The beloved talk show is coming to a close after 19 seasons. DeGeneres remarked on how life has changed since the series debut in 2003 on Instagram.
“When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social Media didn’t exist. Gay marriage wasn’t legal,” she wrote. “We watched the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.”
“But whatever was happening, my goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour,” she continued. “Being invited into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner, Channing Tatum, Serena Williams, Zac Efron, Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo, Gwen Stefani, David Letterman, Diane Keaton, Kim Kardashian, and DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi are some of the final season’s guests.
The show will continue to air during the summer on affiliate stations after DeGeneres’ last episode as host. But it won’t just be reruns — guest host and compilation episodes will also be part of the programming. Crew members will also be receiving bonuses based on their number of years on the show, and their healthcare will continue to be provided for six months following the finale, Deadline reports.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show faced allegations of a toxic workplace environment in 2020. The series’ end was announced not long after. DeGeneres said when announcing the show’s conclusion that she knew Season 19 would be their last before the allegations came out.
“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,” DeGeneres said in May 2021. The Emmy-winning host had signed a three-year contract in 2018 and shared, “I always knew in my heart that Season 19 would be my last.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Series Finale, Thursday, May 26, check your local listings