Australian television is canceling Ellen DeGeneres as fans tune out

Ellen on the phone with Michelle Obama
Ellen on the phone with Michelle Obama Photo: Screenshot/Instagram

Ellen DeGeneres’ iconic but scandal-plagued talk show will not air its final season in Australia after broadcasters opted not to renew their deal to air the once-dominant gabfest.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show was once daytime TV’s biggest show, but sexual harassment and toxic work environment allegations – and the subsequent investigation – have tanked ratings as fans tuned out.

Related: Ellen DeGeneres didn’t want ex-girlfriend Anne Heche to “dress sexy”

Foxtel Group, one of the companies with rights to air the show, has said they will not renew their contract. The company confirmed that low ratings were the reason for the decision.

9 Network has also declined to renew the contract to air the show, saying “The Ellen DeGeneres show won’t be returning to Channel 9 for its 19th and final season. It’s been a tremendous run and we wish Ellen all the best for her last season.”

TV Blackbox reports that the Seven Network is also unlikely to air the show, but notes Channel 10 could pick it up. The odds are extremely slim according to the site.

DeGeneres decided to call it quits after the allegations went public at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Numerous employees, former guests, and co-workers all complained about a toxic work environment. While the comedian addressed the controversy at the beginning of the last season, pledging that she had taken care of the problem, her image as the nicest person in Hollywood was shattered.

“We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter,” she said at the time. But the damage was done, and her enormously successful show took a huge knock in ratings, losing 43% of viewers in just a year.

In a 2018 New York Times interview, Ellen talked about how she was getting bored with the show’s format after so many years.

“The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host,” she said. “There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.”

She said that she didn’t feel like she could tell the jokes she wanted to on the show because viewers expected her to just be nice and dance.

“There’s been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like: ‘You’re not dancing!’” she said. “Of course I’m not dancing. I’m walking down the street.”

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