Ellen’s Game of Games is over.
Deadline reported on Tuesday that the game show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres is not coming back for season 5 on NBC. The 20-episode season 4 of Ellen’s Game of Games, which ran from October 2020 to May 2021, will be its final installment on the network.
Launched with an eight-episode season 1 back in 2017, Ellen’s Game of Games had previously been a strong ratings performer for NBC – tying for fourth among all primetime entertainment programs on broadcast with kids and ranking as primetime’s number one game show in 2019.
The show, however, lost a huge portion of its audience last year, most notably after it moved to Sunday nights. According to TVSeriesFinale.com, season 4 of Ellen’s Game of Games averaged a 0.49 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 2.56 million viewers. Compared to season 3, that’s down by 50.4% in the demo and down by 45.29% in viewership.
Executive produced by DeGeneres along with Kevin A. Leman II, Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner, Derek Westervelt, Daniel Norris, Noah Bonnett, and Jeff Kleeman, Ellen’s Game of Games features supersized versions of the most popular and action-packed games from DeGeneres’ award-winning daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as well as some designed especially for the primetime show. Contestants must maneuver massive obstacles, answer questions under crushing time pressure and face gigantic plunges into the unknown – all in a quest to win a big cash prize. In addition to DeGeneres serving as host, Stephen “tWitch” Boss also appears on the show as announcer.
The news of the game show’s cancellation comes eight months after it was announced that The Ellen DeGeneres Show is ending with its season 19, which kicked off in September 2021 and will run through May 2022.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore,” DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter last May, announcing the imminent end of her talk show that started back in 2003.
DeGeneres’ decision to end The Ellen DeGeneres Show came almost a year after the host was accused of overseeing a toxic workplace environment by some current and former staffers of the show, as detailed in a 2020 Buzzfeed News story. The report led to an internal investigation that resulted in the dismissal of several executives on the show and an on-air apology from DeGeneres herself.
“I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected,” DeGeneres said at the time.
Though NBC has canceled Ellen’s Game of Games, there’s still a chance that it could come back in the future. For instance, The Biggest Loser ran for 17 seasons on NBC until 2016 before it was brought back by USA Network in 2020.