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‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ faces ratings freefall after toxic workplace controversy

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‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ returns after toxic workplace allegations

The longtime talk show host said she learned things happened at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that “never should have happened.”

Ratings for last month’s premiere week of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” plummeted 38% from last year, suggesting the controversy over reports of a toxic workplace – which led to the firing of three top producers – has spilled over into dwindling fan support

The syndicated daytime talk show averaged 1.66 million viewers for the week of Sept. 21, when she addressed the issues on air, down from 2.67 million for the opening week of Sept. 9, 2019, according to the first national Nielsen figures out Tuesday for same-day viewing.  And while it’s true that many talk shows are down amid overall declines in broadcast television, “Ellen” had by far the sharpest drop.

Among rivals, “The Kelly Clarkson Show” fell 19% from last year, “Dr. Phil” was off 18%, “Wendy Williams” dropped 24% and “Dr. Oz” was down 17% in early weeks of their seasons.

But there were outliers, too: “Live With Kelly and Ryan” gained 2% over last year, averaging 2.57 million viewers; “Tamron Hall” was up 4% to 1.2 million (and renewed for a third season Tuesday); and “Rachael Ray” fell just 5%. 

It’s not ending: Is Ellen DeGeneres done with her talk show? Why that’s not likely, at least not now

“Drew Barrymore,” which competes against “Kelly and Ryan” in several major cities, had a sluggish start with 940,000 for its premiere week starting Sept. 14, and fell to 796,000 a week later.

Early-evening infotainment magazine shows also saw ratings cool, led by “Access Hollywood” (down 34%) and “Extra” (off 26%); “Entertainment Tonight” was down 13%. 

But stalwarts like “Judge Judy” (down 4%), “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” (each down 8%), were comparably steadier.  All three shows average more than 8 million same-day viewers, well ahead of most prime-time series.

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