What happens if Wendy Williams never returns to her talk show?

By The MixDex Wire Article may include affiliate links

Page Six is reporting that executives at Debmar-Mercury are formulating a backup plan in the event talk show host Wendy Williams doesn’t return to her namesake show for its 13th season.

The Wendy Williams Show” was supposed to start its new season Sept. 20, 2021, but it was pushed to Oct. 4, 2021, after health issues and a breakthrough COVID-19 case sidelined Williams.

The show then announced a last minute decision to delay the premiere again — this time to Oct. 18, 2021 due to unspecified health issues.

One possibility is that “Nick Cannon” could end up taking the place of WIlliams’ timeslot. Debmar-Mercury produces both shows.

Although nothing is definite and the official plan is still to have Williams return Oct. 18 and produce the rest of the season as planned, the now twice delayed return, along with a series of other absences in the past few years, apparently have execs worried enough to consider alternatives.

However, such a plan would not come without complications. Although both shows are carried on Fox owned stations in major markets, they aren’t always on the same channel in other markets since they are both syndicated.

Stations would also have to agree to taking on the replacement show, something the production company and distributors would need to negotiate. It’s likely a deal could be reached since the alternative would likely be running repeats for Williams, which is typically a highly topical show and won’t deliver the best ratings.

Moving “Cannon” into Williams time would also result in the challenge of what to fill that show’s timeslot with. Debmar-Mecury could opt to provide repeats of Williams in Cannon’s old time period, especially on stations that carry both shows, likely at a reduced rate.

It’s also possible episodes could be picked that don’t refer to current events as much or even be edited to remove the “Hot Topics” segment that’s heavily focused on current news. Another possibility might be bringing in a different host to fill in until if and when Williams as able and willing to return.

Other stations might opt to fill the time with another syndicated option, such as a syndicated rerun of a network drama or comedy other another show that’s available in the market in question.

However, its likely some stations would find it difficult to find a show that is both available in their local market and capable of garnering high viewership (after all, highly rated syndicated programming tends to be the first ones that stations buy into and put on the schedule).

Another option might be to fill the time with local news, which could be launched fairly quickly in event “Williams” doesn’t return with new shows, though that too might not be able to deliver the best ratings — but since it’s locally produced and leverages existing staffers, it would be a cost effective stop gap option even if ratings are low.

“Wendy Williams” is currently renewed only through the end of the current TV season. In the past, the show had garnered multi-season pickups, so not having a decision at this point is perhaps telling of the show’s future.

Other outlets are reporting that sources to Williams say she’s “over” the show and won’t stick around for another season.

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