Ellen DeGeneres ends her eponymous daily talk show in nearly two decades.
DeGeneres, who discussed the show’s finale with her colleague Oprah Winfrey on Thursday, said that while she felt like “the right thing to do … it’s weird to announce that I’m stopping.”
The long-running chat fest, like the rest of Hollywood these days, has been marred by controversy following allegations of a “toxic work environment” behind the scenes that erupted on social media last year.
Ellen doubled her claim that it wasn’t the controversy that made her come out, but rather the lack of a “challenge,”
The Ellen Show is not the only long-running program on our television screens. The long-lived unicorn of E! “Keeping up with the Kardashians” is in the midst of its last season after 14 years on the air.
So, is this the end of peak television as we know it? Not quite, according to a media expert.
“These endings of the show are significant because they represent different types of programs that have long existed in different ways and to different degrees,” University of Wisconsin-Milauki professor Elana Levine told Yahoo Finance.
“But when it comes to the sheer amount and quantity of television, I’m not so sure we’re going to fall. If nothing else, I think we’re expanding as more and more streaming platforms appear,” she added.
Levin claims that although the amount has not decreased, there has been a “change” in programming, especially around traditional cable television.
“We’ve seen some shifts from traditional and cable TV over the last five years or so as streaming becomes more prominent,” Levin explained, giving more access to streamers.
“At the moment, there is still an audience for conventional types of cables, but more and more people have access to programming in other ways. This seems to be changing the most drastically,” she said.
Traditional cable companies such as Discovery, Paramount (VIAC) and NBC (CMCSA) have launched their own streaming services such as additional way for users to access content – but not as a substitute.
“These networks are finding ways to reach audiences with the same programs they once had, but now they are doing it in the new ways that people have access to television,” the expert said.
Streaming, which accelerated rapidly at the start of the pandemic, slowed somewhat when the economy reopened.
Disney (DIS), for example, added 8.7 million subscribers in the first three months of the year, bringing its total number of Disney + subscribers to 103.6 million, a little shy of what Wall Street had hoped for.
“In the midst of the transition”
Ahead of Ellen DeGeneres’ departure, fans questioned the future of daily television in a streaming-dominated world.
“The end of Ellen’s show doesn’t necessarily mean the daily talk shows are gone,” Levin argued, referring to the success of Kelly Clarkson’s and Drew Barrymore’s daily programs.
“Throughout its history, television has seen changes – and these changes are usually more gradual than drastic – and I think we’re still in the middle of this transition,” Levin explained.
“But the programs that people are attracted to don’t change drastically over time. People still like to watch a lot of the same things,” she added.
“We’ll see how these forms change, but I don’t think anything will go away any time soon,” Levin said.
Alexandra is a producer and entertainment correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193