What to Expect From NBC's Are You There, Chelsea?

Entertainment Jan. 11, 2012 AT 8:59AM

Chelsea Handler is bringing the funny to NBC.

On NBC's Are You There, Chelsea?, executive producer Handler, 36, is played by That 70s Show's Laura Prepon, and Prepon's version doesn't disappoint.

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As cocktail waitress Chelsea Newman, Prepon, 31, channels a young Handler and brings the comic's tales from her second book, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, to life. In the premiere, Prepon's Chelsea moves to be closer to work after getting a DUI and losing her license, and Chelsea's older sister Sloane (Handler herself) welcomes a baby.

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Opening up to Extra, Handler explains that she cast Prepon to play her because "I couldn't bear to do it anymore. I played myself my whole life, so I needed somebody else to take one for the team."

When it came to appearing as Prepon's sis, Handler still had to audition! "I had to audition myself and I said, 'That girl has got what it takes to play a pain-in-the-ass sister,'" she joked.

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Costarring Water for Elephants' Mark Povinelli and Rescue Me's Lenny Clarke, Are You There, Chelsea? premieres Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (EST) after Whitney as part of NBC's Wednesday Night Happy Hour.

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