Ellen DeGeneres told her virtual studio audience on Wednesday that she has long planned to wrap her talk show after completing 19 seasons.
In the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” episode set to air Thursday, the host acknowledges the news that broke Wednesday morning of her decision to call it a wrap after the 2021-22 season. She began her Emmy-winning run in daytime in 2003.
“Two years ago I signed a three-year deal. I always knew in my heart that (season) 19 would be my last,” she said. “Nineteen is a great number.”
DeGeneres’ voice broke a few times as she spoke about her reasoning as she made the final decision. She thanked viewers for supporting the show that transformed her life and made her a bona fide superstar.
“The past 18 years has changed my life — you all have changed my life,” she said. “I’m 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.”
DeGeneres likened the upcoming passage for her to an earlier chapter of her career that was also momentous — when she came out as lesbian on her 1990s ABC sitcom “Ellen” and on the cover of Time magazine.
“In 1997 I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth,” she said. Back then I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and set itself free because it needed to get out of the cage. Recently I had a dream that a beautiful bird with bright red feathers whispered to me ‘You can still do stuff on Netflix.’ And that was the sign I was looking for.”
More to come