported that former staffers came forward over the summer and claimed the show was a horrible place to work, and accused DeGeneres’ of being a terrible boss. The talk show titan was forced to address the accusations in September when the new season premiered. “We’ve had a lot of conservations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today, we’re starting a new chapter,” she said at the time. 

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Her apology seemed to work, as ratings for the show were originally up by 50 percent, before beginning to spiral downward.

It is being reported that DeGeneres will resume production on her popular daytime show next week after her bout with COVID-19. The show will not film in front of an audience in the Warner Bros. studio, though a skeleton crew will be in place, according to Variety


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