Chelsea Handler is one busy lady these days, with her late night talk show ‘Chelsea Lately,’ two new shows in the works and a multi-book publishing deal to look after.
So is it any wonder that as her contract comes up for renewal over at E! there are reports that the network’s desperate to keep her, and that she’s feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing?
“We’ll see how it goes,” she told ‘The Hollywood Reporter.’ “And if it works out for me to stick around here … It may turn out that I’m done altogether. I can’t keep doing the same thing, my brain is bleeding.”
Handler is estimated to make $3.5 million a year for her hosting duties, a figure that will undoubtedly have to rise if E! wants to keep her.
“It’s a lengthy process,” Handler said, adding that “They tell you’re valuable, and then you get a counter [offer] and you think, ‘I guess you really don’t care about me at all.’ Nothing is set in stone, so if things go south, then obviously I will be moving along.”
Handler’s busy at work on her new NBC sitcom, ‘Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,’ for which she’s acting as both executive producer and co-star. Based on her 2008 bestselling collection of humorous autobiographical essays, it stars Laura Prepon as Chelsea, Handler as her own sister, and possibly — talks are ongoing — Roseanne Barr as their aunt.
There have been rumors that NBC — E!’s sister network — wants Handler for a larger role. How about becoming the first woman to host her own late night network talk show? “The next step for me is not ‘The Tonight Show’,” she told ‘THR.’ “That’s a job for Jimmy Fallon. I’m way too divisive for a show like that.”
‘Chelsea Lately’ is known for its bawdy humor and frankness and, despite the fact that many of the guests are not exactly on the A-list, it pulls in up to one million viewers a night, which is higher than the other late night cable shows. It’s ranked fourth at E! — behind reality shows ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians,’ ‘Kendra’ and ‘Holly’s World’ — and Handler reportedly brought in over $40 million for the network last year.
It’s even spawned its own weekly mockumentary, ‘After Lately,’ which pokes fun at the production of Handler’s show.
If Handler does continue to host ‘Lately’ she’ll be making some changes: “If ‘Lately’ is the show that I’m going to do, it’s going to change.”
But there may be some good news for E! after all. Although Handler said she’s keen to move away from celebrity-centered stuff, she said that “I’m not looking to totally bail on E! They’ve done a lot for me, and I like it here … If you take away the Kardashians.”