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Wendy Williams, 57, was completely taken aback by news that Sherri Shepherd54, would be getting a new talk show in her time slot. A source close to the production revealed to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that The Wendy Williams Show host felt “blindsided” with the announcement that The View alum would be receiving her own show in Wendy’s time slot, simply called Sherri on Tuesday February 22.
As Wendy has taken time away from her show to focus on recovering from health issues, and the talk show has returned with guest co-hosts, including Sherri. The source revealed that the news of Sherri’s new show was a shock to Wendy amid her hiatus. “Wendy was blindsided … especially after the only language she has received from production has been messages of encouragement & that when she is ready to come back, they’re ready for her,” they said.

The source continued and said that without Wendy, it was costing the show and network. “The show has been losing, has lost a lot of money. Wendy has been out for a considerable amount of time, and they’re contractually obligated to the FOX affiliates, because they pay money to carry the show,” they said. “At the beginning of the season, remember, Wendy was out, and then it was like, ‘Okay, she might come back in a couple weeks,’ and then it just kept getting pushed. So, you have to imagine how the affiliates are thinking about this because there are so many episodes that have to be produced per year.”

With the announcement of Sherri’s show, Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein sent Wendy further well-wishes of a quick recovery and said that they “hope to be able to work with Wendy again in the future.” The source also mentioned that the news probably surprised her amid all the well-wishes. “In one sense, she can’t say that she’s blindsided, because, like, what did you expect?” she said. “But at the same time, she’s thinking she’s going to get better. And the show keeps telling her ‘Oh, we can’t wait to come back. So this is the situation. I imagine that’s why she feels blindsided by this.”
Wendy’s spokesperson Howard Bragman gave the following statement to HollywoodLife. “It’s been a challenging time for Wendy as she deals with her health issues. She is incredibly grateful to Debmar-Mercury, to Sherri and everybody else who has supported the show through this time,” he said. “She, more than anyone, understands the reality of syndicated television — you can’t go to the marketplace and sell a show that’s The Maybe Wendy Show. She understands why this decision was made from a business point of view, and she has been assured by Debmar-Mercury that should her health get to a point where she can host again and should her desire be that she hosts again that she would be back on TV at that time.”

And just hours later, Wendy released her own statement, asking Howard not to speak for her on this matter. “Mr Bragman although I appreciate your concerns and respect you immensely I have not authorized you to make any statements on my behalf regarding my current status with Debmar Mercury. Again thanks for your continuing concern and support,” she wrote in her Instagram Story on Feb. 22.

HollywoodLife reached out to a rep for Debmar-Mercury for comment.
 

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