This was originally posted on October 28, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Wendy Williams is the Pied Piper of Pop Culture. Her daily 'Hot Topics" segment is what has driven her talk show to new ratings heights this season, seen locally at 10 a.m. on Fox 5.
Bravo's "Real Housewives" franchise is like one of the necessary food groups for Williams to talk about, be it Theresa Guidice's legal troubles or that Kenya Moore/Porsha Williams fight earlier this year. But when I asked her last week about the upcoming season 7 debut of "Real Housewives of Atlanta," she said she no longer watches. She also skips the "Love and Hip Hop" shows.
Instead, Williams has her staff watch the best clips and tell her what's going on so she can at least offer her thoughts.
Williams prefers the spin-offs like Caroline Manzo's "Jersey" spinoff "Manzo'd With Children" and "Don't Be Tardy" with Kim Zolciak over the originals. "They're cute shows," she said. "There's no wig pulling or cursing out. I enjoy ratchetness as much as anyone else. But I'm tired of that. I can't believe I'm saying this!"
She loves her own show, which is guaranteed through 2017. "I think we're firing on all cylinders," she said. "I work like every day is my last!" But she has so many other interests, too.
"I can use the cache of that show to do other projects," she said. She is working on a TV show on one her favorite networks: the ID Channel through her production company. She is hosting her first awards show next week: The Soul Train Awards for BET and Centric. (It used to be shot in Atlanta but moved to Las Vegas a couple of years ago.)
She is also producing the upcoming Lifetime Aaliyah film, which debuts Nov. 15, which did not get clearance by Aaliyah's family. (The R&B star died in a plane crash in 2001.) Williams' goal was to a create a respectful but real film. "Don't skate over the R. Kelly thing," she said. The end result, she said, was "a tasteful job for what we wanted out of this movie without scarring her memory."
Williams is also dabbling in acting. She plays a pastor on an upcoming Lifetime holiday movie called "Santa Con" also featuring John Ratzenberger, Barry West and Melissa Joan Hart.
I was about to ask her about being dismissive of Breakfast Club's Charlemagne tha God in a prior interview on the Elvis Duran radio show. He worked with her when she was on radio from 2006 to 2009 but she acted as if she didn't know him. (There was some sort of falling out between him and her in 2009.)
Unfortunately, our phone connection was cut off just as I was asking her about it.
“I pride myself on being the nicest person in the room…,” Charlemagne said in a recent podcast. “When you try to play me like I’m a f*cked up individual or I did something foul to you, that’s what bothers me. That’s why it hurt me this week when Wendy Williams was on Elvis Duran show.”
"The Wendy Williams Show," 9 a.m. weekdays, Fox 5, midnight on BET