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City sends invite to Ellen DeGeneres Show

City sends invite to Ellen DeGeneres Show

Plan is to have TV talk show filmed in Niagara Falls

By John Law
Jul 18, 2018
Published by The Niagara Falls Review
View Original Article
Photo Credit: The City of Niagara Falls is hoping Ellen DeGeneres brings her talk show to town next year. A formal invite was sent Wednesday. – Chris Pizzello , Associated Press


A year after Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest brought their morning talk show to Niagara Falls, the city is sending an invite out to Ellen DeGeneres.

A formal invitation, complete with five-minute video, was sent to the Ellen Show’s producers Wednesday in the hopes of luring the hugely successful syndicated show for 2019.

“The opportunity this presents for Niagara Falls is mega,” said Mayor Jim Diodati in a statement. “It’s bigger than big. We are the natural place for Ellen in the north.”

Diodati is currently still in hospital with pneumonia and was unable to comment further on the invite. But his assistant Carey Campbell says the invite stems from an Ellen Show clip in which she asks a member of the audience to name somewhere the show hasn’t visited before. When she answers “Canada,” Ellen yells back “Correct!”

Campbell says all of council is behind the invite, which stems from a motion last year urging the pursuit of other talk shows to broadcast from Niagara Falls after the hugely successful visit by Live With Kelly & Ryan.

Shortly after, Diodati said he and city staff would reach out to programs like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

“We’ve got Oakes Garden, which can hold more than three thousand people,” he said. “We’ve got the most amazing backdrop on the planet – a curtain of water with the Falls – and we’re right on the border.”

Campbell says the clip in which DeGeneres says the show hasn’t been to Canada felt like “an open window” to act on.

Much like the Kelly & Ryan visit – and the show’s previous visits in 1996 and 2006, with different hosts – the city would work with the various BIAs and tourism organizations to foot the bill.

“The first step is to plant the seed, and next is to go out and do the work,” she says. “Try to get a bite first.”

Prior to the Kelly & Ryan Show’s visit, Diodati made a trio of videos in early 2015 inviting Jimmy Fallon to bring The Tonight Show to town. The videos were criticized by some for promoting the Canadian side of Niagara Falls while showing sad black and white images of Niagara Falls, New York – based on comments Fallon made on-air that the U.S. side looks dreary and depressing.

The videos became especially awkward when it was revealed the ‘ugly’ images of Niagara Falls, New York were actually filmed on the Canadian side.

Campbell says Diodati acted on his own for the Fallon show, buts the Ellen campaign has the full support of council.

“This direction was taken on based on council’s wishes.”

The video invite to DeGeneres can been on the City’s home page at www.niagarafalls.ca