Title: The Wendy Williams Show
Host: Wendy Williams
Theme Song: "Wendy Williams Theme (Get Up and Dance)" by David Vanacore
Format: One-hour talk/gossip
Network: Fox, BET and syndicated; check your locals listings for time and channel
Tapes: The studios at 433 West 53rd Street in New York City, N.Y.
Premiere Date: July 14, 2008
Originating From: New York City, N.Y.
The Wendy Williams Show didn't start like a lot of talk shows do. Today, minor celebrities like Anderson Cooper and Jeff Probst need only blink and they find themselves with a contract and a premiere date.
But host Wendy Williams had to prove herself before she would be allowed to captain a nationally syndicated daytime talk show. Williams, born Wendy Joan Williamson in New Jersey in 1964, was asked to do a test run during the summer of 2008 on a select number of FOX-owned local stations in key markets in the United States, including New York, Los Angeles and Detroit.
Williams wasn't new to television. Though she didn't technically host The Wendy Williams Experience on VH1 in the mid- to late-2000s, she was the host of the radio show VH1 was taping and broadcasting. (Having a camera "eavesdrop" on you and having a relationship with the camera are two different things.) And as a radio host, she was a red-hot success, quickly earning the made-up title "Queen of All Media" - a play off Howard Stern's "King of All Media" and a tribute to the similarities between the two shock jocks.
But still, she had to prove she could captain a daytime talk show. So, without complaint, she spent the summer of 2008 hosting a handful of test episodes.
The major leagues
The show was a success. Moderately so, but big enough to make syndicators feel comfortable enough to go national with The Wendy Williams Show. And so, in July 2009, a year after debuting in a handful of markets to a tiny audience, Wendy Williams said hello to the nation.
Today the show is syndicated to 95 percent of the nation and shows on the Fox Network. It also unspools on BET, where it was picked up in 2009.
Early viewers were treated to an eccentric Williams, who would seemingly stumble about the studio and talk randomly about whatever was on her mind. Today, after a couple practice years, Williams is much more honed in her approach - though those moments of silliness and randomness still show up from time to time. Some think this is what defines the show and separates it from similar programs.
This is most apparent during Williams' opening "Hot Topics" segment, during which she gossips and gushes about tabloid headlines and celebrities in the news. Here she'll speak openly and at length about various individuals and their troubles, offering advice and heated opinion. She might also show videos she finds cute or talk about health issues she finds interesting and pertinent.
Growing up The most noticeable change in Williams' show occurred during the first and second season. During the hiatus between the seasons, the show upgraded its set. It moved from a vibrant and jazzy landscape covered in pink, purple and leopard prints, to something a bit more subdued. Though still bright and still bubbly, it became noticeably more serious.
The change was confirmed by Williams during a local New York news show. Williams told the reporter she "wanted (the set) to look like a moved out of an apartment, a fun apartment, and moved into a home where I have real responsibilities."
Since then, the show as become a daytime staple and is slowly becoming a respected member of the daytime talk show community. Which is just another way to say The Wendy Williams Show has become a real ratings contender.