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Wendy Williams hosts the nationally-syndicated weekday program, THE Wendy Williams SHOW, which airs in 52 countries. The show, which began its fourth season this month, is taped live in New York and offers a diverse mix of interviews with celebrity guests from television, film, music and sports. Prior to achieving success in daytime television, Williams built a devoted audience of fans throughout an enormously successful 23-year career in radio. The nationally syndicated “The Wendy Williams Experience” was Williams’ top-rated, daily radio show which was listened to by an audience of more than 12 million people.
Williams competed on Season 12 of ABC’s hit dancing competition “Dancing With The Stars,” has hosted Game Show Network’s original series “Love Triangle,” and appeared as a featured guest on ABC’s “One Life to Live” and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva.” She is also the author of The New York Times best seller The Wendy Williams Experience (Dutton Books), as well as several novels including 'Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood.' The multi-talented host took time out of her busy schedule to speak with TalkTVWorld about the exciting new season of her show!
I know that Season 4 recently launched and features a bigger studio among other exciting changes. Has this added to the energy of the show?
No - you know I think the energy was first and the look came second. One of the great things about getting a new studio, first of all, we're HD, we also needed a bigger space so we can fit more people now in our studio audience and our staff now has bigger areas to do their magic. As far as the energy, the energy comes from within. It starts with me as the host, and then the audience show up in their colorful clothing and they clap and they say it like they mean it. So no, the energy of the show has always been high. The studio is just more room for us to be energetic in!
You've also extended the hot topics segment this season.
Yes. Hot Topics used to be maybe ten minutes, and if we had more hot topics we'd take a commercial break and then come back and give it maybe three or sometimes four more minutes. Now Hot Topics is twenty minutes before we even go into the first commercial break so it's not just extended, it's also seamless.
I'm sure this is one of the most popular segments of the show.
I do have to say, Hot Topics is definitely a fan favorite and people had been asking for more Hot Topics and sometimes we would even have full shows, nothing but Hot Topics, no celebrity guests or anything. And those are always fun. But for this season, the idea that we can give them even more Hot Topics uninterrupted is just fantastic.
Are you ever surprised at some of the things that come up in that segment?
Nothing to me is really shocking with celebrity behavior, although I do have to say, the other day, showing disturbing pictures of Snoop Dog getting his bong lit by his son who is 18, that was a little disturbing. Celebrity behavior doesn't really shock me but every once in a while, I get shocked and that would be one of them. I get more shocked during 'Ask Wendy.' I love when people stand up and ask me for advice, I love, love, love it. I've been doing 'Ask Wendy' since I had my radio career going, but sometimes when people ask things like, "I've been screwing around with him and I know he has a wife, but I don't care I'm going to keep doing it. Wendy am I wrong?" and I'm like, "Do you realize you are on TV and everybody sees this?"
Do you ever follow up with these stories?
There are a couple I have followed up with. Not in terms of me calling them, but I will say to them when we go into the commercial break, I will whisper, "When you get back to Philly and she sees you, you realize that she is going to get in your face, so follow me on Facebook and let me know what happened. Or send me an email." And every once in a while they'll be someone in the audience that did an 'Ask Wendy' and I'm able to follow up with them that way.
You mentioned Facebook. I know that you are a big fan of social media. Is that because you love interacting with your fans, or because it gives you feedback, or a little of both?
I love getting feedback from 'Wendy Watchers' as far as what they're thinking. And let me tell you, my watchers, they say it like they mean it. If they don't like a wig, if they do like a wig, if they don't like a celebrity, if they do like a celebrity, they wish that they could see more celebrity look-a-likes, and celebrity fan-out, which are two segments we do on the show, they love a dress I had on, they hate a dress I had on, they think I gained weight, or whatever. You know you have to be careful for what you wished for but I've grown very thick-skinned and I do enjoy seeing what my Wendy Watchers are saying!