It is officially the end for Chelsea Handler‘s late-night run on E!. The network, which had kept quiet amidst the frenzy of speculation that Handler would be leaving, fueled by the host’s own comments, announced today that Handler’s Chelsea Lately will air a live hourlong series finale on August 26. Handler’s last telecast will be preceded by a month-long farewell highlighting the show’s seven-year run.“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.” The end of Chelsea Lately will come a few months before Handler’s contract expires at the end of the year. “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.”
Chelsea Lately was developed and launched by the previous E! regime led by Ted Harbert when the network was part of Comcast. Chelsea Lately‘s ratings have slid lately. Between 2010, the year before her last renegotiation with E!, and 2013, the show’s viewership has dropped 32% to 572,000, with the declines extending into 2014. Read More »
When powerful music manager Irving Azoff in October joined the team of comedian/talk show host Chelsea Handler, the announcement stated the duo’s intentions. “The host of E!’s top-rated late night show, Chelsea Lately, Handler is busy positioning herself for life after her current contract expires at the end of 2014,” it read. That “positioning” has featured exploratory meetings with production companies and other cable networks. It also has included pointed comments dropped by Handler about her dissatisfaction with E!, recently referring to the network a “a sad, sad place to live” and “a failure” on The Howard Stern Show. Now, after weeks of speculation that the Handler was plotting an exit, Azoff has told The Hollywood Reporter that Handler indeed “intends to leave” when her contract expires at the end of the year. Theoretically, that could be posturing, which is part of any renegotiation where the stakes are this high, but given the fact that Handler specifically hired Asoff to plan her life post-E! and that the rift between the her and E! appears to run pretty deep, the intention appears to be real. That has been confirmed by sources.
EXCLUSIVE: Another female Chelsea Lately regular is branching out on her own with Chelsea Handler‘s support. In a competitive situation, FX has landed Jen, a half-hour comedy executive produced, written by and starring Jen Kirkman, and executive produced by Handler. Set in Boston, the project centers on newly divorced Jen (Kirkman), a woman in her mid-30s who doesn’t want kids and once always did things the way you were supposed to but is now following her gut. Kirkman is executive producing with Borderline Amazing’s Handler, Tom Brunelle, and Brad Wollack. Kara Baker of Avalon Management serves as producer. Comedian Kirkman, repped by CAA and Avalon Managemrnt, is a writer and regular roundtable guest on Chelsea Lately and one of the stars of spinoff mockumentary show, After Lately. She has a weekly podcast called I Seem Fun: The Diary Of Jen Kirkman and just inked her second book deal with Simon & Schuster, a follow-up to her best-seller I Can Barely Take Care of Myself. Previous comedy projects of Chelsea Lately regulars backed by CAA-repped Borderline Amazing include half-hours with Fortune Feimster and Heather McDonald.
