‘The Wendy Williams Show’ to end, Sherri Shepherd launching talk show in its place [Video]

Daytime TV is undergoing some changes, as Sherri Shepherd is in full-time and Wendy Williams, host of the long-running The Wendy Williams Show, is out, at least for now.

Shepherd, who’s been filling in as a rotating guest host amid Williams’s health issues, is set to launch her own daytime talk show, fittingly titled Sherri, in fall 2022. Sherri will move into the same time slots that are currently held by The Wendy Williams Show, with many production staffers moving over, including David Perler, Williams’s longtime executive producer and showrunner.

“Sherri is a natural who proved her hosting skills for many years as a panelist on The View, on FOX’s Dish Nation and again this season as a popular guest host of Wendy,” Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement on Tuesday. “Like our viewers, we have been impressed by the unique comedic twist Sherri puts on our daily live ‘Hot Topics’ segment, her creativity and interactions with our guests. Her love for the content and daytime fans is obvious, and we are excited to partner with her to create another long-term talk franchise.”

They add, “This is also a bittersweet moment for us and our partners at FOX. 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. 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.”

Wendy Williams is out, for now, as Sherri Shepherd launches her own talk show.

Wendy Williams is out, for now, as Sherri Shepherd launches her own talk show. (Photos: Getty Images)

Williams issued a statement through her spokesperson, Howard Bragman.

“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.”

However, Williams said Tuesday afternoon, in a politely worded statement, that Bragman is not authorized to speak on her behalf about the situation.

(Photo: Instagram)

(Photo: Instagram)

Williams has been on extended sick leave from her eponymous show. Michael Rapaport, Leah Remini and Whitney Cummings are among the stars who’ve filled in for TV’s long-running gossip queen, but Shepherd was a fan favorite.

This isn’t Shepherd’s first foray into daytime television. The 54-year-old actress and comedian was a permanent host of The View from 2007 to 2014. In a statement, she said it’s “a dream come true” to “debut my very own talk show.”

“OMG!” she declared. “I can’t wait until I return to NY to host the show and merge everything I love…pop culture, talk, entertainment and comedy. I am thankful to Debmar-Mercury and FOX for partnering with me on this show and look forward to this new journey.”

Williams’s well-being has sparked concern among fans. For one thing, the Emmy-nominated star suffers from the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease, which causes the overproduction of thyroid hormones and symptoms such as fatigue. She also struggled with COVID-19 last year.

However, a source close to the situation told People earlier this month that many rumors swirling around Williams’s condition were untrue. “Reports of a stroke, drugs or addiction issues or a dementia diagnosis are all false. Whether Wendy can return in the fall will depend on how her healing goes over the summer,” the source said. “Her health is the most important thing.”

Just last week, Williams spoke out in a video shared on her new Instagram account. She says she’s in Florida and talks about taking a break from the spotlight; however, fans don’t believe it’s a current video.

Williams says she has family there and mentions her mother, but she announced in 2020 that Shirley Williams had died. Also, Williams turned 57 in July 2021, but in the video, she repeatedly says she’s 56.

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