Wendy Williams Documentary Brought Millions of Viewers to Lifetime

Where is Wendy Williams documentary (Credit: Lifetime)

Lifetime’s Where is Wendy Williams? drew the cable network’s biggest audience for a documentary title in two years.

The two-night movie event aired Feb. 24-25 and averaged 1.2 million viewers in the live+3 days after category, the network said Friday. To date, the documentary has been watched by more than 6.2 million total viewers on TV and digital platforms.

The controversial film, which is re-airing this weekend, propelled Lifetime to rank as the top cable network in primetime on both nights among women ages 25-64 and 25-54.

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Where is Wendy Williams? drew a bigger audience than Lifetime’s highly-anticipated The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard doc, which aired in January.

The new film also marked the best performance for a documentary on the network since the authorized Janet Jackson docuseries aired in January 2022, and reached more than 15 million viewers across multiple channels and platforms, as previously reported.

The Wendy Williams film offered a glimpse into the self-proclaimed Queen of All Media’s life since her iconic daytime talk show was canceled two years ago.

A graphic on screen said Lifetime crews began filming in August 2022. The project was initially intended to document Williams’ “comeback” and the launch of her podcast, but the focus changed when the crew filmed her struggling with physical and mental heath problems.

Two days before the documentary debuted, Williams’ caregivers released a statement saying she’s been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

The documentary’s producers later insisted they didn’t know she had dementia when they were filming, although Williams struggles to remember what city she’s in, is often confused, and fails to recognize her brother in the film.

Williams, 59, also suffers from Graves’ disease, thyroid disease, and lymphedema, which has caused her feet to swell and become disfigured. At one point in the film, she said she only had 2 percent feeling in her feet.

Related StoryWendy Williams’ Publicist Blasts Lifetime Documentary, Says TV Star Would Be ‘Mortified’

The shocking docuseries showed the once vibrant media personality sequestered in her New York City apartment, downing vodka, and frequently crying because she was lonely.

Her manager, Will Selby, said it’s natural she would be depressed because she lost her mom, her show was canceled, her now ex-husband Kevin Hunter had a baby with his mistress, and her only son went away to college. (According to multiple published reports, Selby and Williams’ publicist Shawn Zanotti are “no longer working” with the TV star after appearing in the documentary).

Williams has been under a guardianship since 2022, after Wells Fargo Bank filed a petition to a New York court amid concerns that she was “the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.”

“From what I understand, Wells Fargo froze her account to find out what was happening, because it looked as if someone has been nefarious close to her,” Williams’ longtime friend Regina Shell said in the documentary.

The media mogul’s family said Williams’ court-appointed guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, is not looking out for the star’s best interest.

While Williams struggles with alcohol abuse, the film showed she was allowed to drink vodka and cocktails. The film crew noted that there was no food in her refrigerator, and she had lost a considerable amount of weight since she appeared daily on television.

Williams’ sister Wanda Finnie said the guardianship is up for review this year and family members are fighting to take control of the star’s affairs.

Watch a clip from the docuseries below that shows Williams’ niece warning her about “fake” people, including the star’s publicist.