Ellen DeGeneres has opened up about her decision to end her popular chat show.
The Ellen DeGeneres show first aired in 2003, and there has been over 3,000 episodes to date.
On Wednesday, the 63-year-old confirmed the show would be ending after the 19th season, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “As great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore.”
The comedian made the official announcement during Wednesday’s episode of the show, becoming tearful as she thanked her viewers and supporters for “the greatest experience” of her life.
In her monologue, she said: “Today I have an announcement to make. Today I’m announcing that next season, season 19, is going to be my last season.”
“The past 18 years have changed my life. You’ve changed my life and I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing, sometimes crying.”
“This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you,” Ellen said, becoming tearful.
“So thank you. Thank you. Thank you… You may wonder why I’ve decided to end after 19 seasons. The truth is, I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it’s time.”
“In all seriousness, I truly have felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter.”
“In 1997, I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth. Back then, I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and needed to set itself free.”
“Well last night I had a dream that a bird, a beautiful bird with bright red feathers, came to my window and whispered, ‘You can still do stuff for Netflix,'” she joked.
“18 years ago on the very first show, I said this was going to be a relationship and we’re gonna continue that relationship even when this show ends.”
Ellen promised the show’s final season will be “fantastic,” adding: “Every day will be a celebration.”