Emmy Award-winning television pioneer Ellen DeGeneres has announced that it's time to challenge herself and discontinue the long-running talk show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" after its 19th season, a decision the esteemed comedian said was years in the making. 

“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,” DeGeneres told  The Hollywood Reporter, publicly discussing the decision for the first time.

DeGeneres, whose bedazzling showmanship has reportedly earned her $75 million in annual income and a net worth of over $500 million, shared that she came to the decision ahead of signing a three-season contract extension in 2018. 

“I was going to stop after Season 16. That was going to be my last season and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I’d sign for maybe one,” DeGeneres said. “So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That’s been the plan all along.”

In the end, the "Finding Nemo" voice actor signed on for three more seasons, taking her well beyond 3,000 shows and an imposing 2,400 celebrity interviews. 

According to The Guardian, the announcement comes following allegations of behind-the-scenes bullying and harassment on set that emerged in July 2020, detailing claims of hostile workplace culture from current and former employees.

DeGeneres, however, was quick to lash out at critics, noting that her departure had nothing to do with the controversy, which she confessed “almost impacted” the show.

A subsequent report alleged that 36 anonymous former employees were targeted by recurring incidents of “harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault from top producers,” Time Magazine reported. Soon after, an internal probe was launched by Warner Bros. Entertainment, leading to the dismissal of three high-level producers.

During the show’s 18th season which started September 21 last year, the TV host publicly addressed the allegations and reportedly penned her apology to staff members in an email, vowing to make "necessary changes."

In the fall of 2003, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" debuted following the cancellation of DeGeneres' second sitcom, "The Ellen Show," in 2002. In just its first three seasons, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" snagged 25 Emmy Awards. At present, it has won 64 Daytime Emmys, including four for Outstanding Talk Show.

The TV star's first show, "Ellen," aired in 1994 and ended in 1998 after ratings declined because of ABC's rollback on promoting the program.

The LGBTQ star was also the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2015 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom under Barack Obama in 2016.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Ellen DeGeneres has announced "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" will discontinue after its 19th season. The Ellen DeGeneres Show/Facebook