With speculation swirling around what ABC plans to do when the Queen of Daytime, Oprah Winfrey, exits the airwaves in 2011 (following the end of her 25th season), Ellen DeGeneres made it clear that she’s comfortable right where she is: on NBC.
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, the distributor of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has locked up the new American Idol judge for three additional seasons of the popular daytime talk show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The news comes less than a day after DeGeneres made her debut as the fourth judge on the Idol. While Hollywood Week typically helps bump viewership, 27.9 million people tuned in to see DeGeneres bring nice to Simon Cowell’s nasty, up about 1 percent from last year’s Hollywood Week debut, and up 12 percent from last week.
“I’m so excited to sign on for three more years at NBC,” DeGeneres said. “They were the ones that believed in my show from Day 1. So I’m thrilled to know I’ll be here ’till 2014. Things will be a lot different by then. I won’t be dancing over my coffee table anymore. Through the magic of 3D, I’ll be dancing over yours!”
Warner Bros. Domestic TV president Ken Werner, in making the announcement, dubbed Ellen the voice of a generation, and praised her appeal.
“Ellen is one of those unique personalities that comes along once in a generation,” Werner said in announcing DeGeneres’ new deal. “Her program has been embraced by viewers as their generation’s talk franchise, and we couldn’t be happier that the NBC stations will continue to have Ellen as the cornerstone of their syndicated lineup for years to come.”
Ellen ranks as daytime’s No. 2-rated show in the key talk show demographic of women ages 25-54. The Oprah Winfrey Show is No. 1. So ABC is left without a plan as DeGeneres was considered the front-runner to jump from NBC-owned stations to help fill the void when Oprah departs next year.
It’s a smart move for everyone: Ellen gets to stay comfy in her Chuck Taylors at NBC and the distributor locks up a talent whose value is only sure to rise thanks to exposure and success on Idol.
What do you think? Are you glad to have three more seasons of Ellen?