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Chelsea Handler Has Found That New Gig—at Netflix

Unhappy at E!, she's on streaming starting in October

Chelsea Handler trashed her bosses at E! pretty hard on The Howard Stern Show earlier this year but that hasn't affected her hiring prospects. The comedian's hour-long special Uganda Be Kidding Me will air on Netflix in October as a prelude to Handler's upcoming talk show gig on the streaming service. The special tapes tomorrow at Chicago's Harris Theater.

The talk show isn't scheduled to start until 2016, but Handler will be busy with Netflix in the meantime, as she's got four "docu-comedy specials" coming next year, Netflix said. These are intended to showcase "her efforts to gain a better understanding on a variety of subjects ranging from Nascar to politics and from Silicon Valley to the NBA draft."

Handler's Chelsea Lately ends its seventh and final season in August; she's been vocal about her unhappiness in that position. "They don’t know what they’re doing," she told Stern. "They have no ideas. It’s a failure." She's also said that she's sick of celebrity culture, which goes a long way toward explaining the Nascar/politics focus of her new documentaries.

"If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested," Handler said in a statement. "I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch so I approached Netflix to make sure they were as cool as I thought they were, and when I confirmed my suspicions, like with any other future lover, I made my move. I'm more excited than I've been in a while, and the team at Netflix is the most forward-thinking, alert group I've sat down with in ages. No offense to the shahs of Sunset."

It remains to be seen exactly how Netflix will handle the scheduling of a topical talk show—the series, it said, "will debut simultaneously in all Netflix territories for members to enjoy however and whenever they like"—but if the show is going to be as timely as Chelsea Lately, subscribers are likely to enjoy it more the sooner they see it. The company's stated ethos has always been "watch whenever," but its unstated ethos has become "we'll be HBO any day now." With a Bill Maher-ish talk show on the line, the latter goal is achieved, but it will be interesting to see how Netflix meshes its laid-backness with its upcoming appointment viewing.

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