Three and a half years after her exit from E!, Chelsea Handler is returning to the NBCUniversal fold. The actress, comedian and talk show host has signed a first-look producing deal with Universal Television for scripted series and with Universal Television Alternative Studio for unscripted programming.
“Chelsea’s singular voice has long stood out among a crowded TV landscape, and we’re excited that she is bringing her unbridled creativity and energy to our studio,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal Television.
Added Meredith Ahr, President, Universal Television Alternative Studio, “Chelsea has the rare ability of making you truly think while making you laugh.”
Handler has two series projects in development that she is executive producing: dramedy Unspeakable, starring Mary McCormack at Hulu, and drama I Hate the Internet, based on the Jarett Kobek novel, for TNT.
Handler recently wrapped her Netflix talk show Chelsea. Before that, she did a successful seven-year run as host of E!’s Chelsea Lately, which came to an end in 2014 after she opted not to renew her contract and made headline-making comments about the NBCU network. Handler also executive produced and starred in the 2016 Netflix documentary series Chelsea Does, in which she tackled such issues as marriage, Silicon Valley, racism and drugs. She will continue her working relationship with Netflix for another original documentary series, which will focus on the notion of white privilege.
Handler also has performed as a stand-up for many years as well as starring on specials across several networks, including Netflix and Comedy Central. As an author, Handler has four #1 bestsellers, including 2005’s Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, which was adapted as a TV series, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang and Uganda Be Kidding Me.
In recent years, Handler has become a political and social activist and been vocal in raising awareness for several causes, including the #MeToo movement and women’s marches around the country.
“I’ve spent most of my life telling personal stories about myself. Whether it’s been through comedy or books, everything has been about my life,” Handler said. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to work with NBCUniversal and put my focus and energy into telling other people’s stories and developing entertaining content all around.”
Handler is repped by UTA, Irving Azoff and attorney Craig Jacobson.