As is often the case, the rumors turned out to be anything but lies. Netflix has announced a 'multi-tiered deal' with Chelsea Handler, the comedian/talk show host who's ending her seven-year run with E!'s Chelsea Lately in August.
Netflix is really going all-in with Handler. Not only will she get her own talk show in 2016 (which will be the first time the talk show format has been attempted in an on-demand streaming setting), but Netflix is giving her an exclusive standup special this October and four 'docu-comedy' specials that will premiere next year.
— Netflix US (@netflix) June 19, 2014
According to Netflix, Handler's new talk show will "feature an updated format that still encompasses Chelsea's unfiltered opinions on topical entertainment and cultural issues, as well as her signature guest interviews." So, if you like her humor on Chelsea Lately, you'll likely want to follow her to Netflix.
"If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested. I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch so I approached Netflix to make sure they were as cool as I thought they were, and when I confirmed my suspicions, like with any other future lover, I made my move. I'm more excited than I've been in awhile, and the team at Netflix is the most forward thinking, alert group I've sat down with in ages. No offense to the Shahs Of Sunset," said Chelsea.
What's most interesting about this announcement is that Netflix is moving into strange territory for a subscription streaming service. It'll likely be the first time that Netflix abandons the release-all-at-once format for original series. Being a talk show, Netflix will probably want to release it on an episode to episode basis so it can remain timely.
"The Internet has disrupted many of the conventions of traditional television and together with Chelsea Handler, Netflix is looking forward to reimagining the late night talk show for the on-demand generation, starting with the late night part…." said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
Handler announced her decision to leave the E! network when her contract expired, and the last episode of her late night talk show will air on August 26th. Ever since that announcement, everyone has wondered where she would land – with both CBS and Netflix being rumored contenders. In April, Handler publicly denied any reports of an impending deal with Netflix, saying "everything printed about me is a lie."
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