'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' Sets a Date for Its Last-Ever Episode

The Ellen DeGeneres Show now has an end date. Ellen DeGeneres will dance in the aisles with her audience for the final time on Thursday, May 26. The show has dominated the daytime landscape since it debuted in 2003 and will finish with over 3,200 episodes produced.

The final episode will include over 4,000 guests making returns for one final visit, reports Deadline. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner, Diane Keaton, Channing Tatum, Serena Williams, Zac Efron, Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo, Gwen Stefani, David Letterman, and Kim Kardashian are all among those expected to stop by. DeGeneres' wife, Arrested Development star Portia de Rossi, is also planning to make one final appearance.

After the finale, affiliate stations will continue running the show with guest hosts, repeats, and compilation episodes. The massive library of viral clips will also continue to be overseen by Ellen Digital Ventures, which has over 300 million social media followers. Clips garnered 8 billion views on all platforms in 2020.

DeGeneres has also been generous with crew bonuses, sources told Deadline, based on their years of service. Over 30% of the show's staff was there for over a decade, while some were there for 15 years. Most of the executive producers have been there for all 19 seasons. Series producer Warner Bros./Telepictures also extended healthcare coverage to staffers for six months after the show ends and will provide staffers with resources to find their next position.

The gestures might be a response to the toxic workplace scandal that engulfed Ellen after BuzzFeed News published interviews with former employees in July 2020. After WarnerMedia launched an investigation, three executive producers were fired and DJ Stephen "tWitch" Boss was promoted to co-executive producer. DeGeneres opened Season 18 with an apology to viewers. "I learned that things happened here that never should have happened," DeGeneres said at the time. "I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected."

In May 2021, DeGeneres announced plans to end Ellen after Season 19, but insisted the decision had nothing to do with the toxic workplace controversy. "I'm a creative person, and when you're a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand up when I didn't think I would," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "I just needed something to challenge me. And as great as this show is, and as fun, as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore. I need something new to challenge me."