Chelsea Handler Launching Netflix Talk Show
Netflix announced the late-night host will join the streaming service with an all-new talk show set to premiere in 2016, along with comedy specials.By Brice Sander | June 19, 2014
Netflix better stock up on the vodka — Chelsea Handler is moving in.
But Handler won't be starring in a scripted series — no, she's sticking with the talk show format. And it won't be the same as her current E! show, "Chelsea Lately."
In a press release, Netflix promised an all-new show set to premiere in 2016. But don't worry — the series will still feature Handler's "unfiltered opinions on topical entertainment and cultural issues, as well as her signature guest interviews."
Netflix's Ted Sarandos is branding the venture as a "reimagining [of] the late night talk show for the on-demand generation." (Via Flickr / Kempton)
The news isn't a total surprise — back in March, Handler's manager told The Hollywood Reporter the star was leaving E! when her contract was up this year and was exploring several options.
Around the same time, Handler started bashing the network more than usual — and hinting at a move to Netflix. First with Howard Stern.
"E!'s just become a sad, sad place to live, and that's where I live. And, you know, I might need to get a new house." (Via Sirius XM / The Howard Stern Production Company)
And then again with Gwyneth Paltrow at a Live Talks LA event.
In both those interviews, Handler hinted she was interested in an outlet with more freedom, like Netflix — and wanted to do a show like "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" ... just not about sports.
And part of Handler's new contract makes that dream a reality.
Deadline reports that before the talk show debuts in 2016, Handler will create four docucomedy specials for Netflix "featuring her efforts to gain a better understanding on a variety of subjects ranging from NASCAR to politics and from Silicon Valley to the NBA draft."
Those specials will go live sometime in 2015. But Handler's first Netflix appearance will actually be later this year. (Via Flickr / David Shankbone)
She'll film an upcoming stop on her "Uganda Be Kidding Me" comedy tour for a stand-up special set to bow online in October. Overall, Handler's deal shakes up Netflix's programming model. (Via YouTube / Chelsea Handler)
Although the company isn't releasing details about how Handler's talk show will be distributed, the Los Angeles Times suspects the streaming service's current strategy of releasing all episodes at once for binge-watching won't work.
"Talk shows are meant to be topical, so that approach may not work with Handler. Guests come on usually to promote an upcoming movie or TV series which means Netflix will likely have to have some sort of structured schedule for its first entry into the genre."
The final episode of "Chelsea Lately" will air Aug. 26 on E!, following a monthlong celebration of the show's seven-year run.