The Wendy Williams Show is in the middle of a bit of turmoil as of late, as Season 13 had to be pushed back a couple of times due to both the famed host’s COVID diagnosis, as well as her other health issues being exacerbated before the latest set of episodes could begin. While the popular daytime talk show returned to the airwaves on October 18, viewers will be treated to guest hosts until Williams can take over live duties again, but it would seem that the show is having trouble getting folks into the crowd, because it’s now paying people to fill those co-host positions.
Wendy Williams loves her studio audience members, and has called them her “co-hosts” for as long as she’s reigned from her perch in the purple chair on her eponymous show. With her having been away since the daytime talker went on summer hiatus, and The Wendy Williams Show now in its second week of guest hosts, there was a casting notice posted from OnSet Productions, which noted that those who signed up to be in the studio audience for this week’s shows would be paid $75 for their time, the day of, which appears to be paid out after about three hours.
Generally, for something like a talk show, while fans need a ticket of some sort, they get in free, and are also not paid for appearing in the audience. It’s usually thought that simply getting the opportunity to see a show you love live and in person, plus being able to possibly have your face on TV and maybe even talk to your favorite host, is payment enough. So, it seems that Williams’ absence from her namesake show may have led to a lack of interest from fans.
And, that does make a lot of sense. If you’re a fan of Wendy Williams who’s willing to stand in line in increasingly chilly and / or inclement weather to see her show, you’d want the full Wendy experience, and get to watch her unpredictable, unfiltered nature live. Her viewers would be far less likely to sign up to see actress and J. Lo’s best buddy, Leah Remini (who guest hosted most of the first week), this week’s guest host, comedian Whitney Cummings, or upcoming host, actress / comedian Sherri Shepherd.
Of course, this is not the first time that Williams has had to take a break from her show, as she did the same thing back in May 2020 because of complications she was suffering from Graves’ Disease and hyperthyroidism. She also had to step back from the series in early 2019 for the same condition, and even passed out while live on the air in 2017. So, it’s very good to know that the show is taking her need to recover seriously whenever it’s required.
As of this writing, the move seemed to have worked, too, because all of the Cummings hosted shows have been sold out for the week. While there’s no casting notice up for Shepherd’s time just yet, I can only imagine that the producers of The Wendy Williams Show will take this as a positive sign, and continue to pay for audience members if they feel they need to.