The Wendy Williams Show will end because of the 57-year-old host’s prolonged health-related absence and be replaced this fall with a show hosted by Sherri Shepherd, the producer of both TV programs confirmed Tuesday.
The new daytime show, crisply titled Sherri, will ‘inherit’ the time slots on Fox owned-and-operated stations that have been the backbone of Williams’ national syndication since 2008, producer and distributor Debmar-Mercury said.
It comes after Williams took time off from the popular talk show to deal with her health issues connected to her longtime struggle with the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease.
‘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,’ company co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement.
Fans of Wendy Williams (pictured this month) have voiced their shock amid whispers that her show will be transitioning into The Sherri Shepherd Show
‘We hope to be able to work with Wendy again in the future, and continue to wish her a speedy and full recovery,’ the executives said.
They also expressed their ‘great love and affinity for Wendy’ and admiration for her success.
The company declined to comment further on her recent health issues, which Williams herself has not discussed other than in generalities.
Howard Bragman, a spokesman for Williams, issued a statement shortly thereafter.
‘It’s been a challenging time for Wendy as she deals with her health issues,’ he said.
‘She is incredibly grateful to Debmar-Mercury, to Sherri and everybody else who has supported the show through this time.’
Sherri Shepherd has been one of many guest hosts to fill in for Williams and garnered strong ratings during a stint last November
‘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.’
Sherri also confirmed the news in her own statement, saying: ‘OMG! I am so excited to have my dream come true and debut my very own talk show.
The confirmation comes after sources this week claimed The Wendy Williams Show would be ending in June after more than 13 years on screen and transitioning into The Sherri Shepherd Show – however, it will now be simply titled Sherri.
Shepherd has been one of many guest hosts to fill in for Williams after she signed off at the end of Season 12 last July.
A source told The Sun: ‘Sherri has to walk a tight rope between being her own woman and respecting what Wendy has accomplished.
‘Expect no major changes to the show itself. They want everything to feel familiar.
‘Over the next few weeks, Sherri will reach out to Wendy’s fans.’
Yesterday fans reacted with shock amid claims The Wendy Williams Show would come to an end.
One fan wrote: ‘Wendy Williams was a legend on radio and a legend as a talk show host. The way she transitioned to TV and was at the top of her game, no one can ever do what she did. Iconic in both fields!
‘I hate that the Wendy Show is being canceled. Whether you loved or hated her, she was elite.’
While another added: ‘I’m actually so sad that the Wendy Williams Show is getting canceled. Like the Wendy era is coming to an end.’
Another person commented: ‘Reading that the Wendy Williams Show is being canceled isn’t sitting right with my spirit.’
While one person said: ‘If the Wendy Williams show is getting canceled, I’m not down for that. But her having her own podcast…now that I would tune in for!’
Dans reacted with shock amid claims The Wendy Williams Show would come to an end in June
Williams, 57, took time off from her popular talk show to deal with her health issues reportedly connected to her longtime struggle with Graves’ disease
In July last year Williams announced that she would be taking some time off from her daytime show as she dealt with health concerns connected to Graves’ disease.
Shepherd, who is best known for her work on The View and the show Sherri, joined a host of celebrities, including Leah Remini, Michael Rapaport, Whitney Cummings and Jerry Springer, to temporarily host the show.
But earlier this month Williams’ return to her TV show was cast in doubt after insiders said her recovery from illness was ‘going slower than everyone had hoped.’
One source told People Tuesday: ‘She continues to deal with a number of medical issues, including Graves’ disease, and she and her team are taking it one day at a time.’
Her show issued a statement last autumn that Williams remained ‘under medical supervision’ and was ‘meeting ‘with her medical team on a daily basis’.
Last week Williams made an appearance on social media amid her ongoing health struggles to share a picture of her father, former school principle Thomas Dwayne Williams, celebrating his 91st birthday.
Shepherd, joined a host of celebrities, including Leah Remini, Michael Rapaport, Whitney Cummings and Jerry Springer, to temporarily host the show. Pictured: Sherri Shepherd and Wendy Williams in 2014
The month the embattled talk-show host celebrated her father’s 91st birthday
She shared a snap of the two of them together alongside the caption: ‘Daddy’s 91st birthday! Enjoying it in the most relaxing way possible.’
It came just days after she posted a video of herself reassuring fans she planned to come back ‘stronger’.
In the video, filmed by her son Kevin Hunter Jr., 21, Williams could be seen walking along the beach in Miami, Florida.
She said: ‘It’s just after 8 o’clock in the morning and I’m doing OK, you know? It’s very peaceful here.’
Williams also shared what she planned to accomplish for the day, including several phone calls to her relatives and business partners.
‘What do you have to say to those people who think you’re up to whatever it is?’ asked Kevin, to which Williams replied: ‘Excuse me, I am going back stronger.’
She went on to say: ‘At  years old, there are things that happen to people. I would say things usually start about 40 and they go up from there, you know, so you’ve got to eat the right food.’
She concluded the video by doubling down on her commitment to recovery and one day heading back to New York to reassume her role as host of The Wendy Williams Show.