Until now Irving Azoff has served in an unofficial advisory capacity for Chelsea Handler – now he’ll get paid for his work. In addition to guiding Handler’s personal brand, Azoff will serve as a key adviser to Borderline Amazing Productions, the production outfit she operates with Chelsea Lately EP, Tom Brunelle, and Co-EP, Brad Wollack. The host of E!’s top-rated late night talkerChelsea Lately, Handler is positioning herself for life after her current contract expires at the end of 2014. “I have many more things I want to achieve – in addition to my nightly show, of course. I’ve known Irving for a while – actually, since he auditioned for Chuy’s job”. (Chuy Bravo is Handler’s assistant on Chelsea Lately). “I know he’s primarily a music manager, so just to stop the rumors before they start… I won’t be dropping an album”, Handler said in a release. Azoff added, “She is an original and there’s no one else like her in comedy and on television. She can be a total bitch, but I’ve dealt with a lot of those before. Chelsea is damn good at what she does and has an undeniably strong brand. She and the guys have exciting ideas for the future of her career and production company. My goal is to assist them in facilitating and realizing their vision.” Read More »
Oprah Winfrey is probably hoping it goes as well when she interviews Lindsay Lohan later this month on OWN. Subbing as guest host on Monday, the fresh out of rehab Mean Girls actress provided a healthy bounce to E! Entertainment’s Chelsea Lately. The late night comedy talk show pulled in 890,000 viewers with 578,000 among adults 18-49 for a 0.77 household rating. That’s up 57% in viewers over Lately’s July 29 show when Lisa Kudrow was the guest. Lohan’s guest hosting stint also saw a rocketing rise of 77% among the key demo and a 55% rise in HH over last week’s show. Overall, Lohan’s appearance and interview of Orphan Black’s Dylan Bruce resulted in the show’s best viewership since October 2012 and the series second best result among the 18-49s of 2013. Still, let’s put that star power in perspective. Even with Lohan as guest host, Chelsea Lately was soundly beaten by Bravo’sWatch What Happens Live once again last night in all categories in the same 11 PM – 11:30 PM time slot. While down from last week, WWHL pulled in 1.18 million viewers with 625,000 among adults 18-49 and a 1.14 HH. That’s 33% more than the E! show among total viewers and up 11% among the demo. The Andy Cohen hosted show had Real Housewives of Orange Country’s Alexis Bellino and Jenni Pulos of Interior … Read More »
It’s going to be a busy August for Lindsay Lohan once she gets out of her court order 90-day rehab stint on July 31. The actress has the Paul Schrader-directed indie drama The Canyons, in which she stars, coming out August 2 and an OWN interview with Oprah Winfrey set to tape and air later in the month; later, she is partnering with OWN on a docu-series that centers on her. Now E! Entertainment announced today that Lohan will take over as guest host for Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately on August 5. No word on who will be joining Lohan on the late -comedy talk show’s roundtable or who she’ll be interviewing, but E! claims it will be an “all-star event.” Earlier this year, before rehab, Lohan guest starred on Charlie Sheen’s FX series Anger Management.
Sometimes latenight TV hosts have all the fun. Last night on E!’s Chelsea Lately, CNN’s Piers Morgan was a guest on Chelsea Handler’s show. It began something like this. Handler asked Morgan “What are you looking at?” To which Morgan replied “Well, you’ve either had plastic surgery or makeup because you look really hot today.” Handler’s rejoinder: “You’re so obnoxious, you wonder why everybody hates you”. Watch:
There is a major executive change at E! Entertainment with president of entertainment programming Lisa Berger suddenly leaving her post. Berger has been at E! for nine years, overseeing the network’s original programming development, first under president Ted Harbert and, for the past year under his successor Suzanne Kolb. Berger led the network during the transition from Comcast to NBCUniversal ownership, where the cable network falls under the purview of NBCU veteran Bonnie Hammer, and was among the executives rumored for the top E! post. During her tenure at E!, Berger shepherded such hit unscripted series as The Girls Next Door, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and its offshoots and late-night staple Chelsea Lately. She most recently oversaw the network’s expansion into scripted programming. Berger, who was a creative executive at Fox Television Studios Production and MTV before joining E! as SVP Programming Development in September 2003, indicated she will likely take on another gig after a short break. “After nine wonderful years at E!, I have made the difficult decision to leave my post as President, Entertainment Programming,” she said. “My time at E! has been an amazing experience both professionally and personally, and it is hard to sum up nearly a decade of show launches, milestone moments and incredible friendships. I am extremely proud of all of our accomplishments taking the network to record heights and forever grateful to my team whose talent and dedication knows no bounds. Although it won’t be easy for me to say goodbye, I look forward to sharing the news of my next challenge in the months ahead.” Read More »
Starz’s Spartacus: Vengeance premiered Friday night to 1.4 million viewers at 10 PM. That was up 10% from last January’s premiere of prequel Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena, which in turn was up 66% from the January 2010 debut of Spartacus: Blood And Sand. Including weekend, on-demand and online viewing, the Spartacus: Vengeance premiere has been seen by more than 4 million viewers. Spartacus – starring Liam McIntyre, who replaced the late Andy Whitfield in the title role — has already been renewed for a third season.
