'Chelsea Lately,' Chelsea Handler's Late-Night Show, to End in August

Image: 'Chelsea Lately,' Chelsea Handler's Late-Night Show, to End in August

Thursday, 29 May 2014 08:02 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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"Chelsea Lately," the E! late-night show helmed by funny gal Chelsea Handler, will end its seven-year run in August, the network officially announced this week.

"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," Handler said in a statement from NBC Universal, which owns E! Network. "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."

Rumors about the show's end have been swirling for months, with various gossip sites reporting that Handler was in talks with CBS to replace David Letterman or negotiating a new project with Netflix.

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Handler's manager, Irving Azoff, told The Hollywood Reporter in March that the host had already planned on leaving E! when her contract ended and that the bawdy comedienne had plenty of interested parties wanting her services.

"Chelsea intends to leave when her contract expires," Azoff told the celebrity newspaper then. "She hired me to figure out her life after E! We have at least seven suitors and many ideas."

Handler has been pulling in about $9 million a year, even though her average audience of 572,000 per night is down substantially from her 839,000 viewers in 2010, according to The Reporter. But Azoff points out that "Chelsea Lately's" viewership was 67 percent higher than E! lead-in shows, something that helped her establish a consistent track record as the only female late-night host.

"We are very proud of 'Chelsea Lately's' long-running success and the unique space that the series carved out in late night television," E! Network president Suzanne Kolb said in the NBC Universal statement. "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."

"Chelsea Lately" will end its run August 26.

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