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'The Wendy Williams Show' is ending

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

The long-running syndicated daytime talk show "The Wendy Williams Show" is coming to an end. Hosted by former radio host Wendy Williams, the show had a reputation for being raw, irreverent and sometimes kind of messy. But as NPR's Andrew Limbong reports, the show has had to rely heavily on guest hosts lately due to Williams' ongoing health issues.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: Wendy Williams has this unique catchphrase. At the top of every show, she'd hold her hands in front of her chest, fingers down like she's showing you her manicure, and ask the crowd...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW")

WENDY WILLIAMS: How you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE: How you doing?

WILLIAMS: I'm doing OK. Let's get started.

LIMBONG: But on and off for the past year or so, guest hosts ranging from Leah Remini to Fat Joe and Remy Ma have tried their hand at the how you doing. Most recently, it's been a former co-host of "The View," Sherri Shepherd.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW")

SHERRI SHEPHERD: How you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE: How you doing?

SHEPHERD: There we go. Let's get started.

LIMBONG: The show's distributor, Debmar-Mercury, announced today that "The Wendy Williams Show" will be ending after 13 seasons, and taking its place will be a new show hosted by Sherri Shepherd. "The Wendy Williams Show" covered the usual daytime talk show topics - pop gossip, water cooler conversations and celebrity interviews - but Williams was uniquely open and vulnerable about her health issues and past substance abuse. She has Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid. She's taken health related breaks before, but had come back, like in 2019.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW")

WILLIAMS: I can't even tell you how many doctors I have, but I want to shout out to each and every one of you. Thank you so much.

LIMBONG: Sherri Shepherd's talk show will debut in September.

Andrew Limbong, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.