‘Wendy Williams’ delays Season 13 premiere again
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Syndicated daytime talker “The Wendy Williams Show” has announced it’s delaying its Season 13 debut again.
The show was originally expected to return from its summer hiatus Sept. 20, 2021, but was pushed two weeks to Oct. 4, 2021, after Williams tested positive for COVID-19. She was also reportedly suffering other undisclosed health issues at the time.
However, on Sept. 30, 2021, the show announced the premiere was being delayed again — by another two weeks, to Oct. 18, 2021, citing “ongoing medical issues.”
The show did clarify that Williams’ breakthrough COVID-19 cases “is no longer an issue” and she has tested negative for the coronavirus.
Williams has been open about her battles with thyroid issues, Graves’ Disease, mental health and substance abuse, in the past, though the show would not confirm if these issues are connected to the latest delay.
The decision to postpone Season 13 was reportedly hastily made in late September 2021.
“The Wendy Williams Show” is currently only renewed through the end of the 2021-2022 season and production company Debmar-Mercury and distributor CBS Media Ventures have been noticeably quiet on any renewal plans.
A well performing, non-freshman talk show would often have a renewal decision at this point, mainly because stations need some time to make plans for schedule adjustments (even talk shows that are canceled mid-season often provide stations with the option to air repeats or pre-produced episodes made before production ceased to fill out the year).
Some insiders close to Williams claim she is “over it” and not looking for any renewal deals, especially given her health and personal struggles over the past few years.
Williams has taken time off from her show for periods of time in the past few seasons — including a similar situation where the show kept pushing her promised return date.
For some episodes, the show used guest hosts or a panel format, while during other absences, repeats were aired. So far the 2021 delays have bene filled with reruns.
TV stations often fork over big money to air syndicated programming — and when the show airs repeats, they are typically lower rated. This could lead to dissatisfaction with the stations carrying the show and putting the production company and distributor in an awkward position.
Most talk shows have scheduled periods throughout the year, especially around holidays, where repeats air, but these are typically outlined well in advance and agreements with stations account for these reruns. Other talk shows will tape shows for holiday periods well in advance, carefully planning content to be “timeless.”
Williams’ show, however, relies heavily on pop culture news of the moment, so airing repeats often makes the episodes irrelevant and evening confusing to viewers.
Debmar- Mercury, meanwhile, launched “Nick Cannon” this season, airing on many of the same stations as “Wendy” does.