A new year is swiftly approaching—but when the Wendy show returns after the holidays with new episodes in January, its host will still be on hiatus. Wendy Williams, who has thus far missed the entirety of her show’s 13th season due to complications from Graves disease as well as a reported COVID-19 diagnosis, will continue to focus on her recovery, Deadline reports. In her place, a rotating series of guest hosts will continue to fill her seat.
Currently in its 13th season, the show on Wednesday announced guest hosts for the month of January. Fat Joe and Remy Ma will host the week of January 3, followed by Michael Rapaport in week 2, comedic duo Kym Whitley and Finesse Mitchell in week 3 and Sherri Shepherd will close out the month from January 24-28.
“We’re looking forward to producing new and exciting shows in 2022 and we can’t wait to return in the new year with all of our guest hosts,” Executive Producer David Perler told the outlet, adding: “Each of the outstanding guest hosts brings a unique and distinctive style to the successful Wendy format with their individual personalities while also making sure that Wendy’s show remains consistent for the loyal Wendy watchers.”
Williams and the Wendy team have yet to confirm whether the 57-year-old media maven will feel up to returning in February, reports Page Six. In fact, as an insider told the outlet, it may not be worth her returning at all.
“Even if she did come back, she’d be a lame duck because her show isn’t renewed beyond this season,” they said.
As previously reported by The Root, this round of Williams’ ongoing health issues first arose in mid-September after she reportedly tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19, causing her show’s 13th season premiere to be delayed until October. However, Williams still was not ready to return to the airwaves; in her stead, Wendy showrunners booked a slew of celebrity guests to handle the show’s “Hot Topics” when it finally premiered on October 18. While the rumor mill speculated Williams might be suffering a mental health crisis or even early onset dementia (which her brother roundly denied), she had previously acknowledged living with Graves’ disease, which reportedly complicated her recovery.
Williams gave her own update in November, writing a heartfelt note to Wendy fans thanking them, her production team, and guest hosts for their support, but offering no prognosis on her return.
“I’m making progress, but it’s just one of those things that’s taking longer than we expected,” she wrote. “I’m a woman of a certain age, and I know enough to listen to my doctors and will return to my purple chair as soon as we all agree I’m ready.”
In the interim, Sherri Shepard has proved the most popular of Wendy’s guest hosts, garnering a 0.9 rating in viewership. Meanwhile, Page Six reports Williams “was filmed earlier this month leaving a wellness center in Miami and told the camera she was ‘doing fabulous,’” as well as promising “’much more Wendy stuff’” to come.