The Wendy Williams Show
|The Wendy Williams Show|
|Also known as||The Wendy Show, Wendy|
|Created by||Wendy Williams|
|Presented by||Wendy Williams|
|Theme music composer||David Vanacore|
|Ending theme||"Feel It" (Shout it Out Remix) by Fergie|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||12|
|No. of episodes||1500+|
|Production locations||Chelsea Studios, New York City|
|Running time||43 minutes|
|Original release||July 14, 2008 –|
The Wendy Williams Show (often shortened to Wendy) is an American syndicated talk show created and hosted by Wendy Williams and produced by Wendy Williams Productions, and Perler Productions. The Wendy Williams Show is distributed by Debmar-Mercury and airs nationally, with Fox's owned-and-operated stations serving as its primary affiliate base. The talk show first aired on July 14, 2008 in select major U.S. markets and later expanded nationwide on July 13, 2009 due to strong viewership.
Wendy is broadcast live in front of a studio audience at Chelsea Studios in New York City on Mondays through Thursdays. The Friday shows are either a first-run episode originally taped after the Thursday for broadcast the next day, or a repeat of the previous Monday's episode. The show regularly competes with The Ellen DeGeneres Show as the top-ranked syndicated talk show averaging more than 1.6 million viewers per day including 440,000 in the target demo of women 25–54.
The twelfth season of Wendy premiered on September 21, 2020.
The program is formatted as an entertainment-based talk show, focusing largely on celebrity news and gossip as well as lifestyle features.
Each episode begins with "Hot Topics," an opening segment — usually running 18 to 21 minutes (originally lasting 10 to 12 minutes until the third season), depending on the number of stories featured — in which Williams mainly discusses tabloid headlines and celebrity news, and provides her opinions — often addressing the celebrities directly and giving them advice to the camera. The segment incorporates a heavier emphasis on stories about reality stars and African-American entertainers (particularly hip-hop, rap and R&B artists) than are covered on traditional entertainment newsmagazine programs. Occasionally, the topics incorporated into the segment may involve current issues and offbeat news items not related to the entertainment industry; Williams periodically deviates from the topic to elaborate on a particular aspect of it that relates to her own life. The studio audience (who are affectionately termed by Williams as her "co-hosts") have some active participation in the segment, with Williams often surveying them through applause about a particular point of the story being discussed.
Periodic segments-within-a-segment are featured during "Hot Topics" including "Wendy's Got You Covered" (detailing cover stories from current issues of entertainment, fashion and lifestyle magazines), the "Hot Shot of the Day" (showcasing a particular celebrity photo), the "Clip of the Day" (usually featuring clips or promos from upcoming television programs) and "Celebrity Shout-Out" (detailing a celebrity-related story highlighting a particular milestone or accomplishment).
In addition to "Hot Topics", the program included other in-depth topical segments incorporating guest contributors including the
- "Hot Talk Panel" (regularly featured during the Thursday or Friday editions) in which Williams and a panel of four journalists discuss news items and current issues ranging from social and political issues to tabloid headlines;
- "What's Trending Now", an occasional segment that showcases viral videos, and details the latest fashion and beauty trends and offbeat stories trending on social media; and
- "Inside Scoop", featuring a contributor who rotates each week (most of whom are correspondents/hosts of entertainment-related newsmagazine programs or magazines) providing detailed analysis of a selection of celebrity-related stories.
The remainder of the program heavily incorporates feature segments (many of which are featured in the show's "B"-block) including "Ask Wendy" (a segment in which Williams gives audience members advice on how to deal with their work, family or relationship problems), "Celebrity Fan-Out" (featuring photographs submitted by viewers of their celebrity encounters), "Celebrity Lookalikes" (featuring photographs of viewers stating their resemblance to a particular celebrity, with Williams and the studio audience judging the closeness in their resemblance), "Hot Topics Sound-Off" (in which up to four audience members give their opinion to Williams about the stories discussed in "Hot Topics" or other topical segments mentioned in that day's episode) and "Street Talk" (a man-on-the-street segment in which viewers in public areas in U.S. cities provide their opinions of hypothetical celebrity-related questions, with humorous cutout animations added).
