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Ellen's Game of Games - Season 3

Source: NBC / Getty

Ellen DeGeneres is saying goodbye to her talk show next year, which isn’t a surprise to anyone — but still, we’ll be sad to see her go.

In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she talked about wanting to leave after 16 seasons, but stretching it to 19 to please producers.

“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,” Ellen said. “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 for one. They were saying there was no way to sign for one. ’We can’t do that with the affiliates and the stations need more of a commitment.’ So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That’s been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, ‘You know, that’s going to be 19, don’t you want to just go to 20? It’s a good number.’ So is 19. [Laughs].”

She also talked about the backlash she received (in regard to how she allegedly treated staff and guests) and whether that impacted her decision to walk away. According to Ellen, it “almost” did. She explains how much the gossip hurt her, but ultimately says it was a learning experience for everyone involved, including staff who didn’t feel they could come to her with any concerns.

As for what’s next, Ellen tells THR:

“Look, I don’t even know the answer. I’ve been trying to think about that. I have some ideas but my agent is just like, “Why don’t you just sit still for a minute. You probably don’t even know how exhausted you are and what it’s going to be like to sit still.” And I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do that because I’m like a Ferrari in neutral. I’m constantly needing to go. So, that’s my first challenge and then I’m going to figure it out. I wouldn’t have thought I was ever going to do a talk show when I stopped doing movies and sitcoms. I thought that that was the only path. And then all of a sudden there was a talk show that took me on this 19-year journey.”

Ellen will also reportedly discuss the end of her daytime talk show in an interview with Oprah Winfrey tomorrow, May 13. Keep scrolling for a few reactions to Ellen’s news.

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