While the season 18 premiere of “Ellen,” which saw the host publicly address reports of mistreatment and misconduct behind the scenes for the first time, was even on last year, the rest of her premiere week took a tumble.
For the week of Sept. 21, “Ellen” averaged a 1.2 Live+Same Day household ratings according to Nielsen, which represents a 29% drop from last season’s premiere week. In terms of total viewership, DeGeneres drew 1.7 million average viewers per episode, down roughly 37% from the equivalent week in 2019.
Syndicated talk shows were down almost across the board for premiere week, even if “Ellen”‘s decline was steeper than most. In fact, “Tamron Hall” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan” were the only two talk shows up fractionally on last year in total viewers (the former was up 2% and the latter 4%).
So far this season, syndicated talk shows are down 19% on average year-over-year in terms of household rating, and down 21% in the key adults aged 25-54 demographic. Looking at total viewership, “Wendy Williams” saw the second largest premiere week decline at 24%, followed by “The Kelly Clarkson Show” at 19%, “Dr. Phil” at 18%, and “Dr. Oz” at 17%.
In DeGeneres’ seven-minute opener, she apologized and said she is “taking responsibility for what happens at my show,” announcing 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.