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Chelsea Handler heading to Netflix, plans first talk-show for Internet TV service

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Comedienne Chelsea Handler arrives to attend the 21st annual Glamour Magazine Women of the Year award ceremony in New York November 7, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR2TQJ8

Chelsea Handler has lined up her next TV gig and it is the one she’d wanted all along — a talk show on Netflix. After months of negotiations and speculation, the streaming service has announced a deal with the comedian that includes a talk show, to launch in early 2016, as well as standup special and four docu-comedy specials.

Like her E! late-night show, which will end its seven-tear run on August 26, the Netflix talker will feature Handler’s unfiltered opinions on topics of the day as well as guest interviews. It has not been determined yet what  frequency the show will be released with — daily, weekly or in-between — with Netflix only noting that it will debut simultaneously in all Netflix territories. 

“The Internet has disrupted many of the conventions of traditional television and together with Chelsea Handler, Netflix is looking forward to reimagining the late night talk show for the on-demand generation, starting with the late night part….” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. That means that Netflix’s model of delivering content on demand and not tied to a time period has rendered the late-night label for Handler’s talk show obsolete.

In Handler’s now infamous Howard Stern Show radio interview in March, in which she called E! “a sad, sad place to live” and “a failure,”  Handler suggested that after she leaves the cable network she would be interested in going to an outlet like Netflix. It was the first time Handler addressed her plans for the future as her E! contract was coming up, and several months and a ton of speculation later, she landed at Netflix, giving the streaming service its first talk show. 

“If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested,” Handler said. “I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch so I approached Netflix to make sure they were as cool as I thought they were, and when I confirmed my suspicions, like with any other future lover, I made my move. I’m more excited than I’ve been in awhile, and the team at Netflix is the most forward thinking, alert group I’ve sat down with in ages. No offense to the 'Shahs Of Sunset.'”

Handler’s very public parting of the ways with E! and as public job search were orchestrated by well known music manager Irving Azoff, who joined her team, including CAA, in October. Her pursuit of a new gig got entangled in the late-night changeover at CBS, prompting the broadcast network to publicly deny that Handler is being considered for a slot.

Before she starts her new talk show, Handler will tape an one-hour stand-up special during the June 20 stop of her tour “Uganda Be Kidding Me” Live in Chicago. It will premiere on Netflix on Oct. 10. And next year, Handler will create four new docu-comedy 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. The talk show, stand-up special and  docu-comedy specials will be produced by Handler and her partners in Borderline Amazing, Tom Brunelle and Brad Wollack.

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