Ellen DeGeneres ending talk show in 2022

After 19 years, Ellen DeGeneres is looking for a new professional challenge.

The actress, comedian, daytime television host, writer and producer informed her staff Tuesday that the upcoming season of her long-running talk show will be the program’s last, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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“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 told the outlet in an exclusive interview confirming that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will officially end in 2022.

DeGeneres explained that the exit has been in the works for more than five years because she personally wanted to end the show’s run following its 16th season but needed to negotiate with the affiliates and stations carrying the program.

“So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That was the plan all along,” she told THR.

Despite the talk show’s success – and spinoffs that have included “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “The Masked Dancer,” “Family Game Fight,” and “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways” – DeGeneres and her staff came under fire in the past year amid allegations of racist behavior and intimidation on the show, Variety reported.

Specifically, the outlet reported in April 2020 that the show’s crew was outraged over reduced pay, lack of communication and “poor treatment by producers after the (COVID-19) pandemic shut down production.”

Although DeGeneres did eventually address the crew’s claims, which resulted in the firing of three of the show’s top producers, she told THR that the allegations had nothing to do with her decision to end the show.

“It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she told the outlet.

Click here to read THR’s complete interview with DeGeneres.