Wendy Williams Taking Extended Break From Her Daytime Talk Show

Daytime talk show host Wendy Williams is taking an extended break from her show, Debmar-Mercury’s The Wendy Williams Show, to recover from a hairline fracture in her shoulder as well as deal with complications she’s having from Grave’s Disease.

On Friday, the show released a memo from Williams and her husband and manager, Kevin Hunter, saying that she’s under strict supervision by her physicians and requires a hospital stay.

“Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being,” the memo said, and went on to thank fans for their well wishes and for respecting her and her family’s privacy during this time.

“For over ten years, Wendy has been a vital part of the Debmar-Mercury family,” said Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury in a statement. “We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready.”

In the meantime, the show will go into repeats next week and then return with original episodes hosted by celebrity guests starting the week of Jan. 28. Names of those hosts are not available yet, but last March, Jerry O’Connell took over when Williams has needed to take time off. Wendy Williams' ratings drop significantly when the show is in repeats.

That's why Fox and Debmar-Mercury are working on an arrangement that would keep Wendy Williams in originals 48 weeks a year, and then use the other four weeks to test other show concepts, such as Debmar-Mercury’s talk show starring Jerry O’Connell or its access magazine, Central Avenue, which the company is developing in partnership with Will Packer Media. 

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.