HomeEntertainmentKelly Clarkson Speaks on Ellen DeGeneres Comparisons as She Moves Into ‘Ellen Show’ Timeslot

Kelly Clarkson Speaks on Ellen DeGeneres Comparisons as She Moves Into ‘Ellen Show’ Timeslot

by Jennifer Shea
James Devaney/GC Images

Kelly Clarkson is being groomed as a successor to daytime talk show legend Ellen DeGeneres. But Clarkson herself rejects any comparisons to DeGeneres, calling the soon-to-depart host an icon.

“No one can take over for Ellen,” the host of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” told the New York Times recently. “It’s an iconic show.”

And while Clarkson implied that she found DeGeneres inspirational, she said that, as with her singing, she wasn’t trying to become the legend so much as to follow in her footsteps.

“I’m never going to be Whitney Houston — I’m never going to be Cyndi Lauper, Reba or Trisha or Mariah,” she said. “I’m going to be me. I think that’s fine. There’s room for everyone at the table.”

NBC Is Treating Season 3 of ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ Like a Launch

While NBC executives had nothing but praise for DeGeneres, they are also maneuvering “The Kelly Clarkson Show” to pick up where DeGeneres leaves off. Clarkson’s show is being moved into the time slot currently occupied by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” after DeGeneres leaves next spring.

NBCUniversal syndication studios’ executive vice president Tracie Wilson told the NYT that the upcoming season of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” offers a chance for them to update the show for existing audiences and introduce it to new ones.

“We are treating Season 3 like a launch,” she said. “We’re putting everything behind it. Because we’re still an infant of a show and we have so much more to do. We’ve had so many stops and starts with the pandemic.”

Coronavirus Has Complicated Show’s Production

As “The Kelly Clarkson Show” continues to ascend – picking up a Daytime Emmy win here, passing DeGeneres’ show in the ratings there – it has had to grapple with pandemic-era realities.

Its first season launched in September of 2019. When the coronavirus hit, Clarkson had to record segments for her show from the cabin in Montana where she was quarantining with her kids. By Season 2, production had resumed in Los Angeles, but socially distanced, and without a live audience.

“You’re trying to build on momentum,” showrunner and executive producer Alex Duda told the NYT. “For us, it was difficult being a show about connection when you can’t connect physically. We haven’t been able to realize our mission.”

But Clarkson, ever the entertainer, found ways to be there for her audience. She taped updates for viewers on her iPhone, laughing at the absurdity of the situation along the way.

“We were in the middle of nowhere,” she recalled. “The dryer broke. We’re going to the bathroom in the woods at some point. I’m 5’3” and a half, dude. I’m in snow up to my thighs. And I’m like, well, I have a camera.”

Now back before the really expensive cameras, Clarkson is still trying to be “America’s cheerleader,” as she put it, singing covers, doing interviews and not letting her ongoing divorce get to her. And she says all the obstacles are just par for the course.

“From Season 1, we’ve had to reinvent it,” she said of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” “We’ve never had, really, a moment with our show where it’s like everything’s going to plan.”