Kelly Clarkson Is Reportedly the Frontrunner to Replacing Ellen DeGeneres

Kelly Clarkson has been hosting her talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, since September 2019, and her skills in the interviewer's chair have reportedly made her the frontrunner to replace Ellen DeGeneres' soon-to-be-vacated time slot on NBC. According to TMZ, Clarkson's show is being considered for a move to The Ellen DeGeneres Show's syndicated hour, an idea that was reportedly floated long before the pandemic began.

Sources say that executives at NBC knew DeGeneres would likely walk away from her show at some point, prompting them to look at Clarkson as a potential successor. While The Kelly Clarkson Show struggled during the pandemic and saw lower ratings, the same was true for many shows, and "a lot depends on the next few months" as production on the talk show returns to its full capacity.

Should the network decide to look outside of its current roster for a replacement, sources point to comedian Tiffany Haddish, who has previously guest-hosted for DeGeneres, as a potential choice. While NBC may be interested in Haddish, it's unclear whether she would entertain the idea of a weeklong talk show, which, as TMZ points out, "is a real grind." The outlet notes that should Haddish be interested, "it would take the contents of a bank vault to seal the deal."

DeGeneres announced last week that the upcoming Season 19 of her eponymous talk show, which wraps in 2022, will be her last. "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," she told The Hollywood Reporter. The decision follows months of drama surrounding The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which was the subject of misconduct allegations last summer.

"If I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season," DeGeneres asserted of the allegations and subsequent investigation. "So, it’s not why I’m stopping, but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I’m like, 'OK, this is hilarious.' Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn’t stop. And I wasn’t working, so I had no platform, and I didn’t want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought. 'If I just don’t address it, it’s going to go away,' because it was all so stupid."