The Wendy Williams Show will fill its season-13 premiere week with guest hosts as its titular host recovers from complications from Graves' disease and thyroid issues, producers of the Debmar-Mercury-produced show said via Instagram. Williams also tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19 last month.
“Wendy continues to be under medical supervision and meets with her medical team on a daily basis. She is making progress but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves’ disease and her thyroid condition,“ the show‘s social team posted on its Instagram feed. “It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties.
“Wendy is a valued and stalwart member of the Debmar-Mercury family and has been so for 12 years. We want her health to be her top priority. As soon as she's ready, she will be back in her treasured purple chair.”
On Monday, Oct. 18, Wendy Williams’ season premiere, the show will be hosted by a “Hot Talk” panel including Devyn Simone, host of MTV’s The Challenge: Aftermath, author/actor/media personality Bevy Smith, Variety senior correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister and comedian and actor Michael Yo. Smith and Wagmeister previously hosted Fox’s syndicated Page Six talk show together.
Actress Leah Remini will guest host the program for the rest of the week, marking the first time the actress has sat in the show’s host chair.
“Wendy’s shoes are hard to fill, so we needed to find the right fit. Leah will bring a lot of fun and energy to our viewers with a few surprises along the way,” said Executive Producer David Perler in a statement.
Wendy Williams had been scheduled to premiere its new season on Monday, Sept. 20, but pushed that date back after Williams' positive COVID test.
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.
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