Sherri Shepherd Insists She Doesn't Know When Wendy Williams Will Return Hours Before Producers Confirm Talk Show Cancellation
Sherri Shepherd kept plans to replace Wendy Williams under lock and key.
Only hours before the co-presidents of The Wendy Williams Show's distributor, Debmar-Mercury, revealed the show was coming to an end and Shepherd will be taking over the slot with her own show, the actress insisted she didn't know when the ailing host would be returning to her famed purple chair.
On Tuesday, February 22, Shepherd shared what appeared to be a recorded Instagram Live ahead of the latest episode. While behind-the-scenes, she showed a photo on the wall in the hallway of Williams, who she dubbed "the Queen," with Jennifer Lopez on the show.
"Just got my makeup and hair done. We're early because I get a little crazy," Shepherd told her followers as she continued to walk around backstage. The 54-year-old then read a question from an online user watching her Live who asked: "When is Wendy back?"
"I don't know. I don't know. What I do know is that we have all been filling in," Shepherd replied before dodging the question and going on to name a bevy of the celeb guests who have filled in since Williams stepped back from the show ahead of the Season 12 premiere in September 2021. "We've all been filling in, and we'll continue to fill in, so I don't know what to tell you."
"We're all praying for her," Shepherd insisted, as the 57-year-old has been dealing with ongoing health issues, including complications from Graves' Disease, a thyroid condition and a brief hospital stint for psychiatric services.
Despite Shepherd's claim of not knowing what's next for The Wendy Williams Show, Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein confirmed later on Tuesday that the show was coming to an end since "Wendy is still not available to host the show as she continues on her road to recovery."
Calling the announcement "a bitter sweet moment for us and our partners at Fox," they noted in their statement, "we believe it is best for our fans, stations and advertising partners to start making this transition now."
Given that Shepherd was a fan-favorite during her several hosting stints on the show, Marcus and Bernstein maintained: "we are excited to partner with her to create another long-term talk franchise."
OK! reported earlier this week that Williams' show would be coming to an end in June, with Shepherd's new show taking its place starting in September.