The Ellen DeGeneres Show kicked off Season 18 last September after a summer of negatives headlines to its biggest season premiere ratings in four years. But viewers have been abandoning Ellen all season. DeGeneres' show is averaging 1.5 million viewers over the last six months, down from 2.6 million in the same period last year, reports The New York Times' John Koblin. "The decline has come at a time when workplace behavior, in Hollywood and elsewhere, has come under intense scrutiny against a backdrop of protest and social change," says Koblin. "It is a startling setback for one of daytime television’s most successful franchises and for Ms. DeGeneres, who was at the forefront of an earlier cultural shift when, as the star of a prime-time network sitcom in the 1990s, she announced that she is gay. The show’s loss of more than a million viewers translates to a 43 percent decline, representing a steeper drop than any of its competitors. This TV season, Ellen, the winner of dozens of Emmys since its start in 2003, is no longer in the same league as traditional rivals like Dr. Phil (3.1 million) and Live: With Kelly and Ryan (2.7 million). Now it finds itself uncomfortably close to shows hosted by Maury Povich (1.4 million), Kelly Clarkson (1.3 million), Rachael Ray (1.2 million), Tamron Hall (1.1 million) and Jerry Springer’s former security guard Steve Wilkos (1.1 million). The loss of viewers includes a 38 percent decline in her core audience, adult women under 54, according to Nielsen. And it appears to have put a dent in the show’s ad revenue. From September to January of the 2019-20 season, Ellen brought in $131 million from advertisers, according to the research firm Kantar. That has fallen to $105 million for the same period in 2020-21, a drop of about 20 percent." Koblin points out that DeGeneres has publicly mused about stepping down, and her ratings plunge could play a role in her future with her contract expiring next season.