‘The Wendy Williams Show’ Is Ending, Sherri Shepherd to Take Over Timeslot

Wendy Williams and Sherri Shepherd (Credit: Shutterstock)

As expected, Wendy Williams is leaving her daytime talk show and Sherri Shepherd will formally take over the timeslot this fall, the show’s production team announced Tuesday.

“OMG! I am so excited to have my dream come true and debut my very own talk show Sherri in the fall,” Shepherd said in a statement. “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.”

Related Story: Wendy Williams Says She Plans on ‘Going Back Stronger’ to Talk Show

Williams, who has been out all season as she recovers from health problems, issued a statement through her spokesman Howard Bragman following the announcement.

“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 told Deadline.

“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,” he added. “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.”

The program will continue to air on Fox-owned television stations, and longtime Wendy showrunner David Perler will executive-produce alongside Shepherd and her producing partner Jawn Murray, according to production company Debmar-Mercury.

“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,” Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein 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.”

Related StoryNAACP Image Awards: Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley Win on Night One

The official announcement that Williams is stepping down came two days after entertainment website Love Scott B reported that staffers had been told The Wendy Williams Show was canceled.

“The producers informed everyone that the [Wendy Show] was being canceled at the end of June. Then in the next breath they hired everyone to work on the new Sherri show,” the website reported Sunday.

Multiple guest hosts have filled in for Williams since the Oct. 18 premiere date for the current season of The Wendy Williams Show. Shepherd quickly emerged as a fan favorite and has returned to fill Williams’ purple chair multiple times.

The original premiere date for this season was pushed back several times due to Williams contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19, and complications from her previous diagnosis of Graves’ disease.

Shepherd is currently hosting this week’s episodes followed by actor and comedian Michael Rapaport, who will host from Feb. 28 to March 4.