Wendy Williams is returning to screens this month in a Lifetime documentary chronicling the last two years, for which she has largely been out of the spotlight.
“Where Is Wendy Williams?” is slated for a two-night debut on Feb. 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. PT.
In the trailer released Friday, Williams is shown inebriated, struggling to stand, tearful and seemingly suffering memory loss — all while insisting to friends and family she is of sound mind.
“Did you see a neurologist?” an off-camera individual asks Williams in the trailer.
“To find out if I’m crazy?” Williams replies.
Another off-camera voice narrates, “Anybody could look at her and tell this is not just alcohol — there’s something more going on.”
Williams is one of the executive producers of the upcoming documentary. She served the same role for “Wendy Williams: The Movie,” which Lifetime will air on Feb. 23 along with her 2021 documentary, “Wendy Williams: What a Mess.”
The new film is billed as a “raw and compelling documentary” and follows Williams’ life after “The Wendy Williams Show” was canceled in February 2022 as her physical and mental health worsened.
“Opening the doors to her private life like never before, cameras chronicled her comeback journey to reclaim her life and legacy despite facing health issues and personal turbulence,” Lifetime said in a press release. “With unparalleled access granted by Wendy to film with her and her family for nearly two years, what was captured was not what anyone expected.”
Williams first announced in July 2021 that she would take a short hiatus from her talk show, but it was extended because of myriad health issues from COVID-19 to Graves’ disease and lymphedema.
Then a Sept. 2021 Zoom meeting with the producers and staff of the show revealed Williams’ fragile state.
“It was obvious to anyone watching that she was not going to be back really soon,” media company Debmar-Mercury’s executive vice president of programming, Lonnie Burstein, told The Hollywood Reporter in 2022.
In the end, Debmar-Mercury replaced the program with a new talk series headlined by “The Sex Lives of College Girls” actor Sherri Shepherd.
Shortly afterward, Williams entered a wellness facility, promising a “major comeback” soon.
In November 2022, she attended the WBLS 107.5 Circle of Sisters event in New York City, her first public appearance in months, The Times previously reported.
At the event, Williams said her talk show had become a “burden” after 14 years and that she was “ready for something new.”
After that, she went quiet — until now.
“Nobody truly knew the depths of Wendy’s reality so we hope that what our cameras captured can help shine a light on what she is facing now,” Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive vice president and head of programming, A&E, Lifetime and LMN, said in the press release for the documentary.
Williams’ son Kevin Hunter Jr. is featured prominently in the trailer, at one point expressing concern for his mother’s continued desire to return to television.
“My mom has done a great job making it seem like everything is OK always, but in reality, there’s something wrong going on,” Hunter says. “My mom, she always talks about how she wants to work. I feel as though she’s worked enough.”
“All I know is how to be famous,” Williams says. “From 6 years old, all I wanted was to be famous.”
The trailer also foregrounds Williams’ experience under financial guardianship, a system called into question by both herself and her older sister, Wanda W. Finnie — who previously appeared in “Wendy Williams: What a Mess!”
“I think that the guardianship system is broken. We are her family, and you tell me that I am not capable of taking care of my sister,” Finnie says in the trailer, her voice breaking.
“What would you do? What should I do?”
Throughout the airing of the program and on Lifetime’s social media platforms, Lifetime will direct viewers to a website with a range of resources including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and information and resources for Graves’ disease and lymphedema, the press release said.
Times staff writer Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.