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The 63-year-old returned to hosting that month after a brief hiatus amid allegations of workplace toxicity and an investigation. Since then, the show has averaged 1.5 million viewers which is down from 2.6 million from the same time last year, according to research firm Nielsen. The drop includes a 38 percent decline in adult women under 54 which is DeGeneres’ core audience.

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DeGeneres then stepped back again in December after she contracted COVID-19. While all talk shows have been hit by the pandemic, the drop in viewers for the Ellen Show has been attributed to more than just that

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“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 favor,” a source told OK! in January and said “the fear is that numbers will continue to decline until her contract expires in 2022. Then she can retire.”

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“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres said in September. “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who are affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power, and I realize with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

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Meanwhile, de Rossi is said to be doing well following the emergency surgery, as previously reported by OK!. “I am happy to report Portia is feeling much better now. She’s home. She came home late yesterday. Not all of her —she left her appendix a the hospital,” DeGeneres joked on air. 

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