Chelsea Handler is going to leave her show on E! at the end of the year, her manager told The Hollywood Reporter as loudly as possible, proclaiming as well that the author of Uganda Be Kidding Me has "at least seven suitors," although it's not clear how the word "suitors" is defined.
It's been a few weeks since Handler trashed her employers on The Howard Stern Show, but she must have made an impression. "When I came to E! it was a much bigger network," she told Stern at the time. "Now it's just sad. It's a sad place to live. They don't know what they're doing. They have no ideas. Everything they do is just a failure." Handler said that the network seems to be at the bottom of NBCU's list of priorities since the merger with Comcast and that the parent company "is more concerned about the other networks now." Stern asked Handler if she was looking for a new berth. "I think so," she said.
However much Handler may want to leave E!, though, she's still under contract until Dec. 31. "Chelsea has nine months left on her contract, and E! will not comment on the future of Chelsea Lately at this time," said a spokeswoman for the network. But given the now-rolling upfront season, it's probably not a great time for Handler to be making these waves.
It's also probably not a great time for programming like Chelsea Lately on E! As the NBCUniversal portfolio consolidates, E! is trying out scripted programming, a resort-centric competition reality show, a plastic surgery series ... basically everything that's not a new talk show.
Here's hoping for Handler's sake that those suitors have honorable intentions.