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.
“First of all, thanks to Debmar-Mercury for navigating through an extremely trying situation and providing stations with first-run programming throughout,” Frank Cicha, EVP of Programming for Fox Television Stations, said. “Secondly, Sherri is the perfect choice for this. Her appeal to our audience is clear, plus she’s already a member of the FTS family as host of Dish Nation.”
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.”
Are you ready to (formally) welcome Shepherd into your living rooms as the new queen of daytime? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.