Wendy Williams, 57, was “blindsided” to learn that Sherri Shepherd, 54, will be launching her new talk show in Wendy’s time slot, according to a source on Tuesday, February 22. Wendy has been absent from ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ due to health issues and several hiatuses.
According to the source, Wendy, the talk show presenter, was taken aback by the announcement of Sherri’s new show. As per the reports, “Wendy was blindsided … especially after the only language she has received from production has been messages of encouragement & that when she is ready to come back, they’re ready for her.”
According to the insider, the show and the network were suffering as a result of Wendy’s absence. “The show has been losing, has lost a lot of money. Wendy has been out for a considerable amount of time, and they’re contractually obligated to the FOX affiliates because they pay money to carry the show,” they said.
The source continued, “At the beginning of the season, remember, Wendy was out, and then it was like, ‘Okay, she might come back in a couple of weeks,’ and then it just kept getting pushed. So, you have to imagine how the affiliates are thinking about this because there are so many episodes that have to be produced per year.” According to a source, Wendy was undoubtedly taken aback by the announcement of a ‘The View’ veteran taking over Wendy’s show.
“In one sense, she can’t say that she’s blindsided, because, like, what did you expect? But at the same time, she’s thinking she’s going to get better. And the show keeps telling her ‘Oh, we can’t wait to come back. So this is the situation. I imagine that’s why she feels blindsided by this,” said the source.
“It’s been a challenging time for Wendy as she deals with her health issues.
Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein wished Wendy a speedy recovery and stated that they “hope to be able to work with Wendy again in the future” after revealing that Sherri Shepherd will take Wendy’s time slot. Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd took to Twitter to announce the launch of her own ‘SHERRI’ program in September 2022. In her Twitter statement, she praised Debmar-Mercury, executive producer JawnMurray, and showrunner David Perler.
Wendy’s spokesperson, Howard Bragman, made the following statement: “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 went on, “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.”
Wendy turned to her Instagram account a few hours after her spokeswoman released a statement, and urged Howard not to speak for her on this topic on February 22. She penned, “Mr Bragman although I appreciate your concerns and respect you immensely. I have not authorized you to make any statements on my behalf regarding my current status with Debmar Mercury. Again thanks for your continuing concern and support.”