‘Ellen’ gets elegant blue, gold look for final shows, recreates how it all began

Longtime comedian, actor and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres signed off from her talk show after 19 years on an episode that aired Thursday, May 26, 2022.

The episode was actually taped back on April 28, 2022, but, like many talk shows some or all episodes are taped in advance, especially when the show does not discuss time-sensitive current events.

For its final five shows, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” switched up its graphics with elements inspired by the look it debuted at the beginning of Season 19.

Like many syndicated shows, it’s not uncommon for “Ellen” to get a redesigned open or other graphics each year, though this isn’t always the case.

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In September 2021, the show introduced a blue look with silver letters featuring sweeping waves of light.

Eventually, the tagline “The farewell season” would be added and, over time, the colors would shift to a deeper blue with gold waves.

Starting May 19, 2022, the show also started using a deep blue background with a swath of that lightwave behind host Ellen DeGeneres’ monologue, shown on the two massive seamless LED video walls that can slide open to allow for her to enter, reveal surprises or showcase a musical act.

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The text also began taking on a gold tint.

Prior to that, it typically used an animated background of overlapping lighter blue boxes similar to that used in previous seasons since the entryway was upgraded to a video wall instead of the older version that featured segments of backlit panels with a monochromatic organic texture or, even earlier, shapes inspired by the letters in the show’s “Ellen” logotype. 

Meanwhile, the primary background behind the show’s seating area remained in the same vein as it has been from the beginning of this iteration of the set — an image of palm trees.

“Ellen” moved from Stage 11 at NBC’s Burbank lot, which NBCUniversal later sold, to Stage 1 at the Warner Bros. lot in 2008.

Stage 1 has been named “The Ellen Stage” since 2015, when the show hit its 2,000th episode milestone. 

Much of the core of the “Ellen” set layout has remained the same since Season 4, though there have been numerous updates, including converting rear projection and lightbox walls to LED video panels, installation of metallic and backlit column structures and a myriad of other changes big and small.

The seating area furniture and configuration has also gone through numerous changes over the years, including switching the colors of the chairs and sofas, different coffee tables and the removal of a flat panel video screen in the center.

Once production resumed following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, the set was also reworked to socially distance DeGeneres more from her guests, with a larger custom credenza wedged between the two seats.

In a nod to its past, the show ended with DeGenres sitting on a sofa, her back to the audience, watching herself on TV, with the joke being back in Season 1 that she was “surprised” to find herself on the screen.

Of course, things have changed in 19 years — the TV changed from being a clunky 4:3 CRT model to a sleek 16:9 LED one. The furnishings were also updated to reflect more current design trends, but the show did recreate the blue backlit background and curtains featured in the original episode.

After DeGeneres appeared to switch off the TV, the shot zoomed out to show the video walls closing and slowing shifting from an image of the matching light blue backlit background to the deep blue and gold look with the words “Thank you!” across the top in gold with what is presumably DeGeneres’ handwriting. 

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After the audience continued to applaud and some brief credits rolled, the show faded out and into television history.

DeGeneres and Warner Bros. announced in May 2021 that the upcoming 19th season of the show would be its last. The decision came after allegations of a “toxic” work environment behind the scenes at the show forced several top producers out. 

Ratings dipped as much as 43% after the reports spread. 

Stations that aired “Ellen” will continue to have access to reruns for the rest of the summer as distributed by Warner Bros. 

“The Kelly Clarkson Show” will take over the timeslot on NBC owned stations in major markets as well as many other stations that previously carried “Ellen.”

That does leave a noticeable hole in the schedule — something NBC has been mum on what it plans to do with.

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