EXCLUSIVE: After 19 seasons, Ellen DeGeneres’ very last episode as host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air on Thursday, May 26. A few of the more than 4,000 guests on the show are slated to return for a final visit — and walk down memory lane — in the months leading to the finale, including former 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.
Following the finale, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue to run on affiliate stations throughout the summer with guest hosts, compilation shows and repeats. As Ellen is leaving daytime and linear television, the outsized digital footprint the show has helped build will carry on through Ellen Digital Ventures. It counts 300 million social followers generating 8 billion views across all platforms in 2020 and 14 original series produced in 2021.
Behind the scenes, as the show is coming to an end, DeGeneres is handing out employees and crew members bonuses based on years of service, sources said. She also gave the team gifts to celebrate the start of the final season last fall.
A significant portion of the Ellen staff are old-timers: 30% of show employees have worked there for over 10 years; many for 15, and a few, including most executive producers, for all 19 seasons. The talker in 2020 faced an internal investigation after reports of a toxic workplace, leading to changes, including the ouster of longtime executive producers, and DeGeneres apologizing to her staff.
UPDATE: According to sources, the sizes of the bonuses are: two-week pay for 1-4 years on the show, three-week pay for 4-8 years and so on, capping it at six weeks of pay for the longest-serving employees. There also have been reports of a condensed production schedule for the back half of the finale season.
In addition to DeGeneres’ personal gesture of giving away bonuses, I hear staffers have received letters informing them that the studio behind the daytime syndicated talk show, Warner Bros./Telepictures, will be extending healthcare coverage for six months beyond the end of the program, along with providing access to resume building and networking workshops and free one-year memberships to LinkedIn Learning.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered on September 8, 2003, at NBC Studios. In fall 2008, it moved to the Warner Bros. Studios lot, whose Stage 1 was dedicated to DeGeneres on November 12, 2015, in celebration of her 2000th show. In May 2021, DeGeneres announced she would be ending her talk show the following year after 3,200+ episodes and 64 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Here is the latest promo for Ellen‘s farewell episodes.
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