*Wendy Williams’ quest to be number one in the daytime TV talk show race may cost her the one thing she’s known best for.
According to Page Six, Williams has brought in Siobhan Schanda, a booker from “Chelsea Lately,” to help get more A-List guest stars for her show. Although Williams has managed to top rival shows like “Live! with Kelly and Michael” and “Ellen” in the ratings, Bloomberg Business noted that the former radio personality’s battle against “Ellen” has been more of a challenge as Williams “trades off daily with Ellen DeGeneres as the No. 1 female host.”
Add in the struggle of “The Wendy Williams Show” to snag topline guests and you have the motivation for Williams’ producers to bring in Schanda last month.
While that’s a good step, sources mention that Williams will have to cater to the ego of her upper tier guests by falling back on her gossipy nature. So the question is can Williams keep the signature vibe that her audience loves in tact with the arrival of bigger guests.
“Wendy was never really getting the caliber of stars like Kelly [Ripa] and Michael [Strahan],” a source told Page Six. “So they brought in Schanda. Wendy will tone down the gossip to get bigger stars. A-list celebs want that friendly, soft, People magazine thing.”
Noting Williams’ “The Hot Seat” segment, which finds her grilling celebs, one source pointed out that recent guest Neil Patrick Harris managed to get a leg up on other guests by getting his “Hot Seat” questions in advance. Nevertheless, a rep for Williams’ show pointed out that A-list guests have always been a regular part of “The Wendy Williams Show.”
“We have consistently booked A-list guests . . . Jennifer Lopez, Taraji P. Henson, Susan Sarandon and more. Viewers have come to know and love Wendy’s open, honest and ‘say it like you mean it’ attitude, which has resulted in some candid and revealing celebrity interviews that you won’t see anywhere else,” the rep shared with Page Six. “Celebrities recognize that the Wendy audience are trendsetters, and as our ratings continue to rise . . . we’re seeing even more interest from big-name guests.”
So what say you? Would you still watch Williams’ show if she didn’t gossip as much and brought in higher level guest stars? Or should she not rock the boat on her current success and keep things the way they are?
Weigh in below: