E! is staying in business with Chelsea Handler.
Under the new two-year deal, Handler will continue serving as host and executive producer of Chelsea Lately through 2014 as well as developing and producing shows via her Borderline Amazing Productions shingle.
As part of the pact, Handler’s Borderline has a first-look deal with E! and NBCUniversal.
While Chelsea Lately doesn’t pull the same viewership as the broadcast networks’ late-night offerings, Handler’s late-night series, which launched in July 2007, ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched late-night talk show among women 18-34, E!’s core demo.
“Chelsea is an extraordinary talent whose smart, clever, no-holds-barred point of view has clearly been embraced by viewers,” said E! president Suzanne Kolb.
Added Handler, “It’s a great time for women in comedy, and it’s a great time to have real breasts.”
The news may come as a surprise to those who have paid close attention to Handler’s remarks in recent months. In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter’s June cover story, Handler said, “I can’t keep doing the same thing; my brain is bleeding. I want to do something that’s more mindful and isn’t celebrity-centered. I’m not looking to totally bail on E! They’ve done a lot for me, and I like it here. If you take away the Kardashians.”
The announcement follows NBC scheduling the Jan. 11 series premiere of Are You There, Chelsea? on which the comedian serves as a writer, executive producer and guest star — as the older sister to the on-screen version of herself played by Laura Prepon.