Meanwhile, last night’s Season 4 finale of Kourtney & Kim Take New York, in which Kim Kardashian ponders divorce, scored the series’ highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever, averaging nearly 4.5 million total viewers. It was E!’s third-most-watched telecast in history total viewers and key demos, among adults 18-49 (3.3 million), women 18-34 (1.6 million) and women 18-49 (2.5 million). Read More »
The state-of-the-art studio that housed The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien is getting a new late-night occupant. E!’s Chelsea Lately will move into the space, Studio 1 on the Universal lot, later this year, probably in the fourth quarter. Stage 1, named The Jack Benny Stage, has remained largely vacant since the quick demise of The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien as Jay Leno, who was brought back as host in March 2010, opted to stay at his old stomping grounds in Burbank.
When plans were announced for O’Brien to take over The Tonight Show, NBC spent a reported $50 million to transform Stage 1 — which housed The Jack Benny Show, the first TV show shot at Universal, as well as the original Knight Rider TV series — into a lavish talk show set custom-made to accommodate comedy skits, a band, and a large studio audience. (Chelsea Lately‘s studio audience is expected to double when the show moves into the new digs.) It is also near huge parking garages and major city thoroughfares.
The announcement, made during an E! luncheon at the TCA winter press tour (sans the Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien connection), comes less than two months after Handler signed a new $25 million deal with E! to continue as host and executive producer of Chelsea … Read More »
After lengthy negotiations, E! has signed signature star Chelsea Handler in a rich new two-year deal. Under the pact, which I hear is worth $25 million, Handler will continue as host and executive producer of her E! late-night talk show Chelsea Lately though 2014. (The comedian’s previous contract covers her services on the show through 2012.) She will also develop and produce shows via her production company, Borderline Amazing Prods, which will have a first-look deal with E! and NBCUniversal.
Since Chelsea Lately’s July 2007 launch, it has grown into a formidable late-night talk show franchise, reigning as the highest-rated and most-watched late-night talker among women 18-34. The series recently delivered its highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever on October 10, averaging nearly 1.8 million total viewers at 11 PM. Chelsea Lately also spawned an off-shoot, the Borderline Amazing-produced After Lately, which returns for a second season November 27. “Chelsea is an extraordinary talent whose smart, clever, no-holds-barred point of view has clearly been embraced by viewers,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Chelsea as we build on the success of Chelsea Lately, which has become the late-night destination for young adults, and collaborate with Borderline Amazing Prods on developing even more hit shows.” Added Handler, “It’s a great time for women … Read More »
Actress-writer-comedian Natasha Leggero, a regular on E!’s Chelsea Lately, has signed with CAA. She was with Gersh. Leggero next is doing an arc on Chelsea Handler’s midseason NBC comedy series Are You There, Chelsea? Earlier this year she starred in the Comedy Central special Comedy Central Presents Speed Dating: Natasha Leggero, and her record, Coke Money, has been in the top 10 on iTunes since its debut on Comedy Central Records in March. Leggero continues to be repped by Brillstein Entertainment and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
E! spared no media dollar in promoting its two-night Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event on Sunday and Monday, and it has paid off in ratings gold. The combined shows featuring the marriage of Kim Kardashian and New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries drew 10.5 million viewers, ranking as the network’s most-watched event to date. The two-parter also marked E!’s highest-rated telecasts of 2011 in the major demos, including adults 18-49 and women 18-49. Sunday’s Part 1 gave the network its most-watched day in history, averaging more than 1 million viewers total day, and grew E!’s primetime average in the 8-10 PM hour sevenfold. Monday’s finale drew six times the primetime average when it aired from 9-11 PM. Those kinds of numbers served as a major lead-in to fellow E! series Kendra, Dirty Soap and Chelsea Lately, which also garnered record ratings; Kendra (2.7 million viewers) and Chelsea Lately (1.8 million) saw their most-watched episodes ever.