The Ellen DeGeneres Show sets finale date and special guests Michelle Obama, David Letterman, and more
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Daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres is preparing for one last dance between the audience aisles.
After 19 seasons, the final episode of her eponymous daytime talk show will air Thursday, May 26, on NBC. Dozens of the show's guests from over the years (more than 4,000 have stopped by) are scheduled to make appearances leading up to the finale to pay tribute to DeGeneres and share their favorite memories from it.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner, Channing Tatum, Serena Williams, Zac Efron, Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo, Gwen Stefani, David Letterman, Diane Keaton, Kim Kardashian, and DeGeneres' longtime wife, Portia de Rossi, are among the stars set to drop in.
Following the finale, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue to air repeat episodes, including guest-host and compilation shows, on affiliate programs throughout the summer.
The first episode of the talk show premiered in September 2003, and it went on to win 64 Daytime Emmy Awards during its long run.
DeGeneres announced last May that season 19 would be the last for the show, which had faltered in ratings after allegations of a toxic workplace environment from past and current employees sent DeGeneres and the show's producers into crisis mode. In various BuzzFeed News reports, employees recounted incidents of racism, intimidation, and sexual misconduct and harassment from producers.
In her first episode back following the report, DeGeneres addressed the allegations and said she took responsibility, telling the audience, "I learned that things happened 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. I know that I'm in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show."
DeGeneres also maintained that the allegations aren't the reason she decided to end the show, telling Today's Savannah Guthrie last year, "If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year. I really did think about not coming back because it was devastating. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy."
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