"The Ellen DeGeneres Show," a longtime fixture of daytime television, is coming to an end.
DeGeneres plans to end her daytime talk show after the upcoming 19th season ends next year, NBC News has confirmed.
The 63-year-old TV legend will sit down with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie to discuss the decision in an exclusive interview set to air on Thursday morning.
DeGeneres is calling it quits after more than 3,000 episodes of a show that became a daytime television fixture after its debut in 2003.
She spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the decision.
"When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore," she said.
That story featured a current employee at the time and former staffers claiming they endured a culture of racism, fear and intimidation.
DeGeneres denied that the issues behind the scenes at the show factored in her decision to end it.
"It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me," she told THR. "I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season."
The controversy "destroyed" her, she said.
"I’d be lying if I said it didn’t," she said. "And it makes me really sad that there’s so much joy out there from negativity. It’s a culture now where there are just mean people, and it’s so foreign to me that people get joy out of that."
DeGeneres says she has been mulling over ending the show for years. She told The Hollywood Reporter that she considered calling it quits after season 16 before signing on for three more years.
"That’s been the plan all along," she said.
As she prepares for her final season, she is not sure what the future holds.
"I don’t even know the answer," she said. "I’ve been trying to think about that. I have some ideas but my agent is just like, 'Why don’t you just sit still for a minute. You probably don’t even know how exhausted you are and what it’s going to be like to sit still.'
"And I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do that because I’m like a Ferrari in neutral. I’m constantly needing to go. So, that’s my first challenge and then I’m going to figure it out. I wouldn’t have thought I was ever going to do a talk show when I stopped doing movies and sitcoms. I thought that that was the only path. And then all of a sudden there was a talk show that took me on this 19-year journey."