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The , which airs after ’ show in most syndication markets, could take the coveted 3 p.m. held by DeGeneres for years if it comes to an end. Making matters worse is that DeGeneres owns the rights to her show, making it impossible to her without launching a fresh format with a brand new host. 

The DeGeneres Show‘s producers, Telepictures, are hell bent on keeping the prestigious slot. “Telepictures knows Ellen wants out, but execs want to keep the time slots and put another host in her place,” said a source. Though it’s “likely” that Clarkson would eventually get the coveted slot, the insider added that “Telepictures will fight to keep” it.

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OK! previously reported that DeGeneres has not been able to shake the negative press surrounding her and her show. Her talk show lost 400,000 viewers last month, reaching a new season low, with only 900,000 viewers tuning in. 

“It is a disaster. All the bad publicity might have finally caught up with her. Plus, Ellen tested positive for COVID-19 and had to shut down taping and then was spotted holiday shopping without a mask. She isn’t doing herself any favors,” a source exclusively told OK! at the time, noting that “the fear is that numbers will continue to decline until her contract expires in 2022. Then she can retire.” 

The Kelly Clarkson Show is one of the most optimistic success stories in first-run syndication,” gushed Valari Staab, president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, in a statement at the time of renewal. “Kelly is a beloved performer and host with deep roots at NBC and we are delighted to have her continue to be a very important and treasured part of our stations’ programming.”

Page Six was the first to report on the possibility of Clarkson taking over DeGeneres’ time slot.