As “The Wendy Williams Show” prepares to close out its current 13th season with Sherri Shepherd seated in the signature purple chair, TheWrap has learned producers are moving forward without input from the show’s namesake host, Wendy Williams.
“She’s currently not involved with the show in any way,” an individual close to Williams told TheWrap.
The individual confirmed Williams won’t return for the current season and added, “Next season is up in the air depending on her health.”
This latest turn comes as Shepherd moves closer to finalizing a deal to take over as permanent guest host on the syndicated daytime talk show.
Williams has been on medical leave throughout the current season after suffering a breakthrough case of COVID-19 as well as complications from a previous diagnosis of Graves’ disease.
After multiple delays, Season 13 kicked off in October 2021, with a revolving door of fill-in hosts including actress Leah Remini, comedians Bill Bellamy and Michael Rapaport, and Shepherd who has emerged as a fan favorite.
Shepherd previously served as a co-host on “The View” and is close to finalizing a deal to finish out hosting the current season of the “Wendy” show.
TMZ was the first outlet to report the news of Shepherd’s negotiations Tuesday and said she could be named permanent host if Williams’ health does not improve by the fall.
This month’s guest host lineup includes rappers Fat Joe and Remy Ma from Monday, Feb. 7 to Friday, Feb. 11, followed by media personalities Bevy Smith and Terrence J from Monday, Feb. 14 to Friday, Feb. 18. Sherri Shepherd returns Feb. 21- Feb. 25, and Rapaport will take over hosting duties Monday, Feb. 28 – Friday, March 4, the show announced on Instagram.