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CBS says Chelsea Handler will not be hosting The Late Late Show

Amid the whirlwind of late night TV-related news last week was speculation that newly unemployed talk show host Chelsea Handler might have been on the short list to replace David Letterman. She wasn’t. But Handler was talking to CBS about something, and rumors abounded that she was going to replace Craig Ferguson when his Late Late Show contract expires. Those rumors got even louder after Handler posted a photo to Instagram of her at a “business meeting,” holding papers marked with the CBS logo.

But now the network has denied those rumors, releasing an official statement that Handler is not being offered Late Late, and that it has no plans to replace Ferguson. (Not yet, anyway.) CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler says, “We’re dealing with one hour of late-night at a time”—suggesting the network hasn’t officially discussed Ferguson’s future, and probably won’t do so until the Letterman-Colbert transition is finalized. So, expect the rumor mill to keep swirling for six months to a year, until CBS makes an announcement one way or another.

As for Handler, CBS stated that she’d only had a “general meeting” with its syndication group. Whether that means a syndicated afternoon talk show is in the works, or whether it’s somehow going to work her into CSI reruns, is anybody’s guess.

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