Last week, it was announced that Ellen DeGeneres' talk show will end after 19 seasons.
Despite her declarations, the world cannot ignore the intense controversies that currently haunt the show.
But from a network perspective, it's time for a talent search.
Who will fill this timeslot when Ellen goes off the air for good?
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, often abbreviated as simply Ellen, airs on weekdays at 3pm.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, this is a coveted timeslot for daytime programming.
Both firmly after lunch and at a time when children may be coming home from school, the time slot just works.
Sources at NBC tell TMZ that, right now, the higher ups have envisioned The Kelly Clarkson Show for this role.
They apparently viewed her talk show as the heir apparent to Ellen's hour.
This was how things were viewed long before the pandemic -- when Ellen still enjoyed a mostly sterling reputation.
Ellen had toyed with the idea of quitting the show before.
So with that in mind, the network had envisioned Kelly as stepping in to take her place.
The COVID-19 pandemic, despite thrusting Ellen's show into a great deal of scrutiny, gave them pause.
Kelly's show's ratings took a dip as the pandemic created obvious problems.
Having guests tune in via video chat doesn't work in quite the same way.
That said, this was the case for many shows during the pandemic, for similar reasons.
A lot will depend upon the next few months, these inside sources say.
Now, in the context of ongoing vaccinations, production is getting back on track.
If The Kelly Clarkson Show is hit with a surge in popularity, that could bode well.
However, if Kelly's show's ratings don't surge, NBC may look elsewhere.
One name that is getting bandied about is Tiffany Haddish.
She is funny, well liked, and has guest hosted for Ellen with great success.
It is expected that Tiffany would do very well in that timeslot.
However, doing a one-hour talk show five days a week is no small matter.
It's a grind ... and no one close to her is willing to commit to whether she would take the gig.
Tiffany is a busy professional with numerous projects on hand at any given time.
She may have other commitments.
And she might, very reasonably, balk at the idea of devoting a huge amount of her time to one show's production.
There are a lot of hypotheticals at play at the moment, with possibly some disagreements within NBC.
In fact, it has been speculated that someone at NBC made sure that this was leaked ... possibly to try to boost Kelly's ratings.
If someone is dead-set on Kelly taking the timeslot, they would absolutely try to tilt things in their favor. (People in charge of networks are weird)
Not everyone would be onboard with Kelly taking the job.
(I'm being polite. A lot of people strongly dislike her for good reasons)
Tiffany could be a good idea for a number of reasons -- but seems like less of a sure things, commitment-wise.