Once the gold standard for daytime TV, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has suffered in the ratings since last July when it faced a public reckoning over behind-the-scenes racism, harassment and a generally toxic work environment. As The New York Times reports, the show has lost more than one million viewers since it returned from hiatus in September.
“The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV,” DeGeneres said during her on-air apology when the show returned on Sept. 21. “I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress.”
Since her apology, however, the show has averaged 1.5 million viewers, down from 2.6 million during the same period last year. To be fair, we’re also in a pandemic, and working from home and helping children with online schooling has left people with less time to watch TV during the day.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show remains one of the top three highest-rated syndicated talk shows this season,” David McGuire, executive vice president of programming at Telepictures, a Warner Bros. subsidiary, said in a statement to the Times. “While broadcast is down across the board and COVID has been challenging for production, we are looking forward to bringing back our live audiences and a 19th season filled with all of the hilarious and heartwarming moments that have made Ellen one of the longest running and most successful talk shows in history.”
Still, it’s worth pointing out that Ellen‘s ratings have suffered far more dramatically than other daytime talk shows. As the Times reports, “Dr. Phil is down 22 percent, and The Kelly Clarkson Show has lost 26 percent of its viewers. Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s show has lost just 3 percent, and Tamron Hall is down 9 percent.” Meanwhile, Ellen‘s viewership has dropped by a whopping 43 percent.
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