Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler’s late night talk show on E! will have its final episode at the end of this current season after an eight year run. According to her new manager, Irving Azoff, the comedienne will not be renewing her contract when it expires in nine months. Although the decision may seem abrupt to some who viewed her as being at the top of her game, Handler had been unhappy with E! network for some time and was not exactly shy about it.
While appearing on The Howard Stern Show earlier this month, she pointedly attacked her home network, expressing ill-faith and lack of devotion to their vision: “They don’t know what they’re doing. They have no ideas. It’s a failure,” Handler told the host, calling the network “a sad, sad place to live.” Handler would easily criticize the network and her show while on air over the years, and it was never completely evident if Handler was fooling around or if she was really unhappy and was trying to send a message.
E! has not responded to the vocal slap, and according to a spokesperson for the network it is not planning on commenting on what will happen to Chelsea Lately at the moment. A source did comment, however, that because of the way Handler treated E!, a new enterprise may be difficult for her to land, fearing she may treat them in the same manner.
Handler, 39, has potentially pegged herself as an undesirable candidate for future networks due to the way she vocally and publicly defamed E!, but she contends she really is at the top of her game and does not seem to be affected by the judgments surrounding her opinion of her parent network. This month the comedienne’s new book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, has remained on the New York Times bestseller list at No. 1 for over a week, which is a personal best for the author. She has been promoting the book on a stand-up comedy book tour with over 30 destinations, including over sea dates.
Also, now with her new manager, Azoff, she is determined to “figure out her life after E!.” There are a few opportunities in the works for the talk show host, and it is rumored there could possibly be a radio show or even a gig with Netflix or some other digital service for either a nightly or a weekly show. “We have at least seven suitors and many ideas,” Azoff joked. CAA (Creative Artists Agency) representatives have been in communication with other companies and networks, such as Sony Television, Lionsgate, and FX, where Handler and her talents may be a good fit once Chelsea Lately has run its course, but there is no word yet whether these institutions are interested in representing Handler. It is suspected she may be too much of a hot item, earning about $9 million every year while entertaining an audience averaging 572,000 a night. Handler has been so good at being at the top of her game, that it may take a while to find an entertainment establishment that will pay her as much as E! did.
By Stacy Feder