And just like that, Sherri Shepherd is the new Wendy Williams. As anticipated, Shepherd will formally take over for Williams this fall, launching a newly titled syndicated talk show in The Wendy Williams Show‘s current Fox time slots.
“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.”
And talk she will. Among the segments transitioning from Wendy will be the iconic “Hot Topics,” on which Shepherd will reportedly put her own spin. Also on board from the original show is longtime Wendy showrunner David Perler, who will executive-produce alongside Shepherd and her producing partner Jawn Murray.
Shepherd has been Wendy‘s highest-rated rotating guest host in Williams’ absence. The show’s original host stepped back from her usual duties in October 2021, citing “serious complications” from Graves Disease and an aggravated thyroid condition.
“This is also a bitter-sweet moment for us and our partners at Fox,” Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said. “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. 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.”
Even The View, on which Shepherd was a co-host for seven seasons (2007–2014), congratulated her on the big news during Tuesday’s episode. Watch:
— The View (@TheView) February 22, 2022
In response to this announcement, the following statement was released by Williams’ spokesperson Howard Bragman: “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.”
The statement continues: “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.”
Are you ready to (formally) welcome Shepherd into your living rooms as the new queen of daytime? Watch footage of Shepherd’s on-set announcement, then drop a comment with your thoughts below.