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5 women who could take Ellen DeGeneres' place as the new queen of daytime talk

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Ellen DeGeneres is dancing into the sunset.

On Thursday, the comedian/actress brings "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to an end after 19 seasons of games, gifts and pranks with celebrity guests. The onetime ratings juggernaut, which surpassed "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Daytime Emmy wins, saw its cheery façade crumble in 2020 following allegations of a toxic workplace, which executive producers denied (three of them were subsequently fired). And despite an on-air apology, DeGeneres, 64, has struggled to regain her momentum amid a challenging daytime ratings landscape.

So who has potential to claim her throne as the next queen of syndicated daytime talk? While "Dr. Phil" and "Live with Kelly and Ryan" continue to reign supreme in the ratings, network panel shows like ABC's "The View" and CBS' "The Talk" have loyal fans. And with talk-show hosts Nick Cannon, Dr. Oz and Maury Povich also making exits, here are five relative newcomers looking to stake their claims.

More: The 'Ellen' finale: DeGeneres’ last monologue (in full), Jennifer Aniston's Brad Pitt joke

'Ellen DeGeneres Show': Most memorable moments as the daytime talk show says goodbye

Drew Barrymore

Since launching in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, the show hosted by the "Scream" actress has taken a "throw everything at the wall" approach. The frequently tearful, hyperenthusiastic host, 47, rivals Jimmy Fallon with her extreme earnestness and wacky segments, which range from cute (crafting with child Instagram star The Shirley Temple King) to cringe (interviewing celebs as her "Never Been Kissed" character). Due in part to low ratings, the CBS-produced show is switching formats in its third season: splitting into two half-hour episodes that can either air back to back or separately, depending on local stations' needs.

Jennifer Hudson

The Oscar-winning "Dreamgirls" star has never shied away from airing her feelings, whether she's coaching on "The Voice" or going viral with her impassioned reaction to Lady Gaga's Oscar speech. So it was only a matter of time before Hudson joined her fellow "American Idol" alum Kelly Clarkson on the daytime circuit, teaming with Fox for "The Jennifer Hudson Show" beginning this fall. The series, which tapes in Los Angeles, will cover topics that "move and inspire us all," Hudson said in a statement. "I have always loved people, and I cannot wait to connect on a deeper level."

"Since U Been Gone" singer Kelly Clarkson on the set of her daytime talk show in 2019.
"Since U Been Gone" singer Kelly Clarkson on the set of her daytime talk show in 2019.

Kelly Clarkson

The three-time Grammy-winning pop star has been tipped as DeGeneres' obvious successor ever since the NBC-owned "Kelly Clarkson Show" started in 2019. With her self-deprecating humor and candid interview style, Clarkson exudes warmth like no daytime host since "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" ended 20 years ago. She also makes the talk-show format uniquely her own with her wow-worthy "Kellyoke" segments, performing a wide variety of cover songs picked daily by her studio audience.

Comedian/author Sherri Shepherd, pictured in 2019, is hosting her own daytime talk show starting this fall.
Comedian/author Sherri Shepherd, pictured in 2019, is hosting her own daytime talk show starting this fall.

Sherri Shepherd

The former "View" co-host is partnering with Fox this fall for new talk show "Sherri," filling the time slot vacated this year by longtime TV personality Wendy Williams, who has been sidelined due to health and financial troubles. Little else is known about the coming series, which will tape in New York, although the "30 Rock" funnywoman teased in a statement that it will "merge everything I love: pop culture, talk, entertainment and comedy."

Tamron Hall
Tamron Hall

Tamron Hall

"Tamron Hall" has had so-so ratings since its 2019 debut, although Disney renewed it for two more seasons, through May 2024. The former NBC News anchor and "Today" co-host sets herself apart from other daytime offerings by focusing on health, wellness, relationships and human-interest stories instead of celebrity interviews. And when she does invite on entertainers, they're more likely to discuss topics of sobriety, grief or industry inclusion than plug their latest projects.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Ellen' finale: Are Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson her daytime heirs?