Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show is bombing, they’ve cut down the number of shows

Apple Music's Carpool Karaoke: The Series launch party

Do you watch Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show? Probably not, because no one actually gives a sh-t about Handler’s political talk or her nothingburger interviews. Several years back, Handler talked herself out of her strangely popular E! late-night show, then she tried to convince people that she was a serious candidate to take over one of the then-open late-night hosting slots. No one was buying it, and then Netflix came along and gave her a $10 million contract for a thrice-weekly talk show simply called ‘Chelsea’. From the clips I’ve seen of her interviews… there’s no there there. She’s actually not a great interviewer at all. And if you’re tuning in to hear her “comedy,” well… good luck. Anyway, it’s now being reported that Chelsea Handler’s show is pretty much a big FAIL for Netflix.

Netflix, home to runaway hits like “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards” and “Stranger Things,” reportedly paid Chelsea Handler $10 million to do her weekly talk show, “Chelsea.” So far it looks like money poorly spent. The on-demand streaming video outlet gave Handler’s show a big push when it launched in May 2016, but the response has been lackluster at best.

Netflix does not offer ratings beyond thumbs up or thumbs down from viewers, so it’s nearly impossible to quantify a show’s success. But the series, originally intended to air three times a week, has been switched to one show a week, on Fridays, in the second season.

“Netflix invests in an entirely speculative manner,” Lex Jurgen, of, told Fox News. “They wanted [an] edgy female comedian talk show, or a Netflix version of ‘Real Time with Bill Maher,’ who they are now clearly imitating both in style and scheduling.

“There won’t be a ‘Chelsea’ Season 3 unless they simply insist on pretending they didn’t make a poor decision in the first place,” Jurgen said. “If only they put that same money into showcasing some of the actually talented female comedians with something insightful to say beyond cheap Trump or Britney Spears jokes.”

A former TV network executive, who wished to remain anonymous, said the program just isn’t resonating with viewers.

“When Chelsea gets quoted, it seems to be apart from her show brand. So, she’s not that quotable, and more importantly, her show is not that quotable.” But it’s not so much a Handler problem as it is a reflection of Netflix itself, the exec continued. “It points to a bigger challenge for Netflix. They are a streaming service, famous for helping to establish the whole binge-watching phenomenon, where you might check in a few nights a week to watch multiple episodes of a longer narrative. A show like Chelsea’s would thrive on live-streaming or individual episode watching, every night it’s on. Otherwise, it loses its topicality.”

[From Fox News]

I understand the business/PR/branding idea behind “we need a topical, politics-and-comedy show fronted by a woman,” but I just don’t think Handler is the person to do it. I’ll say it: I’m happy her show is bombing. She’s an awful person and she’s not funny. I always feel like I’m crying “the emperor has no clothes” when I say that, because inevitably there are people who love her comedy or her books or whatever. But Chelsea has always been forcibly overrated, skating by on “dating the boss” or “PR moves” rather than actual talent. If you want a smart, savvy, unapologetically political woman to host a talk show, why not go for someone like… I don’t know, Katy Tur? Ana Navarro? Jemele Hill? Ina Garten? Soledad O’Brien? Chelsea is like the Megyn Kelly of Netflix.

Hey, Netflix should give Hillary Clinton a show!! I would watch the f–k out of that.

Apple Music's Carpool Karaoke: The Series launch party

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

29 Responses to “Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show is bombing, they’ve cut down the number of shows”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. monette says:

    Did you guys see her shout out on instagram to Maria Sharapova’s book?

    Yuck! Of course she praises Sharapova. Two peas in a pod.

  2. Electric Tuba says:

    Jon Oliver, Samantha, Trevor…. there are a ton of comedy/ political shows already out there and doing well. If anything I’m looking for mindless entertainment to give me a break from thinking about our current state of hell. Bobs Burgers reruns only take me so far. Plus Chelsea’s face makes me question if I need Botox and a detox stint at Betty Ford and I don’t like that feeling. Lol

  3. Lori says:

    I watched the first two episodes. I realised that the little Ive seen of her on youtube was good because of good guests, not her.

    • LadyT says:

      Exactly this- on the rare occasion that I watched her on E it was because of her guest comedians, never her. Haven’t watched on Netflix and don’t plan too.

    • HeidiM says:

      I had initially vowed to never watch the netflix show, because I just hate her. But she’s had a couple of guests that I was interested in, so I tried those episodes. Still hate her, and now i think less of people who go on her show. She’s a hateful person. Rude and dumb. and NOT FUNNY!

  4. Chaine says:

    She is so unpleasant, no desire to watch her show.

