Chelsea Handler Signs Deal to Host Talk Show on Netflix 

Published 11 months ago by

chelsea handler netflix show Chelsea Handler Signs Deal to Host Talk Show on Netflix 

Once upon a time, the marriage of Netflix and original programming seemed silly. Times change, and so while the news that Chelsea Handler has signed on to host and a produce a talk show (and other projects) with the digital streaming service/budding “network” seems surprising in this moment, it is entirely possible that it could work. Netflix and Handler certainly believe it will, using the press release announcing their alliance to proclaim that the result of the deal will “revolutionize late night.”

As part of the deal, Handler and Netflix will also join for a stand-up comedy special – an under-mentioned staple of Netflix’s original programming output. That will debut on October 10th and it will be followed, in 2015, by four docu-comedy specials. Handler’s proper talk show won’t debut until “early” 2016, a gap of at least 15 months following the end of Handler’s current E! show, Chelsea Lately. That gap is, of course, softened by the presence of the other content, but it still feels a bit long and it could make the roll-out of the “late night” show more challenging in that Netflix will have to, in a way, re-introduce Handler to audiences beyond their subscriber base.

Though no reason was given for the delay between shows, Handler did speak to why she chose Netflix in the release:

“If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested. 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.”

Details are, unfortunately and predictably vague as to the ways with which this new show will be “outside the box” but one thing is for sure, they are jailbreaking “late night” from the period of time that is late in the night. Here’s Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos:

“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….”

Netflix Streaming Price Hike Details Chelsea Handler Signs Deal to Host Talk Show on Netflix 

Again, details are the opposite of plentiful right now so it’s hard to comment on the validity of words like “revolutionary” and “re-imagining” when we don’t know what this show is, but as Sarandos says, the internet has “disrupted” the late night model already, likely referencing the way that shows like Conan and The Tonight Show have made awesome use of viral clips and anytime viewing via on-demand. That is to say, we’re wondering how Handler’s show will stand-out besides the fact that it will be on-demand.

We’re also wondering if the show will be released in bursts or on a daily basis and if the answer to that question will hinder Handler’s ability to be topical with her humor and relevant when it comes to the guests that she brings on the show. With regard to those guests, one also wonders if Handler’s ability to get the best and the brightest may be hampered by Netflix’s habit of keeping ratings close to the vest – and so, studios and publicists won’t have an easy way to gauge whether an appearance on Handler’s show is worth as much as an appearance on one of the myriad of other late night options.

Handler was, at one time, a popular name floated in relation to some of those “other” late night jobs; specifically those over at CBS when Letterman retired and when Ferguson decided to try something else. There are any number of reasons why that alignment didn’t happen, and this could very well be an amazing fit for Chandler’s style – specifically in that she likely won’t have to worry about being constrained in any way – but there are legitimate questions about if this “revolution” will succeed, and this is certainly not the easiest path that this talented comic and host could have chosen. While it’s great that Handler found something “outside of the box” to keep her “interested,” we just hope that we can say the same thing when Handler’s show debuts.


The Untitled Chelsea Handler Late Night Series will debut in 2016 on Netflix.

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  2. I love Chelsea and an on-demand late night talk show? The best!

  3. I’ve watched her show a few times, its ok, I think basically her new show will be a more raunchy version of the E show, she can curse and have more freedom with what she says. thats basically it.

    But could her old E contract call for a non compete clause for a year and thats why her talk show wont be till early 2016?

  4. Her show on E! Is the only talk show I find funny. HEr interview style might be grating to some, but she talks about what she wants and isn’t dictated to by her guests. Her straightforwardness and in your face comedic style makes her better than any of these other late night hosts, in my opinion.

  5. This actually makes me want to cancel my Netflix…

  6. Good god, no. That woman is a cancer to all comedy.

  7. So basically, she’s copied the British late night style of Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross and going further back to the 80s and 90s, Clive Anderson by not being afraid to be a little harsh if it calls for it, was seen as “controversial” because of it (which is odd but seeing as Norton’s style is seen by US viewers as “controversial” too while those of us in the UK find him a little pandering at times and too soft and gentle on guests) and now is considering doing the kind of “available all times of the day” talk show that’s also been done before in countries outside the US while claiming that it’s “breaking the mould” and “never been done before”?

    • Basically.

  8. Chelsea Full stop

  9. This is stupid.

    Stop chasing those that are behind you, Netflix.

  10. Don’t know if this show will do anything (I am not myself interested in watching it), but if I were DC, I would be following Marvel’s example and trying to get some super-hero shows onto Netflix. I understand they are very approachable, so maybe DC/Warner should look into it.

  11. Netflix wants to revolutionize the talk show format? How so? Because right now, there is a talk show on during the morning, the afternoon, and at night. And I can watch clips on-line of my favorite shows at any time. So, the on-demand aspect isn’t revolutionary.

    I love Netflix and their ideas about TV viewing, but to call this show revolutionary upsets me. I love that Netflix continues to make exclusive comedy specials and perhaps that is the venue they should pursue. For instance, look at what Chris Hardwick and Comedy Central have done…3 comedian panel who all get a quick plug and then it’s on to the funny. That works. Or the fake news of the Daily Show…they made Weekend Update into a 22 minute program four days a week. That was revolutionary to late night. Podcasting has shown us how many comedians are out there with a voice that needs to be heard. Give us a show like How Did This Get Made or Doug Love Movies…think about it Netflix, you show movies…so make a show that talks about those movies. Now that would be…well, not revolutionary because Chris Hardwick already does something similar with the Talking Dead.

  12. I just want Chelsea back and all of the people/co workers that she had on her nightly round table. It was worth staying up for the 1/2 hour of daily honesty that came from the show.

    • BigFan…absolutely