Ellen DeGeneres is opening up about her decision to end her popular daytime talk show.
The star announced on Wednesday that the upcoming 19th season of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will be its last.
Now, in a pre-recorded monologue for Thursday’s show, the “Finding Dory” star, 63, addressed the news.
“Today, I’m announcing that next season, Season 19, is going to be my last season,” DeGeneres said. As she got choked up, she said that over the last 18 years, her fans have “changed [her] life” and she is “forever grateful” to her audience for tuning in.
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“I want you to know that I’ve thought a lot about this decision. I sat with it for a while. I meditated on it. I talked to [my wife] Portia [de Rossi]. I talked to myself,” continued the comedian. “… The point is, I need to take a break from talking.”
Just two years ago, DeGeneres signed a large contract to keep the show on the air for three more seasons, through season 19. She said that she “always knew in [her] heart” that the 19th season would be the show’s last.
“You may wonder why I’ve decided to end after 19 seasons. The truth is, I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it’s time,” DeGeneres explained. “As a comedian, I’ve always understood the importance of timing. In all seriousness, I truly have felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter.”
The star recalled coming out in 1997, saying she had a dream of a bird setting itself free from a cage.
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“Recently, 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 on Netflix,’” she joked. “And that was the sign I was looking for.”
DeGeneres’ latest comedy special, “Relatable,” is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.
It’s unclear whether there will be a continued deal between the streamer and the comedian. Reps for the streamer did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“Eighteen years ago, on the very first show, I said this was gonna be a relationship and we’re gonna continue that relationship even when this show ends. But not in this house cause you know, I love to move,” she added. “I promise you that we’re going to have a fantastic final season. It will be a season where I truly get to say, ‘Thank You. Thank you all.’”
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The star concluded: “Every day will be a celebration. There will be a lot of surprises, there will be trips down memory lane, and a few detours through Why Did I Wear That Alley.”
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In her Wednesday morning announcement, DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter: “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 is set to sit down with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday’s episode to further discuss her decision.
The “Ellen DeGeneres Show” had dropped dramatically in viewership following the star’s toxic workplace scandal that dominated headlines last year. The program’s latest season kicked off in September 2020 with an apology from the comedian about claims of a toxic workplace that marred the show over the summer.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report