Sources say "NBC believes Kelly is the perfect choice to take the throne from Ellen. They have invested so much money and time into the brand ... they really have faith in her to bring in that advertising revenue."
The Kelly Clarkson Show is set to take over the daytime slot – which is currently occupied by The Ellen DeGeneres Show – in the fall of 2022.
As Radar previously reported, the Season 1 American Idol winner has been being groomed by network executives for years to take the baton from DeGeneres. In fact, sources told us earlier this month that NBC heads have been prepping Kelly to take over for Ellen ever since she launched her own show in 2019.
Insiders told us that network staffers were "ecstatic" over the news that DeGeneres would be ending her talk show once and for all. In the past, they said they had gotten their hopes up, only to have Ellen decide to extend her contract at the last minute.
"Everyone felt that Kelly was so easy to work with and was the perfect replacement for Ellen," our sources said. At the time, many believed Ellen was on the way out because her contract was set to expire. However, DeGeneres shocked everyone when she decided to extend her contract in May of 2019, agreeing to host her talk show until 2022.
Many staffers felt she had made the decision out of fear of Clarkson taking over, as sources say DeGeneres has an ego that won't allow her to bow out gracefully. Insiders feel Ellen was trying to "block" Kelly from becoming the hot new talk show host because she didn't want anyone stealing her spotlight.
"Nobody likes Ellen," sources close to the situation told us. "They have been wanting her gone forever. Kelly is a pleasure to work with and treats everyone on set kindly."
On May 12, Ellen announced Season 19 would be her last.
"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," she initially told The Hollywood Reporter.
However, the show's end actually comes after a damning July 2020 exposé cited dozens of former and current employees who said the 63-year-old comedian fostered a toxic work environment and turned a blind eye to bully-like executives. They said her "be kind" mantra was all an act.
DeGeneres later told Samantha Guthrie that she still didn't "understand" the allegations and that she wished her motto had been "f--k yourselves."