Fans of “Chelsea Lately” could be getting ready to say goodbye to one of their favorite late-night comedy shows. Chelsea Handler's manager, Irving Azoff, told The Hollywood Reporter that the comedian isn't interested in renewing her contract when it ends in nine months and that she doesn't want to continue her show, which has been on the air for eight years.
Azoff told THR: "Chelsea intends to leave when her contract expires. She hired me to figure out her life after E! We have at least seven suitors and many ideas.” The manager added that Handler’s future plans could possibly include a gig as a radio host and/or starting another late-night show on a different network or digital service.
Though Azoff was willing to talk about the end of Handler’s run on the station, E! chose not to make a statement. A spokesperson told THR: "Chelsea has nine months left on her contract and E! will not comment on the future of ‘Chelsea Lately’ at this time."
THR said Handler reportedly feels she’s at the “top of her game” since her second book, “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” has been No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller’s list for more than a week. She’s been promoting her book on a stand-up comedy tour that includes 30 destinations. Geof Wills, president of Live Nation Comedy, told THR that Handler's tour will also include overseas dates.
Handler is reportedly making $9 million a year with an average viewership of 572,000 a night, THR said. It’s a decline from 2010 when she brought in 839,000, yet Azoff suggested the research regarding decline in numbers might be off. Handler is still the only female late night host in what has generally been a male-dominated field.
Handler hasn’t exactly been tight-lipped about her frustration with E!, but some weren’t sure if it was just a long running joke. Apparently it wasn’t. During a radio interview with Howard Stern on March 5, she said E! was “a sad, sad place to live,” adding: “They don’t know what they’re doing. They have no ideas. It’s a failure.”
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