talk show turf

Is Wanda Sykes’s New Show Already Damaging Wendy Williams?


Our inbox is stuffed daily with conspiracy theories, but one recent note claiming behind-the-scenes knowledge of The Wendy Williams Show caught our eye: Is the wannabe drag queen’s new talk show already suffering? And is Wanda Sykes’s to blame?

Sykes’s new Saturday night Fox show is supposedly stealing celeb bookings from Williams, who’s seen her ratings dwindle after a much-hyped premiere. Along with Monique’s talk show, Sykes is supposedly nabbing the high profile guests Williams’s producers have been angling for.

Just how big a problem is it? Even RuPaul — who’s suddenly back on everyone’s radar thanks to Drag Race — opted not to take part in Williams’s Halloween special. That doesn’t necessarily mean Ru is headed to Wanda’s show; but Williams clearly isn’t the draw her producers thought it would be.

But is Sykes (and Monique) really to blame for Williams’s dilemma? It’s hard to argue as much.

Not only will Sykes’s show, which debuts Nov. 7, take on a different format (talk show, yes, but not “daytime chat fest”), it’s a once-a-week affair airing late night. Her competition is Saturday Night Live, not Williams.

The former radio show host — who is supposedly angling for a Sirius/XM deal — has herself to blame for her show’s early demise. Let’s just be blunt: Williams is not the most skilled daytime talk show host. Even Bonnie Hunt appears more at home on a set, and more comfortable in her own skin, than the rambling and disjointed Williams. But it’s not just her regular Fox slot that’s hurting; Williams’s syndication broadcast on BET is suffering, which means she’s even losing connection with her core audience. (The only thing providing Williams with a BET ratings boost? A lead-in from Monique.)

Some might be cheering on an early death for Williams’s show, it’s unlikely she’s headed toward cancellation anytime soon. Well, unless she continues performing worse than Jerry Springer re-runs.

UPDATE: Responds Feren Communications executive vice president Kelli Stich Mills, on behalf of the show: “Wendy is attracting a fine roster of talent this November, including Wanda Sykes! The show is also doing very well in the ratings according to recently released Nielsen data for the week of October 5-11, 2009 ranking 3rd out of 14 syndicated talk shows, ahead of Regis, Ellen, Tyra and Rachael in the desirable women 18-34 and women 18-49 demographics and posting its highest household rating to date a 1.4. The fact that you have pitted the two shows (which tape in different cities and air in completely different time periods), against each other without asking first for the facts seems unprofessional at best and a sign that Queerty has no interest in the truth or hearing from Wendy who is a great supporter of the LGBT community. Wanda’s segment on Wendy, which was taped yesterday and will be airing Friday, will no doubt generate buzz for their respective shows and all this proves that Queerty’s source is clearly unreliable.”

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  • GJO

    I’m sorry but she is a mess, have you watched the show? She has no idea what she’s talking about half the time. Never prepared, the show is just one big mess.
    She trashed everyone on her radio show and now she’s getting pay back!

  • christopher di spirito

    Wendy Williams is an AIDS phobic moron. I hope Wanda damages her until she’s off the air. Why does this country keep giving TV talk shows to people like this? Now I hear Marie Osmond has inked a deal for a chat show. No wonder she had to drop 40lbs.

  • Chisne

    What did Wendy expect ? She has no charisma and her show is boring. Even her hot topics end up being about how she looks. “How you doin’?” Blech!! Even the catchphrase stinks.

  • scott ny'er

    who the eff has time for talk shows. I still don’t understand why/how The Tonight show/David Letterman show/ Late Late show is still on. Much less these C-rated stars talk shows.

    I am glad that Ellen and Rosie were a success tho.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    She makes Sherri Shephard look Ivy League…but seriously she’s a skanky throwback to the Springer 90s and she thinks Gays Love her…though (to her and her real listeners) we are AIDS-infecting down-low bogeymen if you remember her shock-jock style radio show. I’d rather watch Kathie-Lee (drunk) and Hoda (Kathie-Lee’s Pinata, anyday!) but draw the line at Rachel-Satan-Ray! Hey, we all should be busy working then, right?

