EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, the producer-distributor of The Wendy Williams Show, and the daytime syndicated talk show’s longtime home, the Fox TV Stations, announced this morning that the talker will be replaced by Sherri, hosted by Sherri Shepherd, in the fall. With that, daytime staple The Wendy Williams Show will be coming to an end after the current 13th season, in which Williams has been sidelined by health issues, with guest hosts, including Shepherd filling in.
In a statement to Deadline issued by Williams’ spokesperson Howard Bragman, the popular talk show host shared her reaction to the news.
“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.”
Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein echoed the sentiment in their statement accompanying the Sherri announcement as they reflected on the success and longevity of The Wendy Williams Show and left the door open to Williams making a TV comeback in the future.
“We all have a great love and affinity for Wendy, who grew into a true icon during her 12 incredible seasons as the solo host of a live, daily talk show dishing on ‘Hot Topics’ and interviewing celebrities,” they said. “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. We hope to be able to work with Wendy again in the future, and continue to wish her a speedy and full recovery.”
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