Wendy Williams won’t be taking a seat in her purple chair every day anymore as her show officially gets canceled, making way for ‘Sherri’
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
After several months of turmoil, “The Wendy Williams Show” will officially end come June 2022.
As was widely expected, Sherri Shepard has been tapped to host a new syndicated talk show that will replace it in most markets.
David Perler will transition from executive producer and showrunner on “Wendy” to “Sherri.”
It’s not immediately clear if some of the other producers, namely co-EP Suzanne Bass or supervising producer Norman Baker, who often appeared on camera interacting with Williams, will move over. It’s also not clear if the show will continue to be produced in New York.
A spokesperson issued a statement to Deadline that was originally attributed to Williams, though an Instagram account purportedly controlled by Wendy Williams or someone on her team later denied she authorized the statement (that, in turn, led to questions about who’s running the Instagram account from the rep).
“It’s been a challenging time for Wendy as she deals with her health issues. She is incredibly grateful to Debmar-Mercury, to Sherri and everybody else who has supported the show through this time,” the statement begins.
“She, more than anyone, understands the reality of syndicated television — you can’t go to the marketplace and sell a show that’s The Maybe Wendy Show. She understands why this decision was made from a business point of view…”
“Since Wendy is still not available to host the show as she continues on her road to recovery, we believe it is best for our fans, stations and advertising partners to start making this transition now,” company Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement.
The company also noted that Williams could potentially return to syndication in the future.
In the announcement of “Sherri,” producers noted that the signature “Hot Topics” segment will transition over from “Wendy” to “Sherri.” The segment, whose name is borrowed from “The View,” typically features a round of pop culture news with the host providing his or her own commentary and reactions to stories.
Williams has had a slate of health problems that has sidelined her from appearing on how self titled talker since June 2021. Debmar-Mercury pushed the premiere of Season 13 in hopes she would be able to return, but eventually had to move forward with guest hosts.
Those guest hosts are expected to remain through the rest of the season, including some stints featuring Shepard. It does not appear, however, that Shepard will be a “permanent guest host” as some reports previously indicated, possibly due to commitments to other projects.
Williams has been battling COVID-19, complications from Graves Disease and thyroid issues since the summer of 2021. She’s also reportedly had some challenges with her mental health.
There have been mixed reports about her condition, with her brother once claiming she was showing signs and dementia and a former financial adviser allegedly contacting her bank in an effort to suspend access to her money over concerns she was not competent to manage her own affairs.
Williams’ team has challenged those allegations and has contacted the bank to attempt to restore her access, which it says is necessary so she can pay ongoing expenses.
In addition, there have been reports of behind the scenes outbursts by Williams and that she didn’t seem engaged in hosting her show anymore, which is perhaps one reason no renewal decision had been made despite the show only being signed to run through the end of its current season.
Shepard has previously been a co-host on “The View” and is currently a co-host of “Dish Nation.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if she would remain with that show, but Fox Television Station’s statement on the change noted that she is “already a member of the FTS family.”
Fox holds the syndication rights to “Wendy” in most major markets, making it a key decision maker in the future of the show.