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How Wendy Williams' successor was chosen

Sherri Shepherd was supposed to fill in only a few days.

It’s Fall

and Wendy Williams , the star of her own self-titled talk show Host, didn’t spend weeks in her famous purple chair. According to multiple sources, she was in and out of the hospital as medical professionals tried to figure out what was causing symptoms such as non-linear speech, memory loss and even hallucinations. Meanwhile, the producer of her am TV show is entering its 13 The first season, they’ve pushed back as much as possible, and now they’re relying on a string of guest hosts. Shepherd is scheduled to fill in the third week, although she will be brought back a few more.

“She surprised us,” said Alexandra Jewett, executive vice president of programming at Debmar-Mercury. “We were always looking for who was there and what they could bring, and from day one it was clear that Sherri had something special.” , it became increasingly clear that Williams would not be returning , and Shepherd was on the list of possible replacements Top notch. Former View co-host who is also an actress and comedian along with other frequent fillers like Leah Joined there by Remini and Michelle Visage.

In the end, Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein decided that Shepherd, who they had talked to about the show a few years ago, would be the perfect fit candidate. “We have time periods and formats, so: Who can best do this in his or her own style?” Bernstein said. “And we think Shirley has done a really good job with [Wendy format], and by tweaking it, we’re going to make it a Sherry Collie Show, but in 12, feet, in the marketplace, it will fill a niche about gossip, entertainment and celebrities and what’s going on in the world, with absolutely no politics involved.”

Marcus agreed, noting that some of the other guest hosts offered, from Remini to comedian/actor Michael Rapaport, were “great,” but ultimately a different show . “In order to keep viewers watching [The Wendy Williams Show], we think we should do Shirley,” he said. “Obviously she’s a better fit for what the Wendy Williams show is, you can see that when she comes on stage Ratings.”

The station was ultimately happy with the choice. After all, Shepherd is already in the Fox Station ecosystem as a co-host of Dish Nation, and

she will continue to do . Frank Cicha, executive vice president of programming at Fox, is busy promoting “cross-promotion opportunities,” while Lew Leone, general manager of Fox New York, is excited to have another New York-based station in New York. programme. Plus, he said, “Sherri is funny, she’s positive, and she’s capable of putting on her own show.”

Audiences shouldn’t expect Sherri, as the upcoming show will be named, for the exact same time as her complement as Williams, even though the vast majority Wendy Williams Show Crew and crew walk with her. When asked what would change, executives involved all emphasized that Shepherd himself brings a different energy and a different style. As some have pointed out, Shepherd lacks the strengths of her predecessor, which was part of Williams’ appeal in particular and alienating guests and potential viewers. By contrast, Shepherd has vowed to create a celebrity-friendly atmosphere, telling the Daily Mail recently, “I am very Happy.”

Bernstein hopes this side of Shepherd will help attract new audiences. “We’ve done research on Wendy over the years and [audiences] would say, ‘I can’t believe she’s so mean to people. I look at her every day and she’s so mean. Like, well, wait, Wait, wait, what’s the second row? I look at her every day and it’s obvious there’s something in there, but Shirley doesn’t have that edge,” Bernstein said. “In a lot of ways, she’s like the audience, she’s a single mom, her kids are her first, second, third, and she also happens to be a very talented comedian, hosting a talk show, and she’s very Good at.”

Shepherd’s show will premiere in September , At least some participants were concerned that the end of Williams’ gig could affect the admission of her successor. Shepherd has been blamed in recent months for a series of decisions beyond her control, including deleting Wendy

YouTube channel and social channels. The latter particularly annoyed Marcus. “Because we waited as long as possible to decide on Wendy, and at that point, we had no choice but to cancel The Wendy Williams Show and launch a new show,” he said. “Look, there’s no guarantee of success, but we’ve seen Shirley think enough of, ‘Wow, she can really do this,’ so we’re excited to try.”



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