As Season 11 of The Wendy Williams Show launched today, and its backers had some news to share: The veteran daytime talker has been renewed for two more seasons on Fox Television stations through 2021-22.
Hosted by Wendy Williams, the show is produced and distributed by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury and airs on Fox owned-and-operated stations. It includes a mix of interviews with celebrity guests from television, film, music and sports. It averaged more than 1.6 million viewers per day nationally during its past season, including 440,000 in the target demo of women 25-54.
“Wendy is family to us, and post-AM news, her program jumpstarts the day in our markets,” said Frank Cicha, EVP Programming at Fox Television Stations. “Plus, she’s got enough wigs to make sure the show never gets stale.”
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Added Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus: “Wendy’s enduring demo strength is matched only by its unwavering support among our valued station partners. Fox, which has been there from the start, remains a big believer in the power of Wendy to deliver the goods and keep its important morning news block viewers from going anywhere.”
But 2018-19 was a tumultuous season for the show and its host. Just before Christmas last year, fans noticed that Williams appeared to be slurring her words during one episode. She apologized, explaining that she was taking pain medication for a hairline fracture to her shoulder. About a month later, Williams announced that was taking an extended break from the show, citing complications from her Graves’ disease that required hospitalization.
She returned about six weeks later. but fans soon got another surprise. On March 19, about two after she had returned to the show, Williams made an on-air confession — telling her studio and TV audiences that she was living in a sober house after seeking treatment for unspecified addiction issues.
A month after that it was disclosed that the host’s estranged husband, Kevin Hunter was fired as executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show after eight years. Williams reportedly had filed for divorce from Hunter about a week earlier.
Williams said of today’s renewal news: “I want to tell Fox and all of our stations today how much their support and confidence means to me. They should know we will never stop working very hard to bring our dedicated Wendy Watchers and audience ‘co-hosts’ the freshest national daytime television! I ❤ you for watching!”
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