  • jay

    I think the wendy show is amazing! She is hystericle and very real! I’m sure she will be around for many seasons to come!

  • Joey

    @jay: Me too! My favorit part is the beginning of the shows where she talks about current events.I like how she leans into the camera cause it makes me feel like one of the sistahs she’s talking too!

  • Jason Albi

    I love Wendy, I think she better on radio, but I’m enjoying her talk show and think she’s a great fit in daytime.

  • DeeDee

    oh pleasee- Wendy William is hilarious- her show has so much enjoy and the guest enjoy her- who cares if Rupaul who,,, didnot want to be on her show- Wendy keeps it real- like it or not- can’t we have room for different perspectives beside we need a relief for the glen beck and oreilly complaining all the time- now thats trash tv

  • Toni

    Wendy might seem like she does’nt have a clue but to tell the truth she is genious. She really knows how to work a crowd, How many people have that ability. She’s up front about everything including her flaws and she does not take herself too seriously which is something we all need to practice. P.S. One Gay is not the spokesman for all gays. As a matter of fact, from what I can see on her show, gays make up a huge percentage of her audience.

  • smokin'

    Wendy is not keeping it 100. How dare she dog celebrities out throughout her radio days and then turnaround and act like she everyones biggest fan “friend in my head BS, GTFOH”. Wendy stands for everything that is wrong with the industry and the self-esteem of women today. People can say what they want about Tyra, she is a role model and doesnt compromise her morals and beliefs for anyone. To me Tyra is real. If Wendy came on the scene that same Wendy from radio I could respect her but to me she is just a sell-out!

  • moni

    @smokin’, u really think tyra is real..lmao, thats funny..I luv wendy’s show, it may be different than radio but she has to tone it down for national television. I don’t understand how anyone could watch monique’s show with all that yelling going on!

  • lexx

    i see wendy williams staff has been posting comments for the past couple of days…lol.
    thats so republican of you wendy williams.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Wendy Williams looks like Lil Wayne with Lady Gaga on her head! So Jerry Springer!!!!

  • sweetmommy

    well,honestly I really think that wendy williams is nothing but a fake….
    Believe thst she wants to Imitate tyra so much,That she has the nerve to sit there and wear the same clothing tyra once wore in oa couple of her shoes….
    I think that she should get off the air…I mean seriously my boyfriend and I sit everytime close to the t.v,just to see how dumb she looks or what lie is she coming up next with.
    Second the..”how you doin?” is so lame this comes from the movie NORBIT.
    Last but not least she looks like a damn football player…
    I really do not like her..
    She NEEDS to stop wasting her time and wake up and smell the cofee….To my opinion tyra is the best,and she will not come one bit close to being or even acting lke her..She tries so hard it’s ridiculous!!!

  • jerseygirl

    Sorry sweetmommy but Wendy has been saying “how you doin?” loooooong before Norbit. Listeners of her show know the meaning behind it also, though it has changed to her current catchphrase.

    I’m from the tri-state and have Wendy has been on the radio here all of my radio listening life and while I feel the transition to tv from radio has been rocky I feel that she is much more entertaining and genuine then Tyra who is a bore.

  • ThatGuy

    Dumbest story I’ve read this week. Queerty, fall on something sharp, left eye first.

  • Hasan

    Wendy Williams show is so water down it crazy,now she act like she every body friend,her show will not last. They should gave Miss jones a talk show she is so much better than Wendy.

  • Lex

    Wendy is quirky and she owns up to it. Get off her back. It’s not her fault that Monique’s worthless show took 11PM time slot. I’m pretty upset about that. At least Wendy has some juicy stuff to tell and she’s not bouncing around feeling herself calling everyone BABY BABY! YOU LOOK GOOD BABY! OOH BABY.

    And why does Monique call her set “The Penthouse”? ….More like the pig house.

  • Quake

    @ Lex

    Wendy Williams is no better than monique show anyway. Only lady who’s taking Oprah’s spot is Tyra and we ALL KNOW THAT!

  • kendra lane

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