On the Tuesday and Wednesday (and sometimes, the Thursday) editions, Williams interviews a single featured celebrity guest; musical performances are featured occasionally. The show regularly features product giveaways, usually as part of "Trendy@Wendy", a weekly segment showcasing fashion/beauty products and electronics that are given to studio audience members, with at-home viewers being able to purchase the featured items through the show's website at a discount from their estimated retail price.
Production and distribution
On April 21, 2008, Fox Television Stations ordered a test run of the show for the group's Fox owned-and-operated stations to air after their local weekday morning newscasts. The Wendy Williams Show premiered on July 14, 2008 as a six-week trial run on four Fox-owned outlets: WNYW/New York City, KTTV/Los Angeles, WJBK/Detroit and KDFW/Dallas-Fort Worth.
After the test run concluded, Debmar-Mercury picked up the program for a full nationwide launch, and through additional station group pickups (including stations owned by CBS Television Stations, NBC Owned Television Stations, Tribune Broadcasting, LIN TV Corporation, Cox Media Group, Local TV LLC, Raycom Media, New Vision Television and the Meredith Corporation), gained carriage on stations covering more than 95% of the country including all of the 20 largest media markets and 45 of the top 50 markets. On June 4, 2009, BET acquired the cable syndication rights to the show, airing it as part of the cable channel's late night schedule. The Wendy Williams Show entered into national syndication on broadcast stations and on BET on July 13, 2009 before being cancelled from the network (along with The Real) on September 15, 2017. It then moved to the rebranded BET Her at the start of the 2017–18 season for one additional season until it was cancelled again in the late summer 2018. In the 2018–19 season, the last-day episodes previously aired on Pop for the first only season and was cancelled for the third and final time. Also, the show now airs on Bounce TV and its most recent airing.
The Wendy Williams Show went on a 17-city "Say It Like You Mean It" promotional tour across the United States in the summer of 2011, presenting mini-versions of the show at local malls. Williams went on a 10-city tour during the summer of 2018, to celebrate the tenth season of the show.
On May 4, 2013, Fox Television Stations announced a deal with Debmar-Mercury to renew the show through the 2016–17 television season. In April 2019, Debmar-Mercury began distributing with CBS Television Studios, following 20th Century Fox being bought by Walt Disney.
The show debuted outside the United States on BET International in July 2010 in markets like UK and Africa. In the UK, Wendy remains the most watched show on BET where it is shown a total of four times a day. In South Africa the show premiered on BET Africa in 2014 and has since been the most watched show on the network with around 4-5 million viewers a day. The most watched episode was in May 2019 when Blac Chyna appeared as a guest drawing up to 5.7 million viewers. In 2020 BET Africa has played less of the show weekly, usually in the mornings.
In March 2020, production on the series was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, it was announced the series would return to television beginning April 6, with the show being taped from Williams home.
On October 31, 2017, Williams, dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume on the Halloween episode, unexpectedly fainted during the live telecast when about to announce the winners of the show's Halloween contest. The episode then went into an extended commercial break. Williams resumed stating, "That was not a stunt. I overheated and did pass out, but I'm a champ and I'm back." Williams and her spokesperson cited heat exhaustion from her costume as the cause.
In February 2018, Williams canceled three shows due to illness. On February 21, Williams announced that she was taking a three-week hiatus, due to health issues. In March, actor Jerry O'Connell served as guest host during her absence, despite Williams insisting in previous years her show would never utilize a guest host. Williams returned on March 19. She went on an indefinite hiatus in January and February 2019 after a shoulder injury and worsening complications from Graves' disease and other personal issues. This time around, several guest hosts such as, Keke Palmer, Nick Cannon, former "View" panelist Sherri Shepherd and O'Connell filled the slot until Williams was well enough to return. Williams returned to her show on March 4, 2019. Williams noted on the March 19 episode of her show that she had also begun treatment for a decades-old cocaine addiction and was living in a sober house when not hosting her show.
