Things are not looking good over at Ellen. Host Ellen DeGeneres apologized on air last September, after multiple allegations of a toxic work environment tarnished her show’s kindness-oriented branding. Since September, The New York Times reports, the show has lost more than 1 million viewers—a 43 percent fall. No longer in the same league as daytime rivals Dr. Phil or Kelly Ripa/Ryan Seacrest, the Times reports, the show’s ratings are now more on par with those of Maury Povich and Jerry Springer’s former security guard Steve Wilkos.
Over the last six months, the Times reports citing Nielsen data, Ellen has averaged 1.5 million viewers—a staggering decline from its 2.6 million in the same period last year. DeGeneres’ contract with WarnerMedia runs through next year, and although she has confirmed she will return in September to launch season 19, the Times notes the show’s future after that is less certain. DeGeneres’ rep declined to comment when the paper asked whether the upcoming season would be her last; David McGuire, an executive vice president of programming at Telepictures, a Warner Bros. subsidiary, told the Times in a statement that Ellen remains “one of the top three highest-rated syndicated talk shows this season.” McGuire suggested changing viewing habits during the pandemic could be a factor in DeGeneres’ dwindling viewership. But as the Times notes, her decline has been significantly higher than any of her competitors.