Fresh off her guest-starring role on ABC’s Castle, Laura Prepon is ready to return to her sitcom roots as she prepares to become raunchy comedienne Chelsea Handler in a sitcom based on Handler's autobiographical book, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.
Though she’s had roles on shows like How I Met Your Mother, House and October Road, it’s been several years since Prepon has been a sitcom regular, and this will be the first time a show is centered around the actress. On That ‘70s Show, Prepon managed to be more than just a leggy redhead: she proved herself to be adept at comedy, and often stood out amongst actors like Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. That, likely, was the key reason she was cast as the opinionated and outspoken late night host.
In the pilot, written and executive-produced by Dottie Zicklin and Julie Larson (Dharma & Greg), Prepon will be the young, 20-something cocktail waitress Chelsea Hanson. Hanson’s penchant for late-night boozing, carousing and frequent encounters with members of the opposite sex, will be the crux of the program - as was often the case in Handler's book (and subsequently her life).
As a title, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it does cut to the chase about the show’s content, and will be easily recognizable to those who’ve read the book, or watch Handler’s late night talk show, Chelsea Lately. And while I can’t say that I quite get the appeal of Handler, I have to admit that as a best-selling author, comedienne, talk show host, film actress and now sitcom subject, she certainly resonates with a rather large demographic. Whatever it is that I’m missing is easily seen by scores of others, as she’s become all but ubiquitous in media as of late.
Regardless of the person it’s based on, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea has all the makings of a hit - something NBC could certainly use right now.
What’re your thoughts on Chelsea Handler? Is her book great material for a sitcom, or will it prove too racy for network television?