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Chelsea Handler leaving E! talk show, rep says

Chelsea Handler arrives at Glamour Magazine's 21st annual

Chelsea Handler arrives at Glamour Magazine's 21st annual Women of the Year Awards on Nov. 7, 2011 at Carnegie Hall in New York. Credit: Getty Images / Don Emmert

Comic Chelsea Handler will leave her late-night E! talk show, "Chelsea Lately," at the end of the year, her representative announced Sunday.

"Chelsea intends to leave when her contract expires," veteran talent manager Irving Azoff, whose clients have ranged from the Eagles to Thirty Seconds to Mars, told The Hollywood Reporter. "She hired me to figure out her life after E! We have at least seven suitors and many ideas."

Handler, 39, who will have hosted her show for eight years when her contract runs out in nine months, has spoken about her disenchantment with E!, saying on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show on March 5 that the network was "a sad, sad place to live" and that its programmers and executives "don't know what they're doing. They have no ideas. It's a failure."

An E! representative said in a statement, "Chelsea has nine months left on her contract and E! will not comment on the future of 'Chelsea Lately' at this time."

The comedian, whom the Reporter said earns an estimated $9 million a year from the show, recently published her fifth best-selling book, "Uganda be Kidding Me." Currently in a 30-market standup tour that plays the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on May 23.Her agents have been setting meetings with companies including Sony Television, Lionsgate and FX, the magazine said.

Despite her personal success, her show's average nightly viewership has declined from 839,000 in 2010 to 572,000 as of last year, reported Variety -- which nonetheless noted that "Chelsea Lately" is one of few signature programs at E!, and that its departure would create a scheduling hole that the network would need to fill successfully in order to stay relevant in late-night.

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