After months — years, really — of Wendy Williams’ health struggles, producers had to make a decision.
Initial reports said that Sherri Shepherd would be a “permanent guest host” on The Wendy Williams Show.
The truth is that it’s not a “guest” role — it’s Sherri Shepherd’s show now after her successful guest hosting last year.
How exactly does Wendy feel about the end of her incomparable career and being replaced like this?
Wendy William’s rep, Howard Bragman, released a statement that was obtained by People.
“It’s been a challenging time for Wendy,” the statement began.
Wendy has been struggling for months “as she deals with her health issues,” Bragman acknowledged.
“She is incredibly grateful to Debmar-Mercury, to Sherri, and everybody else,” the statement affirmed.
Bragman noted that Wendy feels gratitude to every person “who has supported the show through this time.”
The statement acknowledged: “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,'” Bragman characterized.
The statement noted: “She understands why this decision was made from a business point of view.”
“And,” Bragman revealed, “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,” the statement continued.
Bragman stated that Wendy has been assured “that she would be back on TV at that time.”
So while her show may be “over” for now, they will save her a seat if and when she should return to the business.
Wendy has not been able to host on Season 13.
She has dealt with various health problems for years, but this time, things are more serious.
Wendy had a breakthrough COVID-19 case, recovered, but is reportedly struggling with complications from her Graves disease.
Initially, the season premiere was just delayed. Then, it was delayed again.
By October, production couldn’t wait anymore, so they opted to bring on a carousel of guest hosts.
Leah Remini, Michelle Visage, Michael Rapaport, Whitney Cummings, and Jerry Springer — among others — each took a turn.
However, it was Sherri Shepherd’s hosting that brought in the highest ratings.
Her November episodes left quite an impression upon viewers.
And those numbers sent a clear message to the show itself.
As we noted, initial reports identified her as a long-term “permanent guest host.”
This was because Wendy was still unable to return any time soon, with the earliest chance at hosting again being in the back half of 2022.
Obviously, that wasn’t quite going to cut it with the show or the network.
This fall, Sherri will get her own show, filling Wendy’s timeslot.
“OMG! I am so excited to have my dream come true and debut my very own talk show SHERRI in the fall,” the new host gushed.
“I can’t wait until I return to NY to host the show and merge everything I love … pop culture, talk, entertainment, and comedy,” she rraved.
“I am thankful to Debmar-Mercury and FOX for partnering with me on this show,” Sherri declared.
“And,” she added, “look forward to this new journey.”
We wish her well on that journey … but we also wish Wendy Williams a full and speedy recovery.