No ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ tickets: Ratings drop over rumors
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been in turmoil for almost an entire year now. It officially started in October of last year when some people were dismayed to see photos of DeGeneres speaking with former President George W. Bush at a football game.
However, she gave a monologue about being kind to everyone and most people moved forward. The real issues began in March when a Twitter thread blew up. The thread was filled with accusations of the “Be Kind Lady” actually being the “Queen of Mean”.
Since then accusations have been raining down on Ellen DeGeneres and her daytime talk show. Rumors ranged from DeGeneres forcing people to chew gum before speaking with her to asking that a next door production stop grilling steaks because she’s a vegetarian. Eventually talk transitioned from being solely about DeGeneres to also include her executive producers.
Claims of a toxic workplace filled with racist mircoaggressions (and a few macro), favoritism, and sexual harassment hit the internet – the claims came from upwards of forty anonymous current & former employees according to Buzzfeed.
The show’s ratings have seen slippage ever since May of 2020 – the weight of the claims, rumors, and accusations are just too heavy for the daytime TV giant. With the start of a new season in September and an opening monologue apology some wondered whether the show could recapture its glory – in the words of a Magic 8 Ball: “outlook not so good”.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has just started its eighteenth season, and for the first sixteen or-so years the talk show has boasted impressive numbers. From a record breaking total of 61 Emmy awards garnered over the years to pulling a 2.0 rating (meaning 2% of U.S. households are watching) on the regular the TV show seemed unstoppable.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been one of the leaders in daytime television for almost two decades. The show’s biggest competition of late has been Live with Kelly and Ryan – the two shows generally top the daytime ratings with similar numbers, swapping between first and second place.
The beginning of the slip
In late spring / early summer people started to notice DeGeneres’s show wasn’t performing as well. It’s worth admitting the show was lacking a lot of its luster since it was being filmed out of the host’s home instead of on its shiny blue and white set – however, the show started quarantine filming in late March, but the numbers didn’t change for months.
In June we reported the show was pulling a 1.5 rating instead of its usual 2.0 – experts said she had lost 14% of her usual viewership. Now a little blip wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the trend continued all the way until the show’s season ended in July.
By July the show had lost another 8% of viewers and was seeing a meager rating of 1.1. This huge loss is something we’re sure producers, DeGeneres, and of course their home network of NBC took note of.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has now returned to the studio for their eighteenth season, though nobody will be getting tickets for the live audience these days. As a pandemic precaution the audience is fully digital. Fans’ smiling faces are plastered on dozens of screens as they watch via video chat.
The first episode of the season showed potentially promising ratings – everyone knew she was going to address the various scandals that eventually led to three EPs being fired. Her season premiere numbers more or less matched those of the previous year’s premiere. The rest of the episodes have not.
Most talk shows have recently seen a drop in ratings, but DeGeneres’s has seen a larger one than most. At this point the show is pulling 37% fewer eyeballs than it was at this time last year – before any scandals occurred. Right now the show is seeing a 1.2 rating according to Nielsen, the go-to place for TV viewership numbers.
The show’s future
What does this mean for the talk show, DeGeneres, and fans hoping to one day get tickets to be in her live audience (in person, not on a screen)? Well, to the few hoping they can get tickets, you may have to put that hope on ice for the time being.
Right now, the show will likely truck on as usual, pretending that nothing has changed. Fewer viewers could potentially mean slightly less lucrative sponsorship & ad deals, but they’ll probably still be getting those deals. The show likely isn’t in peril of cancelation – DeGeneres signed a three year contract in 2019, so it would be hard for NBC to cancel her without it getting legal.
Plus, the pandemic might actually be saving her. If the ratings get bad enough that NBC seriously considers giving her the boot, they’d probably think twice since new episodes of anything are hard to come by at the moment. New is always better than reruns, no matter what the content is.