The final season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be a seriously star-studded one. The talk show’s 19th and final season kicks off Monday, Sept. 13, bringing things full circle with guest Jennifer Aniston, reports E! News. Not only was the Friends alum DeGeneres’ first-ever guest, but this will also be the 23rd time she’s appeared on the show, making the A-Lister one of the most frequent guests on the show.
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will also make a guest appearance on Season 19, marking his 20th time on the show, and Kim Kardashian will visit for her first sit-down interview since the end of Keeping Up With the Kardashians this year. Additional guests reportedly slated for the final season include Tiffany Haddish, Imagine Dragons, Melissa McCarthy, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Julianne Moore and Melissa Etheridge.
DeGeneres announced in May that Season 19 would be the conclusion of her long-running daytime show, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “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.” The announcement came after an internal investigation into allegations of a toxic workplace resulted in the firing of top Ellen producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
Despite the timing, DeGeneres insisted that Season 19 had always been her stopping point, telling THR she had agreed after Season 16 to sign on for only three more years. “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,” she told the outlet.
DeGeneres addressed the controversy with her staff in July 2020, saying at the time, “I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.” She continued in a letter to her employees, “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness-no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case.”