Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show has suffered a dramatic drop in viewership following last year’s toxic workplace scandal.
The latest figures show The Ellen DeGeneres Show has dropped from an average of 2.6 million American viewers each episode last year to just 1.5 million viewers now.
It means that for the first time, the 63-year-old is being outperformed by competitors Live: With Kelly and Ryan (2.7 million) and Dr Phil (2.5 million).
DeGeneres’ game show Ellen’s Game of Games has also lost 32 per cent of its viewers this season, according to the New York Times.
The ratings decline is hitting ad revenue hard, with the talk show reportedly pulling in 20 percent less cash from advertisers now than it did just one year ago.
Production company Warner Brothers has attempted to downplay the ratings disaster in a statement.
“While broadcast is down across the board and COVID has been challenging for production, we are looking forward to bringing back our live audiences and a 19th season filled with all of the hilarious and heartwarming moments that have made ‘Ellen’ one of the longest running and most successful talk shows in history,” the company said.
Some other daytime talk shows have also dropped in viewership over the course of the pandemic, but none as high as DeGeneres’ 43 per cent decline.
Toxic workplace scandal
Warner Brothers launched an investigation in June last year following accusations by former staff of sexual misconduct and a poor work environment behind the scenes.
In August, former producer Hedda Muskat told Seven’s Sunrise she was ‘emotionally abused’ and ‘humiliated’ by the talk show queen.
Writer Kevin Leman and producers Ed Glavin and Jonathan Norman all “parted ways” with The Ellen Degeneres Show following the probe.
Ellen kicked off the show’s latest season in September with an apology about the scandal.
“I learned that things happen here that never should have happened,” she said on the show at the time.
“I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”