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Wendy Williams' daytime show ending in June, Sherri Shepherd to take over slot

USA TODAY 2/22/2022 Gabriela L. Laracca, Asbury Park Press

"The Wendy Williams Show," which has brought the latest celebrity gossip and talk to TV since 2008, is being canceled to make way for "Sherri," hosted by actress, comedian and TV personality Sherri Shepherd.

The new show will run on Fox and broadcasters nationwide during Williams' time slots, according to a release shared by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury Tuesday.

Now in her 13th season with Fox and BET, distributed by Debmar-Mercury, Williams has been on medical leave during her ongoing battle with the autoimmune disorder Graves' disease, while guest hosts have run her show. It is unknown if Williams, 57, will return to her purple chair once more before the end of her run.

Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement they hope to work with Williams again in the future.

"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," Marcus and Bernstein said in the release.

USA TODAY has reached out to Williams' representative for comment.

Shepherd, who has been a guest host on "Wendy Williams," won a Daytime Emmy Award from her time as a host on ABC's "The View," from 2007 to 2014.

"I am so excited to have my dream come true and debut my very own talk show... in the fall," said Shepherd in the release. "I can't wait until I return to New York to host the show and merge everything I love... pop culture, talk, entertainment and comedy. I... look forward to this new journey.” 

In an Instagram video Tuesday, Shepherd dodged commenters' questions about taking over for Williams, but praised the TV host for her many years of "spilling the tea" and "celebrity dish." 

"You can't replace Wendy. You can't take over what Wendy does. What Wendy has created is specifically for Wendy," she said, noting that what she does on the show is different.

"I just fill in with my brand of laughter and joy and I try to make it my own. But no one can do what Wendy does … nobody can recreate it. Nobody can take over."

"The Wendy Williams Show," which has brought the latest celebrity gossip and talk to TV since 2008, is being canceled to make way for "Sherri," hosted by American actress, comedian and TV personality Sherri Shepherd. © Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images for AHA "The Wendy Williams Show," which has brought the latest celebrity gossip and talk to TV since 2008, is being canceled to make way for "Sherri," hosted by American actress, comedian and TV personality Sherri Shepherd.

Shepherd will be an executive producer of "Sherri," alongside producing partner and media personality Jawn Murray, as well as David Perler, who will continue in the executive producer and showrunner role he has held for the past 12 seasons of "The Wendy Williams Show."

Williams tested positive for COVID in September. She seems to be taking some time for herself, as seen on a recent post from her new Instagram, @therealwendywilliamsonline.

In the video filmed by her son Kevin Hunter Jr., she's walking down a Florida beach, during what she said was a visit to her family. She said, "I'm doing okay." She also spoke of working out regularly in the mornings, eating healthy foods, and mentioned Florida is a much-needed break from New York.

She also plans on "going back stronger," in her return to the city. 

The video, which posted before the news of Shepherd taking over, also showed Williams saying "I want to be all that I can be, get back to New York, and get on down with 'The Wendy Williams Show.' "

Wendy Williams: New episodes to feature guest hosts as star faces medical issues

Reports of "The Wendy Williams Show" being canceled and Shepherd taking over were being discussed earlier this week on social media after Love B. Scott reported the news Sunday morning from "sources close to the production."

Since then, Williams has received an outpouring of support.

On Sunday, a fan on Twitter said "This is really sad! Wendy gave us so many pop culture moments! Good luck to Sherri but you don’t replace wine with soda." 

Another said this: "Out of the guest hosts, we've seen, Sherri is probably the best replacement, but it's not the same...not even close. I don't believe anyone can replace Wendy's realness." 

And then there was this tweet: "Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be spending this evening watching #WendyWilliams compilations on YouTube, eating ice cream & crying."

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Wendy Williams' daytime show ending in June, Sherri Shepherd to take over slot

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