It was July 2007 when Chelsea Handler started staying up late for her after-hours show on E!, Chelsea Lately. Seven seasons and more than a thousand episodes later, the comedian-turned-author is closing up shop.
Handler is leaving the network after her contract expires later this summer; her final live show will air on August 26th at 11:00 p.m. Though this marks the end of an era in which Handler earned up to $9 million a year, the departure is one she’s wanted for a long time.
“[It’s] a sad, sad place to live,” she told Howard Stern on his eponymous talk show in March, later adding “They don’t know what they’re doing. They have no ideas. It’s a failure.”
She did have nicer things to say of the Kardashian-pushing network in a press release. “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. 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.” E! president Suzanne Kolb reciprocated the tone, saying “We are very proud of Chelsea Lately’s long-running success and the unique space that the series carved out in late night television.”
As for what’s next, we’d bet Handler isn’t too worried.
“She hired me to figure out her life after E!,” her manager Irving Azoff told The Hollywood Reporter. According to Azoff, Sony Television, Lionsgate, FX, international touring (“a massive piece of business”), more books, and a run on radio are all up for discussion. “We have at least seven suitors and many ideas.”