Wendy Williams is reportedly not happy with her producers' choice of replacement hosts, specifically Leah Remini. The Wendy Williams Show producers were forced to postpone the Season 13 premiere in September due to Williams' health issues. When the show returns on Tuesday, the former The Talk co-host was sitting in Williams' purple chair. Sources close to Williams told Radar Online she did not approve of Remini hosting the show.
"No one asked Wendy for her approval before hiring Leah," the source told Radar Online. "They will say they are protecting Wendy and don't want to bother her as she recovers, but it's her name that is above the front door and she should have been consulted on this." Remini is only hosting through the end of this week, and producers haven't announced who else will host the show.
"It is a disaster," Radar's source said. "CNN's Don Lemon and several other hosts have already passed on joining the lineup. The last time Wendy was replaced with panels of D-list celebrities the ratings were a disaster. No one wants to see Bevy Smith or Michael Yo, they want to see Wendy. It is a thankless job, that has a very good chance of upsetting Wendy if you take it." The source added at Williams was "livid" when Jerry O'Connell filled in for her because she believed he was only auditioning for his own show. (O'Connell was eventually hired to replace Sharon Osborne on The Talk.)
Back on Sept. 9, Wendy producers said Williams could not do promotional work for Season 13 ahead of the planned Sept. 20 premiere. The premiere was then postponed until Oct. 4 after the producers announced she tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Williams missed that date as well, and the premiere was postponed until Monday. On Oct. 12, producers announced that guest hosts and panels will replace Williams. They also finally provided some details about Williams' health.
"Wendy continues to be under medical supervision and meets with her medical team on a daily basis. She is making progress but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves' Disease 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 read. "Wendy is a valued and stalwart member of the Debmar-Mercury family and has been so for 12 years. We want her health to be her top priority. As soon as she's ready, she will be back in her treasured purple chair."
On Monday, Wendy viewers tuned in to see Bevy Smith, Elizabeth Wagmeister, Michael Yo, and Devyn Simone talk about the day's issues in place of Williams. Remini will host on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Remini was a co-host on the first season of The Talk and hosts the Game Show Network show People Puzzler. She won two Emmys for her A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.