Sherri Shepherd is said to be in the process of finalizing a deal that would name her the permanent host of The Wendy Williams Show.
Longtime fans of the show remember how Williams would say that she didn’t want to stay away from her show for long because she has seen during long vacancies of other shows how guest hosts eventually become permanent. Seems like the prophecy is coming true as sources tell Deadline that Shepherd is close to replacing Williams after her months-long absence.
Deadline cites TMZ, which reported that Shepherd will be named a “permanent guest host,” but Shepherd is gunning for a permanent hosting deal, period.
The show is also expected to be renamed via the deal.
The news has broken as station groups are figuring out what their daytime lineups will look like.
Williams has been gone for several months due to confluence of several health issues. Shepherd and Michael Rapaport have been the most popular guest hosts among those who have filled in for Williams. Also, scary for Williams, the ratings have gone up since her absence, particularly on the episodes Shepherd hosted.
Williams’ brother Tommy, however, is not a fan of the guest hosts, saying that she doesn’t want her fans to get used to not seeing Williams on television.
“She’s not finished and I know that you’re weighing in on the hosts that are on right now,” he told The Jasmine Brand in January. “I’m on the outside looking in just like you all. She’s not gone folks, she is just recalibrating. If Wendy weren’t doing well, I wouldn’t be sitting here smiling.”