The Wendy Williams Show confirmed that after 14 seasons, the show is officially coming to a close.
The final episode of Wendy Williams’ long-running talk show will air on Friday, June 14. However, despite previously expressing interest and intention in doing so, Williams herself will reportedly not be returning to the show. The host will reportedly not be present in the purple chair for the finale. Instead, a tribute video to the iconic gossip queen will be shown in her honor, a representative confirms to Entertainment Weekly.
Show distributor Debmar-Mercury announced Tuesday morning that longtime guest-host Sherri Shepherd, who has been stepping in Williams’ stead for months, will take over for the remainder of the season, and will also headline her own syndicated talk show starting this fall.
The current season faced several delays at its beginning, with a rotating cast of guest hosts filling in as producers awaiting Williams’ return. Rumors had long been swirling that Shepherd would replace Williams, since her health issues have persisted, keeping her from returning to her beloved purple chair for any part of season 14.
“This is … a bitter-sweet moment for us and our partners at Fox,” said Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein in a statement. “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.”
The Sherri Shepherd Show is slated to begin this fall.
Shepherd shared her excitement over finally getting her own daytime talk show, an achievement which she shared has always been a goal and dream of hers, even since long before she got her chair on The View. While sharing this happy news with Wendy Show fans, she paid respect to Williams and the many achievements she’s made over 13 years of hosting her now-iconic talk hot topic segment.
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“Nobody can do this format but Wendy. Nobody can sit in this purple chair and sip tea like Wendy Williams can,” Shepherd said. “You do not understand how hard it is to do 13 years of sitting in a chair and talking hot topics. Wendy’s unique brand of shade, and her shoe cam, and for the die-hard fans you remember the bubblegum wall?”
“Wendy Williams created a unique brand that folks are always going to talk about and love. But I am so excited for you to go on this Sherri Show journey with me this September.”