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NEW YORK — “Chelsea Lately” may not be around for much longer — at least not on E!
In news first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, comedian Chelsea Handler is itching to find a new home for her late-night talk show once her contract with the cable network expires at the end of 2014.
According to her manager, Irving Azoff, Handler is fielding offers from “at least seven suitors” and is considering a weekly or nightly program on another network or platform.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson at E! said, “Chelsea has nine months left on her contract, and E! will not comment on the future of ‘Chelsea Lately’ at this time.”
“Chelsea Lately” premiered in 2007 and for a time outperformed “Conan” on TBS, generating nearly a million viewers a night as recently as 2011, but ratings have since dipped to an average audience of 571,000. Still, Handler has a relatively young audience with a median age of 42.8, giving her an edge with advertisers, and her books, including the recently released “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” continue to be bestsellers, suggesting her boozy brand of comedy has broad appeal. She’s also the only woman with her own show in the notoriously male-dominated world of late-night TV.
The fate of “Chelsea Lately” was not mentioned in E!’s press tour announcement last week. Instead, the network touted its move into scripted programming with the new series “The Royals” and also announced two new Kardashian spinoff reality series.