E! and Chelsea Handler have finalized their separation plan. The latest development in what has proved to be a wildly eventful year in the late-night arena finds Chelsea Lately wrapping its seven-year run on Aug. 26.
Handler is getting a live, hourlong sendoff at the end of the summer, per an E! announcement, following a monthlong “celebration” of special episodes. “I myself am more surprised than anyone that I was able to hold down a job for seven years, and it was a fantastic seven years,” said Handler. “I will always look back at my time on E! as most people look back at their time in college. I’m glad I went.”
Her looming departure, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter in March, followed the comedian calling her TV home “a sad, sad place to live” during an interview with Howard Stern. Handler has been actively pursuing future projects, though talk of the Late Late Show gig on CBS has been shot down by the network. There have also been discussions about a potential project with Netflix.
“We are very proud of Chelsea Lately’s long-running success and the unique space that the series carved out in late night television,” said E! president Suzanne Kolb. “Chelsea brought a distinct voice to late night with her acerbic wit and fearless commentary, and we look forward to providing fans with a memorable send-off that lives up to that tradition. Most of all, we are grateful to the Chelsea Lately team for making this show so special for seven years.”
At the time of Handler’s decision to not stay on past her current contract, which is through the end of 2014, manager Irving Azoff told THR that the comedian has multiple suitors and that post-E! plans include a radio presence and a possible nightly or weekly late-night show on another network or digital service.
Though her ratings are not what they once were, Handler remains a feather in E!’s cap. The host’s many close Hollywood friendships help the show book A-list talent that it might not get otherwise.
Chelsea Lately will air weeknights at 11 p.m. through her finale.