Wendy Williams will not be returning to her talk show this season, but the future of the show remains in flux. Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd is in discussion with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury for her own daytime talk show, which could eventually replace Williams’ series, sources say.
Currently in its 13th season, “The Wendy Williams Show” is one of the biggest hits in daytime TV history. Launching in national syndication from Debmar-Mercury in 2008, the show was built around Williams, who, at the time the show premiered, was a popular radio host known for her no-holds-barred take on celebrity gossip.
Williams has been absent from her show all this season, as she has been battling health issues. Williams suffers from Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder.
Several Hosts Have Filled Up Wendy William’s Place
While Williams has been gone from her talk show in 2021 and 2022, guest hosts have filled in for her throughout this entire season, including Shepherd, who has been popular with audiences and who, sources say, has emerged as the frontrunner to possibly take over Williams’ timeslot — that is, if Williams does not return and if station partners would greenlight a show hosted by Shepherd for a full season.
A source says it’s unclear whether Williams will ever come back to her show, but if she is in good enough health to do so and wants to return, executives would be thrilled to welcome her back with open arms. After all, Williams has been a huge hit for Debmar-Mercury and a stalwart in daytime television on the Fox TV Stations.
“We’ll deal with the fall when we get there, but she’s not returning this season,” a source close to Williams tells Variety.
Williams’ spokesperson, PR veteran Howard Bragman, declined to comment on this story.
In the meantime, Shepherd is in advanced talks with Debmar-Mercury, the same production company behind “The Wendy Williams Show,” to star in her own talk show.