The end of an era of daytime TV approaches, with Ellen DeGeneres' announcement that her long running NBC talk show will wrap next year. "As great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore," the comedian tells the Hollywood Reporter. And "when you're a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged." She notified staff of her decision to end the show after its 19th season, to kickoff in September, on Tuesday. She's expected to go into more detail on Thursday's episode, in which she'll sit down with Oprah Winfrey. In September, DeGeneres—who always reminds viewers to "be kind to one another"—kicked off her 18th season with an apology, following allegations of a toxic workplace. It was the show's highest rated premiere in years, but huge drops in viewership and ad revenue followed.
The scandal "destroyed me … but if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn't have come back this season," says DeGeneres. She'd considered signing off after Season 16 at the urging of wife Portia de Rossi but agreed to three more seasons, knowing they'd be the last. "That's been the plan all along," she says. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been "widely praised for delivering a mid-day jolt of joy," with 2,400 celebrity interviews, "nearly $70 million in charitable donations and more than $300 million in audience giveaways," per the Reporter. It also won 64 Daytime Emmys. "It's the best thing I've ever done," says DeGeneres. "But, in my gut, I know it's time to do something different." She's still deciding what that will be but says it will involve "movies for sure." Variety reports Warner Bros. once saw good friend Jennifer Aniston as DeGeneres' possible successor. (Read more Ellen DeGeneres stories.)