What’s next for Ellen DeGeneres once her talk show goes off the air?
Sixteen-time Emmy Award winner Ellen DeGeneres will bid farewell to daytime-TV viewers on Thursday during the series finale of her long-running talk show. And it could be a while before audiences see her again on the big — or small — screen.
After more than 3,000 episodes, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” host isn’t jumping on any major projects right away — even though she’s had “an incredible offer” lined up for months. Instead, she’s taking the advice of former daytime TV queen and pal Oprah Winfrey to take time “to sit and reflect,” even though she concedes that she’s not very good at it.
“I am going to try to take her advice, which is, ‘Don’t do anything for a year. No matter how good the offer is, just sit for a year,’” DeGeneres said in a Hollywood Reporter interview published Wednesday. “And I’ll tell you, I have an incredible offer right now that I actually got several months before I finished. It’s really, really hard to say no to and I’m asking to delay it because I am really trying to sit still. This is my first self-imposed break. The last one was not.”
Battered by scandal, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” ends its 19-year run on Thursday. Its host is no longer the queer celebrity we can all agree on.
That “last one” refers to the three-year break she took from television in the late 1990s after she came out on her hit ABC sitcom, “Ellen,” and then faced a backlash and abrupt cancellation by the network.
“And three years at the time seemed like an eternity but, looking back on it, it was a blip, and so I can do one year. I’m going to start traveling in a couple of weeks and try to enjoy my time,” the host said.
This time around, a workplace scandal was a major catalyst in the once-beloved program’s undoing and could eclipse its legacy. The syndicated show ends Thursday with an appearance from actor Jennifer Aniston, the show’s first and now final guest, and performances from Pink and Billie Eilish.
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The 64-year-old comedian has said she’s also being offered private gigs and Las Vegas jobs. She’s unsure yet whether she’ll return to stand-up comedy or acting but is planning to produce documentaries. In fact, she’s traveling to Rwanda in a few weeks where she’s opening a 12-acre campus focused on saving wild mountain gorillas. While there, she’ll be shooting a documentary about the operation.
DeGeneres is also contracted for another comedy special for Netflix to follow up 2018‘s “Relatable,” THR reported, and is contemplating a potential film role.
Elsewhere in DeGeneres’ THR interview, the host acknowledged the “very, very difficult” scandal that engulfed her show in 2020 with allegations of a toxic work environment.
How to watch the talk show host wrap up 19 years on air, with guest Jennifer Aniston and musical performances by Pink and Billie Eilish.
DeGeneres said that she had planned to end the daytime show three years ago but was talked into carrying on with it. And now it’s “for sure the right time” to end it.
“There was a lot that happened during that time that was unfortunate, but it is what it is — you go through stuff in life and you just keep learning and growing. That’s how I have to look at it. But it’s definitely time to stop. And the producers, we’ll all stay in touch. Andy [Lassner] still texts me at least three times a day,” she said.
DeGeneres added: “I have to just trust that whatever happened during that time, which was obviously very, very difficult, happened for a reason. I think that I learned a lot, and there were some things that came up that I was shocked and surprised by. It was eye-opening, but I just trust that that had to happen.”
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