‘Sherri’ Returns to Repeats After Sherri Shepherd Contracts COVID-19

Sherri Shepherd hosts Debmar-Mercury's 'Sherri.'
Sherri Shepherd hosts Debmar-Mercury's 'Sherri.' (Image credit: 'Sherri'/Andrew Werner)

After premiering season two on Monday, Debmar-Mercury’s Sherri, starring Sherri Shepherd, has to return to repeats when Shepherd tested positive for COVID-19. 

“I am absolutely heartbroken that I cannot return to host my show this week,” Shepherd posted on Instagram Wednesday. “As soon as I get the all-clear from my doctor, I look forward to coming back strong to deliver the fun, laughter and a real good time.”

Sherri will air encore episodes at least through this week.

Sherri returned to the air in a challenging daytime environment in which other shows — CBS Media Ventures’ Drew Barrymore, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Jennifer Hudson and CBS’s The Talk — all ended up delaying their season premieres amid the writers’ and actors’ strikes. All of those shows employ some WGA-affiliated writers, while Sherri does not. The studios are meeting with Writers Guild of America representatives on Wednesday.

Talk-show hosts are covered under SAG-AFTRA’s “network code,” which allows them to work during strikes, but if those shows employ guild members, the guild considers them to be struck if they are in production during labor stoppages. 

Drew Barrymore had also planned to premiere on Monday, but ended up postponing the show’s start after fans and fellow actors reactively negatively to an apology video the host posted on Instagram on Friday, September 15. She took down that video soon after and announced on Sunday, September 17 that the show would be delayed. Jennifer Hudson and The Talk, which had been picketed by the WGA while it was in rehearsals, both followed suit. 

Other daytime talkers have premiered, including Disney’s Live with Kelly and Mark and Tamron Hall and NBCUniversal’s Karamo. ABC’s The View also has remained in production, with its two WGA writers staying out of work, but pickets on that show have increased after last week’s controversy. When NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson will return for its season-five premiere remains unknown as that show undergoes a move to New York from Los Angeles.  

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.