The ratings of the new season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have dropped significantly. According to media research agency Nielsen , which monitors the viewing figures of American television programs, more than 37 percent fewer people watch the talk show than in the same period a year earlier.

Nielsen compared the numbers for the new season’s premiere week with those for the same period last year. An average of 1.7 million people watched the episodes that DeGeneres made in the week of September 21 to 25. That is a decrease of more than 37 percent.

The show hit the headlines this summer after several reports came out about a toxic work atmosphere on set. In August, three producers were fired after an internal investigation into systematic (sexual) harassment and racism on the set. The producers have always denied the allegations.

In the first episode of the eighteenth season, DeGeneres opened with a response to these rumors. The presenter said that she had many conversations behind the scenes about the show, the working environment and the future expectations. “We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter,” said DeGeneres.