While her apology fell short in the eyes of some, many were perhaps expected the premiere to draw bigger ratings than usual due to the controversy. In reality, the premiere came in even on last season’s debut.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” season premiere scored a 1.9 household rating, the same number as last year. In terms of the key syndication talk show demographic of people aged 25-54, “Ellen” ticked up fractionally to a 0.9 from a 0.8 in 2019. That represents the show’s strongest premiere in the demo since the 2016-17 season.
“The View” was the overall winner on Monday night with a 2.7 household rating, while “Ellen” managed to tie it for first place among women 25-54, with both shows scoring a 1.1.
On the other hand, the premiere remaining the same as last year is no mean feat, given that changing viewing habits and COVID-19 have caused broadcast viewership to fall across the board.
In the seven-minute opener, DeGeneres apologized said she is “taking responsibility for what happens at my show,” and announced a supposed “new chapter” of “Ellen.”
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that every seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” DeGeneres said.
Her monologue represented the first time she had publicly addressed the reports which emerged from a mid-July BuzzFeed News investigation that surfaced allegations of racist behavior and intimidation on the show. In April, Variety reported on the outrage among the show’s crew members over pay reduction, a lack of communication and poor treatment by producers after the pandemic shut down production.