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Chelsea Handler to end E! run in August

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Talk show host Chelsea Handler announced at the end of March that she had decided to step down from her post as the host of Chelsea Lately on E! when her contract was up. On Wednesday, the network revealed that the series finale will air on Aug. 26 in an hourlong special. Original episodes will continue to air until then.

Handler, 39, had originally planned to stay with E! until her current contract ran out at the end of 2014. Variety notes that she had been increasingly vocal about wanting to leave the network, but the comedian said in a statement that she would be looking back on her time there the way many look back at their college days, adding “I’m glad I went.”

“I myself am more surprised than anyone that I was able to hold down a job for seven years, and it was a fantastic seven years,” the statement also reads.

E! president Suzanne Kolb also released a statement about the announcement, saying the network is “very proud” of Handler’s success, as well as her contribution to late-night TV with her “acerbic wit and fearless commentary.” Kolb also added that they are looking forward to giving Handler a memorable send off this summer.

Handler’s departure will leave a spot open in the lineup for E!, which is said to be looking into developing another late-night program to help fill the void. The network is also working on its first-ever scripted series with The Royals.

As for what Handler will do next, her manager, Irving Azoff, said in March that “many ideas” were being floated around, including a possible radio presence or perhaps another late-night talk show. Her name had previously been floated around by some as an idea for replacing Craig Ferguson, who will be leaving The Late Late Show at the end of the year, but CBS said in April that there were no discussions going on with her for that particular gig.

She recently told Newsday that she doesn’t want to continue to “sit around and talk about celebrities all the time” but instead hopes to do things that interest her in a “funny, cool way.”

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