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Chelsea along with Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite and Rob Schneider’s Real Rob will all live on at Netflix.
As part of a dizzying array of announcements to kick off the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, the streaming service on Wednesday revealed that it had ordered a 90-episode second season of Chelsea Handler’s eponymous talk show. In doing so, Netflix stressed that there would be a new global outlook for the series, with cameras following the acerbic host as she travels around the world, hitting such locales as Russia, Japan and Mexico City.
Additionally, the single-camera comedy based on what Bamford has accepted to be “her life,” as well as Schneider’s exaggerated yet brutally honest depiction of his own life, will be back in 2017. Lady Dynamite, which also counts Arrested Development‘s Mitch Hurwitz as an executive producer, earned positive reviews when it launched in the spring. For its part, Real Rob will return with eight new episodes, though those who follow Schneider — the series’ director, producer and star — on Twitter have been aware of the renewal since March.
Handler’s talk show, the first of its kind for Netflix, debuted in mid-May and is currently streaming three times a week exclusively on the service. Despite big buzz around the reported $10 million multi-project deal that the former E! star initially signed, the premiere came on quietly and the series earned lackluster reviews. Three weeks in, showrunner Bill Wolff was out, and Handler announced she’d be running the series solo.
In a candid interview from the Democratic National Convention this week, Handler acknowledged to The Hollywood Reporter that the show had gotten off to a “rocky start” in part because she hadn’t been on TV for some time. (In the interim, Handler filmed a series of well-received Netflix doc specials, aptly titled Chelsea Does.) “There were a couple weeks where I was like, “What the f-— am I doing?” she said. “Then I made the adjustment and was up and running and got the train on the track. And now it’s great. It’s exactly what I wanted to do. I get to talk about all different topics. I get to talk to interview people I’m interested in.”
Handler didn’t use the opportunity to explicitly blast her former and longtime talk-show home, as she has been known to do. She once famously told Howard Stern that E! “had just become a sad, sad place to live,” adding, “They don’t know what they’re doing, they have no ideas … everything they do just is a failure.”
That Netflix is remaining committed to Handler says as much about the host’s renewed enthusiasm for the format as it does the service’s seemingly unwavering commitment to keeping its programming on the air. By not releasing ratings, Netflix is not beholden to the same public benchmarks.
Handler, one of precious few women in the late-night talk space (if you can even call her series that, given the all-day streaming nature of Netflix), reentered the landscape at a particularly competitive time. Within the past two years, the post-11 p.m. time period has welcomed a slew of new options, including James Corden, Larry Wilmore, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert (as himself).
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