'The Wendy Williams Show' Ends; Sherri Shepherd To Take Over Time Slot

"The Wendy Williams Show" is going off the air, to be replaced with a new talk show hosted by Sherri Shepherd of “The View” fame.

What Happened: Williams has been absent from her eponymous show since the premiere of its 13th season due to ongoing health issues that included a bout with COVID-19 and the resurgence of her Graves’ disease. During her absence, the show has been anchored by a series of guest hosts, including Shepherd.

In a statement issued to People, Williams’ public relations representative Howard Bragman announced that the star was alerted by her production company Debmar-Mercury, a subsidiary of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF-A), of her decision and her support of Shepherd.

"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," Bragman said. "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, and she has been assured by Debmar-Mercury that should her health get to a point where she can host again and should her desire be that she hosts again that she would be back on TV at that time," Bragman added.

Shepherd's show is scheduled to premiere in the fall and will occupy the broadcast time slot that Williams now holds.

What Happens Next: Williams was a popular New York City radio show host when she debuted her syndicated television show in 2008. Since 2019, Debmar-Mercury began distributing with CBS Television Studios, now CBS Media Ventures, a subsidiary of Paramount Global PARAA.

While Williams highlighted celebrity gossip, fashion and beauty trends and social issues, she was frequently the center of attention for bringing her tumultuous private life into the spotlight, including her struggles with drug addiction and problems in her marriage. In a live broadcast on Halloween in 2017, she fainted on camera while wearing a Statue of Liberty costume — she recovered after an extended station break and blamed the incident on the excess warmth created by the heavy costume and her studios’ lights.

Williams also generated controversy for her negative comments aimed at Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Ellen DeGeneres and her penchant for tart remarks also extended to her representative Bragman for his announcement.

"Mr. Bragman although I appreciate your concerns and respect you immensely I have not authorized you to make any statements on my behalf regarding my current status with Debmar Mercury,” she posted on her Instagram page. “Again thanks for your continuing concern and support."

Bragman questioned the veracity of the Instagram message, telling People: "I'm not honestly convinced of the source of that social media post, so when my old friend Wendy FaceTimes me personally and we alone have a chance to discuss recent events, together we can figure out the best path forward.”

Photo: WBLS / Wikimedia Commons

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