After weeks of rumors and speculation -- much of it coming from the comedienne herself -- it's official: Chelsea Handler is moving to Netflix.
Handler and the streaming service announced Thursday their intention to create a new show, which is set to begin airing in 2016. Its exact format and frequency (will it debut in batches, like other Netflix originals, or weekly, like Handler's current gig, "Chelsea Lately"?) is still being developed, though both parties said they were excited to work with the other.
The new, as-yet-untitled series "will feature an updated format that still encompasses Chelsea's unfiltered opinions on topical entertainment and cultural issues, as well as her signature guest interviews," Netflix said in a statement. Indeed, that "updated format" is a key piece of the streaming service's mission, a sentiment echoed by Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
"[T]he Internet has disrupted many of the conventions of traditional television and together with Chelsea Handler, Netflix is looking forward to reimagining the late night talk show for the on-demand generation, starting with the late night part," Sarandos said in a statement.
The experimental aspect of this deal is sure to appeal to Handler, who's made no secret of her frustration with the subject matter she's dealt with during her tenure at E!. Following the announcement of her move to Netflix, Handler said in a statement that she was eager to move forward.
"If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested," the comedienne said. "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 awhile, 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.'"
Handler's Netflix deal also includes a stand-up special, set to premiere on the streaming service on October 10, and four "docu-comedy specials" that will air in 2015. "Chelsea Lately" will air its last episode on E! on August 26.
[via: CNN, h/t Vanity Fair]