Wendy Williams is returning this fall — and not from her home, but from the purple chair in her Manhattan studio.
The queen of daytime gossip announced on Tuesday that her long-running syndicated show will resume production in-studio on Sept. 21.
“I can’t wait to get back to all of you and to my amazing staff and crew!!! I’m sooo excited to bring you silly, funny, glamour and hopefully brighten your day during these crazy times that we’re all living in…even if for just an hour,” Williams posted on social media. “I miss you and can’t wait to get back in my purple chair and show you what we did to the set.”
“The Wendy Williams Show” shut down in-studio production in mid-March, as COVID-19 numbers began to surge, causing all talk shows and late-night series to forego their studio audiences and then film from home. Williams was shooting her hour-long show live from her home up until mid-May when she went on an indefinite hiatus, due to complications with Graves’ disease. Repeats of the show have been airing, while the show has been on hiatus.
Repeats will continue to air until Sept. 21 when the show resumes with fresh, daily episodes, and changes are being made to the set during the summer. Even pre-pandemic, “Wendy Williams” typically took a hiatus through the entire month of August, before kicking off a new season.
Williams’ return — though still two months away — marks the first announcement of any daytime talk show to resume to shooting in-studio, following the industry-wide coronavirus shutdown. As the entertainment business continues to struggle to get film and television production back up and running, especially in the scripted space with large crews, daily talk shows are among the first to return, given the intimate nature of the sets, which can carry on with much of the staff working remotely at home and without an in-studio audience.
Last week, Jimmy Fallon returned to the studio at 30 Rock for the first time in four months, after shooting his daily shows from home. Fallon’s show has employed social distancing and the health and safety guidelines set by New York authorities. The majority of Fallon’s staff is working from home, and there is no audience.
Details on Williams’ return to set are still being ironed out, as no one can predict the state of the world during a pandemic and information is changing rapidly, but insiders stress that the daytime show will be following guidelines from state authorities on how to resume production safely. As of now, there will be no studio audience when the show comes back in September, and its likely that much of the staff will be working remotely when the show returns.
“The Wendy Williams Show” has been renewed by the Fox Television Stations through Season 13, which will bring the syndicated talker through the 2021-2022 season. This fall marks the beginning of Season 12.