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Ellen DeGeneres opens up about decision to end show in emotional monologue

"This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you."
/ Source: TODAY

Ellen DeGeneres is opening up about why she's decided to end her daytime talk show.

In a preview for an emotional monologue set to air Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the 63-year-old TV legend shared why she intends to move on after the show's upcoming 19th season.

"Today I have an announcement to make. It’s a big one. Today I’m announcing that next season, season 19 is going to be my last," DeGeneres told viewers.

"The past 18 years have changed my life. You’ve changed my life," she continued. "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. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

DeGeneres, who confirmed she was ending her show earlier this week, said she talked over the decision with her wife, actor Portia de Rossi.

"I talked to Portia. I talked to myself. A few times I was talking to myself and Portia thought I was talking to her," she joked, adding, "The point is, I need to take a break from talking."

DeGeneres said the decision has been several years in the making.

"I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last," she shared before adding that 19 is a "great" number.

"First of all, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. This may be controversial, but I believe women should be allowed to vote. There, I said it," she joked. "Also, on the periodic table, 19 is the atomic number for potassium."

As for why she's decided to wrap things up, DeGeneres chalked it up to "timing."

"The truth is, I’ve always trusted my instincts. And my instinct told me it’s time," she explained.

Her instincts, she said, have served her well throughout her career.

"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 needed to set itself free."

She added, jokingly, "Well last night I had a dream that a bird, a beautiful bird with bright red feathers, came to my window and whispered, 'You can still do stuff for Netflix.'"

The comedian mentioned the special relationship she shares with her viewers.

"We’re gonna continue that relationship even when this show ends. But not in this house. You know, I love to move," she joked.

She also promised fans the show's final season will be "fantastic," vowing, "Every day will be a celebration."

DeGeneres spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her decision to bring her namesake talk show to an end.

"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.

DeGeneres also spoke with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie for an exclusive interview that will air on Thursday morning.

DeGeneres' decision comes 10 months after she faced accusations of a toxic workplace at her show. A scathing report by Buzzfeed in July led to an internal investigation, which ultimately resulted in the departures of three executive producers.

She addressed the controversy during the opening monologue of her season 18 premiere in September.