Wendy Williams Heads to YouTube During Quarantine for ‘The Wendy Williams Show’
Talk shows are getting inventive with their formats in the wake of coronavirus shutting down production. In the interest of safety, networks are ditching their studio audiences and sending hosts and crews home.
Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Wendy Williams are among those whose shows are affected by quarantine orders in New York and shooting from home.
Williams misses work and recently said she was willing “to risk it” for an early return from the hiatus. With those plans thwarted by Fox, the daytime talk queen found a new way to reach fans with mini broadcasts.
‘The Wendy Williams Show’ shut down mid-March
On March 12, it was announced that The Wendy Williams Show would halt production. Days before the official break, Williams stopped filming with a live audience and avoided having co-hosts.
Initially, it was believed the show would come back on after a couple weeks, but as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in New York, city and state governments put everything on lockdown.
Williams visited Dr. Oz post-shutdown
The only television appearance Williams made after her show went on break was on Dr. Oz. She discussed coronavirus and the decision to suspend production due to the pandemic.
The episode – which also lacked a studio audience – aired on March 20, and Williams shared details about the phone call she received from the network to close shop.
“They said, ‘We’re all shutting down everything. All the networks. Nobody is going to be doing new shows. We want all the hosts to be well.’ I said but I can do it even with no audience.”
Firm orders from Fox and those above prevented that from happening, but since, Williams has been active on social media to connect with fans and launched an inaugural in-home segment.
Williams’ broadcast from home attracts viewers
Taking a page out of Fallon’s book, Williams set up a camera in her home to film a short version of her show and put it on YouTube.
The 15-minute video starts out with a full introductory sequence and voiceover, “Live from Wendy’s apartment in New York City, it’s The Wendy Williams Show at-home edition.”
Williams welcomes everyone and explains that fans will not get a tour of her home as she feels it’s too intrusive. Sipping on Orangina, she spends a few minutes talking about her Betty Boop statue before munching on a plate of food, ASMR style.
She then launches into hot topics, describing them as “lukewarm because everybody either seems to have corona or be inside.”
Next, fans are informed about Christian Siriano and his team making medical masks for donation, Bethenny Frankel donating supplies to hospitals, and Williams’ conversation with Dr. Oz.
Williams takes a moment to speak about Kenny Rogers and sends condolences to his wife. Before signing off, she shares that she doesn’t know how much longer she can take doing the apartment thing, “and it’s only the first day.” What does this mean for fans?
It’s possible Williams will make this a regular event until production resumes, but it’s unclear whether she’ll do it daily or weekly. In the meantime, fans can check Williams’ Instagram account or YouTube channel for the next episode.