The final season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show begins on Monday, Sept. 13, and the embattled host is hoping to end things on a high note. "This is going to be a thank you to everybody because the show doesn't happen without the support of fans," DeGeneres said during a production break on set reports Entertainment Tonight Canada. "We're going to check in with people that we've helped through the years (and) people that have paid it forward." According to ET, this includes a teacher who poured their own money into their students and will be rewarded with a new library and other resources for their school.
"I want people just to really remember what the show has been," DeGeneres continued. "It's been a happy place and it continues to be a happy place. And I hate that it would be remembered in any other way."
DeGeneres announced in May that Season 19 would be the conclusion of her long-running daytime show, telling 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." The announcement came after an internal investigation into allegations of a toxic workplace resulted in the firing of top Ellen producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
Despite the timing, DeGeneres insisted that Season 19 had always been her stopping point, telling THR she had agreed after Season 16 to sign on for only three more years. "That's been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, 'You know, that's going to be 19, don't you want to just go to 20? It's a good number.' So is 19," she told the outlet.
DeGeneres addressed the controversy with her staff in July 2020, saying at the time, "I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected." She continued in a letter to her employees, "On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness-no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case."