  5. Mia4s says:

    I’ve seen a few episodes and she definitely should not be hosting an interview show. The biggest problem is that when she’s interested in the guest or actually likes them? You can tell, and it’s a fairly fun, engaging conversation. When she’s not interested though? You can tell and it’s painfully bad. Ummm, Chelsea your job as an interviewer is to engage all your guests. Talk show 101.

  6. FriendlyUser says:

    I’m all for supporting female comedians (who I think have it way tougher than male ones) but Chelsea Handler just isn’t funny. Her jokes are just lame to me.

  7. Des says:

    OMG, I would watch the hell out of a HRC show in which she goes through each of the issues she feels strongly about. Each season has six 50-90 minute episodes shot like a documentary with HRC traveling and showing democracy in action, its failures and triumphs.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I’ve only seen one clip, where she interviewed someone I wanted to see. It was not good. Way back in the day she had sort of a sketch show on E, and that wasn’t terrible, but since then, not so much. I was shocked Netflix gave her this show. I still wish they’d give a deal like that to Craig Ferguson instead – now that’s a comedian who knows how to talk to people too.

  9. Bridget says:

    Comedy aside, Handler doesn’t have the brains and the knowledge to do politics. Samantha Bee, John Oliver, the two best on TV right now – are incredibly quick witted and know their stuff. Chelsea Handler in more concerned with her agent setting her up on a PR outing.

    • thatsenough! says:

      It’s strange how incoherent she is. How can someone who gets paid to express their views be so inarticulate?

      • Bridget says:

        It’s almost like she must have slept her way to her first talk show and has been coasting since.

  10. poorlittlerichgirl says:

    I’m a fan of Chelsea’s. I love her books and Chelsea Lately but this show is not good. I watched a few episodes of it and never watched it again. I don’t think she is the right woman to have this type of politically based show. Someone else with more knowledge would be a better fit.

  11. Talie says:

    If the only source is Fox News then I’m skeptical since she is an outspoken liberal.

  12. Marty says:

    Good, her shtick is getting old.

    How does one go to a political debate with Taco Lama and Chelsea comes out looking like the dumb one? That’s a new level of laziness right there.

  13. Dizzie says:

    Chelsea Lately evolved to feature the work of her comedy team- Jen, Heather, Chris, Sarah, and lots of young comedy people in skits and at the table. I watched it for them and still follow them on Netflix and podcasts. She dumped them when she took on this show- her biggest mistake. They made her look good.

  14. Christo says:

    Such a shame. Her show is actually whip-smart and so much better than the lighter fare of her E! show. Yes, she can be cringey, dry, and harsh at times, but I have seen that side channeled into some smart dialogue in her Netflix show—if not from her, then definitely via the guests. I think the issue is that it is hard to market timely, date-driven banter on a streaming talk show. I mean…really…who wants to go back and watch an opening monologue about something in the news from 3 weeks ago or see an interview with someone promoting a book/movie from 8 months ago. As a result, there’s a baked-in expiration date for the episodes, meaning that she is really given only the first week to get her audience. I’m certain Bill Maher’s show sees a similar trend on HBO.

    • Celeste says:

      No, Bill Maher’s shows feel fresh even when watched weeks later. There is always a guest with expertis on an important topic. Never miss it.

  15. Jag says:

    Ina Garten? The woman who turned down a Make-A-Wish kid twice? No, please.

    Handler is horrible, too. I can’t believe that they paid her $10 million. Their loss.

  16. Maya says:

    Hahaha – karma is such a wonderful lady isn’t she.

  17. Harryg says:

    No, I don’t like her. She doesn’t know how to interview. She can be a fun guest in other shows, but she’s not a good host.

  18. Actually I watch it. in the past year and a half, she was had a myriad of cool, interesting and insightful political figures. She has interviewed about the voting process, done call banks to help elect someone to show how it works, and recently, did a whole segment on how a bot works on twitter. She has interviewed Al Franken, Adam Schiff, political writers, writers that worked for Obama Administration. She has eviscerated Trump on weekly segments. She has brought on a bevy of women writers, political commentators, sport figures, directors and actors. I find the whole show to be well thought out and I learned a lot in 2016 through her show and currently. Do you know how a bot farm works? So, maybe pull back on the criticism unless you’ve watched. She is really trying hard.

    • Turtle says:

      I watch her show, too. Not weekly. But agreed that she is trying hard to educate herself. She does deep-dives into some of these topics. The round-table dinner parties are usually entertaining because the guests are more relaxed. Handler can be crass, and she needs better joke writers, but is doing a LOT to educate.

  19. Bread and Circuses says:

    I admit, I’ve come to like her better since she started ripping Trump a new one regularly.

  20. Grishnakh says:

    SAMANTHA BEE!!!!!!