Williams is out on extended medical leave as she deals with complications of her Graves disease, the show said. She also tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19 last month.
Actress, comedian, podcaster and writer Cummings will sit on Williams’ couch the week of Oct. 25 - 29, while Shepherd, current host of Dish Nation and former host of The View, will host Nov. 1 - 5.
“In my opinion, nobody is more entertaining or authentic than Wendy Williams. As an avid fan, it is surreal to sit in for Wendy, but as someone who has been a guest on the show so many times, I feel confident that my relentless habit of speaking candidly, often to the point of self-sabotage, may go over well with her fans,” said Cummings in a statement.
“There are few places I’d feel as safe to be as unhinged and opinionated as on Wendy’s show and I am looking forward to burning many a bridge. Each episode I do will be in celebration of her fearlessness, and the lessons I’ve learned from her fearless feedback and advice. I’d like to do whatever I can to make her life easier while she recovers so she can come back stronger and more powerful than ever.”
"I'm so excited to return to the Wendy Williams Show to host for a full week!” said Shepherd in a statement. “I had such a great time when I hosted the show in 2019 and I'm flattered that Wendy and the producers put their trust in me to fill in again. I'm sending my love and well wishes out to her.”
Wendy Williams was supposed to debut its new season on Monday, Sept. 20 but has kept pushing the premiere with Williams unable to return. It finally launched season 13 on Monday, Oct. 18, with a panel of guest hosts, 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.
Remini then took over hosting duties Tuesday through Friday.
No date has yet been set for Williams’ return.
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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