On February 17, 2020, Williams made a joke about Amie Harwick, a Hollywood sex therapist who had died on February 15 after injuries sustained from being pushed off a three-story balcony. She had previously been engaged to The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, but they broke it off the following year. On her show, Williams uttered the famous catchphrase from the show, "Come on down!" and looked down, pretending to watch someone fall to the ground. The joke was met with a mostly quiet response from the audience, but drew heavy backlash online. Many called her joke insensitive and mocking to Harwick.
Telling a woman to lie to her husband about taking birth control
On April 22, 2014, Williams talked to a woman on air who said that she had just had a baby and wanted another one, but her husband did not want a second child. She said that her friends told her to lie about taking birth control to trick him into having another child against his will. She asked what Williams thought she should do. Williams responded that she couldn't tell her to do that, but said to "look into my [Williams's] eyes". She then told the audience to clap if they agree that the woman should lie to her husband about the birth control and the majority clapped to say yes. Williams called them "my people". As of February 6, 2021, the video clip of the interview on Williams's YouTube channel had over 13,000 dislikes and only 810 likes.
Awards and recognition
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2010||Hadiiya Barbel & D'Angelo Thompson||Outstanding Hairstyling||Nominated|
|2011||Antwon Jackson, Hadiiya Barbel & D'Angelo Thompson||Outstanding Hairstyling||Won|
|Marilyn Rennagel||Outstanding Lighting Direction||Nominated|
|Merrell Hollis & D'Angelo Thompson||Outstanding Makeup||Nominated|
|2012||Antwon Jackson & Jai Williams||Outstanding Hairstyling||Nominated|
|2015||The Wendy Williams Show||Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment||Nominated|
|Wendy Williams||Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host||Nominated|
|2016||The Wendy Williams Show||Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment||Nominated|
|Wendy Williams||Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host||Nominated|
|2017||Wendy Williams||Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host||Nominated|
|2019||Wendy Williams||Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host||Nominated|
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- Andreeva, Nellie (March 13, 2020). "ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Shuts Down Production Over Coronavirus, Joins CBS' 'Late Show', NBC's 'The Tonight Show' & 'Late Night', Syndicated 'Wendy Williams Show' – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 3, 2020). "'The Ellen DeGeneres Show', 'The Wendy Williams Show' & 'Rachael Ray' Return To Television – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth. "Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams set TV returns after coronavirus hiatus". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
- "The 12th season of WENDY starts SEPTEMBER 21!!! I can't wait to get back to all of YOU and to my AMAZING staff and crew!!! I'm sooo excited to bring you silly, funny, glamour and hopefully brighten your day during these crazy times that we're all living in... even if for just an hour. I miss you and can't wait to get back in my purple chair and show you what we did to the set. I L💜VE you for watching!". Instagram. July 21, 2020.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (July 21, 2020). "'The Wendy Williams Show' Sets In-Studio Return Date After Months-Long Coronavirus Shutdown".
- "Wendy Williams Passes Out, Falls Down After Getting 'Overheated' During Halloween Episode" from Billboard (October 31, 2017)
- Hautman, Nicholas (February 21, 2018). "Wendy Williams to Take Three-Week Hiatus From Talk Show Due to Graves' Disease and Thyroid Issues". Us Weekly. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Pasquini, Maria (March 6, 2018). "Wendy Williams Announces When She'll Return to TV Following Hiatus to Focus on Her Health". People. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Wendy Williams Taking Extended Break From Talk Show Due to Health Issues from TVLine (January 18, 2019)
- Wendy Williams Has Been 'Living in a Sober House' Due to 'Struggle with Cocaine in the Past'. People. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- Orso, Anna (February 18, 2020). "Lansdale native Amie Harwick, sex therapist and ex-fiancée of Drew Carey, killed in Los Angeles". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- Aviles, Gwen (February 18, 2020). "Wendy Williams faces backlash for joke about celebrity sex therapist Amie Harwick's death". NBC News. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- Ryder, Taryn (February 18, 2020). "Wendy Williams slammed for mocking Amie Harwick's death with 'Price Is Right' joke". Yahoo Entertainment. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- "Ask Wendy: I Want Another Baby!". The Wendy Williams Show Youtube Channel. April 22, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
- "The Wendy Williams Show — Awards and nominations". IMDb. Retrieved November 10, 2020.