'The Wendy Williams Show' Getting New Studio, Enhanced Set for Season 4 (Exclusive)
The Wendy Williams Show is getting a face-lift for its upcoming fourth season.
The daytime talker will air in high-definition when it returns Sept. 10 and also will feature a new studio, enhanced set and extended "Hot Topics" segment.
The new set design -- which was overseen by the show's set designer Mark Sloan, with input from Williams and others -- will incorporate the host's signature pink and purple.
"People will recognize the set from last season, but this season it will be enhanced," Williams tells The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally, "we're using high-def, which will make everything sharper, and we have a bigger [studio] space."
Williams also says the "Hot Topics" segment -- a "fan favorite" in which she delivers her take on the day's biggest headlines -- will be expanded from about 10-12 minutes to "a good 18 minutes."
"And that's before we even go to commercial," she says. "We get a lot of ground covered in that time."
While Williams prefers to keep the guests and topics for the show's premiere week under wraps for now, she did say that viewers "are going to be happy," adding that her favorite segment topics include fashion and cooking.
Meanwhile, the talker, which is taped live in New York and produced and distributed by Debmar-Mercury, has received market upgrades in San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., Fresno, Calif., and Greenville, S.C./Asheville, N.C. Last year, it was renewed on the Fox-owned stations through 2014.
"It’s season four, and The Wendy Williams Show feels more fresh and energetic than ever," Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement. “Audiences can sense that Wendy’s having fun, and viewers and affiliates are responding to that enthusiasm.”
The show also has added two talent producers for its fourth season: Stephanie Sacco, who will head up the department, overseeing all celebrity bookings with a focus on film and television guests, and Anthony Lopez, who will handle music, celebrity author, comedy and Broadway bookings.
Sacco most recently was head of talent and entertainment relations at Cambio/AOL and has freelanced for Fox's American Idol, while Lopez leaves a nine-year stint as SiriusXM’s director of talent and industry relations. Both report to executive producer David Perler.
Meanwhile, Williams just shot outdoor promos in New York's Times Square and Columbus Circle that feature her sitting on the purple couch from her set. She also is scheduled to make appearances on TBS' Conan and HLN's Dr. Drew (Aug. 27) and will co-host E! Entertainment's Fashion Police (Aug. 31) and E! News (Sept. 14).
As for further changes viewers can expect when season four premieres? Williams, who says she gets a lot of viewer feedback on her wardrobe, will be wearing "more pencil skirts" and "a few more pairs of blue jeans" along with her signature wigs.
And, she quips, "I'm 10 times thinner. I've been going to the gym."