Wendy Williams' hiatus from her daytime FOX talk show has been extended again amid the media maven's leave of absence to focus on her health. Page Six reports that Williams won't be returning until at least February 2022. Sources tell the media outlet the new return date is not necessarily set in stone, leading to more speculation whether or not she'll return to her beloved purple chair to discuss hot topics at all. The show will continue to have notable guest hosts in lieu of Williams, who has been out of commission since the current season premiere. Rappers Fat Joe and Remy Ma will return for the first week of January, followed by comedian Michael Rappaport. Kym Whitley and Finesse Williams will join in the third week of January as guest hosts. Sherri Shepherd, who has brought in the highest ratings as a guest host, will return for the last week of January.
It's been speculated that network executives are scrambling to find a permanent replacement to fill Williams' slot. With Shepherd's reception being so good, it's been rumored that she'll be rewarded her own show as a result. Previously, Nick Cannon was allegedly slated to replace Williams but his ratings have not been as expected on his own show.
There's not much confirmation regarding Williams' health condition, besides the fact that she suffers from lymphodema and graves disease. Recently, she was seen spotted in NYC being escorted out of her apartment complex and into an SUV in a wheelchair. Rumors about her having early signs of dementia ran rampant, with her brother Tommy denying such in an interview with The Sun.
"We haven't had any alerts like that and I haven't seen anything like that or have had conversations with her that would lead me to believe that," he said at the time. "We routinely go up and check on Wendy even though we're all down here in Florida. I try to make it up there and my dad speaks with Wendy frequently. So no, we don't have any concerns concerning her mental state. It's all physical. I am trying to find out if she's coming down for Thanksgiving. I mean- she's normal like that."
Williams was then seen leaving a Florida wellness center days later, telling paps she was "doing fabulous." An aide escorted her on foot to her car. Williams has not yet spoken out, with the exception of one social media post explaining she's excited to return once she's well enough. At the beginning of her absence, it was reported she had a "breakthrough case of COVID."