"The Wendy Williams Show" will go on, but initially without Williams this season. Due to the daytime talk-show host's various medical issues, which she has long discussed openly, guest hosts will be at the fore when the syndicated series returns for its 13th season Monday.
Currently in reruns, the show "will start airing originals … with an exciting lineup of guest hosts and panels to be announced soon," a representative said in a statement to Newsday, also posted on the show's Instagram account. Williams, 57, suffers from Graves' disease, aka autoimmune hyperthyroidism, as well as from lymphedema, an incurable but manageable disorder that typically causes arms or legs to swell. As well, the host recently suffered a breakthrough case of COVID-19.
"Wendy continues to be under medical supervision and meets with her medical team on a daily basis," the statement continued. "She is making progress but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves' [d]isease and her thyroid condition. It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties."
The statement added that the show's production company considers Williams "a valued and stalwart member of the Debmar-Mercury family … . We want her health to be her top priority. As soon as she's ready, she will be back in her treasured purple chair. We very much appreciate the respect for Wendy's privacy as well as all the good wishes from her fans, station partners and advertisers."
The season originally had been set to begin Sept. 20, but was moved to Oct. 4 after Williams contracted COVID-19. The show's Instagram account on Sept. 30 then announced the move to Oct. 18, saying, "Her breakthrough covid [sic] case is no longer an issue and she has tested negative, but she is still dealing with some ongoing medical issues."