Comedian and television host Chelsea Handler has been starring in her own half-hour, late-night comedy series on E! since 2007. Chelsea Lately, averaging more than half a million viewers since its premiere, has been a big success. But now there is talk that the 39-year old may be heading to Netflix after her contract with E! ends Fall 2014.
“Handler has a deal with Netflix, but the format is to be decided,” said a source close to the talks.
But the streaming video company denies being in talks with Handler. Currently, Netflix does not run any live programming, sticking to the success of original, edgy shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
A few weeks ago, Handler raised eyebrows when she criticized her current employer on Howard Stern's satellite radio show, accusing NBCUniversal’s E! of incompetent programming and blaming weak lead-ins for ratings declines.
“They don’t know what they’re doing [at E!]. They have no ideas. It’s a failure,” she told Stern, adding that it's a "sad, sad place to live."
"Chelsea intends to leave [E!] when her contract expires," her manager, Irving Azoff, told The Hollywood Reporter. "She hired me to figure out her life after E! We have at least seven suitors and many ideas.”
There was speculation regarding a possible move to CBS after Handler posted a photo on Instagram earlier this month showing her holding papers and the caption "Business Meeting."
CBS immediately shot down those rumors.
"There are no discussions with Chelsea Handler regarding the network's 12:30 late-night broadcast," a spokesperson said. "Her meeting with CBS yesterday was a general meeting with our syndication group."
In 2010, Handler broke off a 4-year relationship with Ted Harbert, former CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group and overseer of E! No word on if this has anything to do with her leaving the network in the Fall.
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