Wendy Williams' talk show reign is reportedly coming to an official end following months of health struggles.
Anonymous insiders reportedly are saying "The Wendy Williams Show" host, who has been on hiatus from her talk show since September amid health complications, "will never return" to her hosting seat and a search for her permanent replacement is quietly underway.
Allegedly, the combination of Williams' health struggles and continuously strong ratings in her absence are what have driven studio executives to rebrand the show and continue it without its namesake.
"No-one expected ratings to go up 32 percent without Wendy," Radar Online reported its unnamed source said. "The fill-in hosts were just supposed to keep the show's lights on until Wendy was well enough to return. It was assumed that without Wendy, the audience would not watch, but the has not been the case. In fact, when Sherri Shepherd took over she not only retained all of Wendy's fans but also brought in a whole new audience too. This is why the search has changed from finding a temporary replacement to a full-time one."
Shepherd, who will return to the show as guest host the week of December 13-17, is reportedly the front-runner for the full-time gig, with a source saying that the job is "Sherri's to lose. She is the No. 1 choice."
The Hollywood gossip queen updated fans on her health earlier this month, revealing that while her recovery was "taking longer than we expected," she planned to return to her purple chair as soon as she and her doctors "all agree I'm ready."
Her brother, Tommy Williams, debunked rumors of Wendy showing early signs of early-onset dementia and being confined to a wheelchair and told The Sun that the two have discussed post-show plans for her whenever she does give up her seat. "We've talked about different things," he said. "She's definitely kicked around some different ideas, all of which I know she'll be successful with, but time will tell."
"I do believe that anything, post her career in television, if that were to be the case, would be involving youth and people who dream of doing something in the media," he added.
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