By Sahil Patel
After months of speculation, Netflix has announced a deal with comedienne Chelsea Handler to produce a late-night talk show for the streaming service.
It’s a landmark deal for Netflix and the late-night community, not the least of which because Netflix has popularized the binge/on-demand model, which allows its customers to watch content whenever and wherever they want.
Netflix didn’t reveal a lot of information as to the format of the show — specifically whether it would be a daily or weekly program. The talk show will feature an “updated format” that will encompass Handler’s opinions on the news and cultural issues of the day, in addition to the standard guest interviews, the company said.
“The 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….” said Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, suggesting that Handler’s show won’t be tied to a specific time of day as with other late-night programming.
Slated to launch in early 2016, the show will be available in all of the streaming service’s territories.
“If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested. 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,” said Handler. “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,’” she added, referring to the reality show on her previous network, E!.
The untitled late-night show is part of a broader arrangement between Netflix and Handler, which includes five new specials that will be exclusive to Netflix.
On October 10, Netflix will premiere Handler’s first one-hour performance based on her sold-out tour, “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” which she is taping in Chicago on Friday, June 20. Following that, Handler will create four docu-comedy specials exclusively for Netflix. These specials will follow the comedienne as she tries to gain a better understanding on a variety of subjects, ranging from NASCAR to politics, Silicon Valley to the NBA Draft.
Handler will produce her stand-up special, the four docu-comedy specials, and the talk show with her partners at Borderline Amazing, Tom Brunelle and Brad Wollack.