After lengthy negotiations, E! has signed signature star Chelsea Handler in a rich new two-year deal. Under the pact, which I hear is worth $25 million, Handler will continue as host and executive producer of her E! late-night talk show Chelsea Lately though 2014. (The comedian’s previous contract covers her services on the show through 2012.) She will also develop and produce shows via her production company, Borderline Amazing Prods, which will have a first-look deal with E! and NBCUniversal.
Since Chelsea Lately’s July 2007 launch, it has grown into a formidable late-night talk show franchise, reigning as the highest-rated and most-watched late-night talker among women 18-34. The series recently delivered its highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever on October 10, averaging nearly 1.8 million total viewers at 11 PM. Chelsea Lately also spawned an off-shoot, the Borderline Amazing-produced After Lately, which returns for a second season November 27. “Chelsea is an extraordinary talent whose smart, clever, no-holds-barred point of view has clearly been embraced by viewers,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Chelsea as we build on the success of Chelsea Lately, which has become the late-night destination for young adults, and collaborate with Borderline Amazing Prods on developing even more hit shows.” Added Handler, “It’s a great time for women in comedy, and it’s a great time to have real breasts.” CAA-repped Handler, along with her Borderline Amazing Prods partner Tom Brunelle, will continue to serve as executive producers for Chelsea Lately and After Lately. Handler is already active on both the cable and broadcast side of NBCU. In addition to her growing portfolio on E!, she executive produces with Brunelle and recurs on NBC’s upcoming comedy series Are You There, Chelsea? which is based on her books. Post-merger, E! too is looking to get into scripted programming.