On the Thursday, May 13, episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 63-year-old spoke with the talk show titan about how she's "really feeling" regarding her bombshell decision to call it quits after season 19.
DeGeneres said she began to process that her show was really coming to an end when she addressed the news in her opening monologue on the Wednesday, May 12, episode — the same day she shared the news with the public in an interview.
"I didn't rehearse the monologue. I knew what I was going to say, but the words hadn't come out of my mouth. So I was okay until I started talking and it became real," she said. "Obviously, I got emotional because it's real now. But I'm feeling good."
And while this is an emotional time for DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show crew and their fans, she knew she made the right decision. "I feel like it's the right thing to do, but I'm charged. It's a weird thing to announce that I'm stopping," she continued.
Winfrey sympathized with DeGeneres, as she was in the "exact same position" ten years ago when she decided to end The Oprah Winfrey Show after 25 seasons. "I know what those feelings are," Oprah told the host. "I also know the feelings leading up to it."
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DeGeneres — who previously said she knew season 19 would be her last since she signed on for three more years after season 16 — told Oprah she is looking to constantly "be challenged" creatively in her life moving forward. "There's just different things as a creative person that I feel like I need to do," she added.
DeGeneres may be saying goodbye to her show, but the comedian still has a number of projects that will continue. "We still have the digital Ellen Tube, Ellen Tube is huge. We have original shows, that's going to continue," she said. "Our social media's going to continue. I still am going to be very much involved with digital."
While recalling how difficult it was to tell the crew her plans for the series, DeGeneres — who was accused by former and current staffers of turning a blind eye to bullying by senior executives — said she told them a year ahead of its ending so they could process and enjoy their final season together.
"There were tears. It was really hard because I do love everyone here. We do have a relationship. I come in every day and this is my life and theirs too," she said, explaining: "I wanted to give them enough time to know. I didn't want to do it the last year I was here. I wanted to give them a year to celebrate with me and stay with me."
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, published on Wednesday, DeGeneres publicly announced that she would end her once highly praised show with season 19 in 2022. She explained, "As great as this show is and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore."
DeGeneres then addressed the end of her series in the opening monologue of her Wednesday episode. "The past 18 years ... has changed my life. You all have changed my life," the TV mogul said. "I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing — sometimes crying. This show has been the greatest experience of my life, and I owe it all to you."
Her announcement came almost one year after her show was plagued with allegations of being a toxic workplace environment. After the shocking claims were brought to light over the summer, season 18, which premiered in September, was off to a strong start. However, it has reportedly been in decline ever since.