THE Wendy Williams Show staff is BRIBING audience members with near-empty swag bags to come back to more tapings.
The daytime talk show’s normally-packed crowd was cut IN HALF during Monday’s tapings.
Audience members that attended the recent tapings of The Wendy Williams Show were noticeably few and far between.
Approximately 40 people made up the audience, which is about half of the usual crowd.
Two episodes were filmed on Monday at 10 am and 3 pm.
Audience members were instructed to arrive to the show’s venue two hours before each taping.
Ahead of Monday’s first taping, fans in attendance told The Sun that they had never seen the show’s waiting room so quiet.
While Wendy wasn’t appearing at the tapings, the 57-year-old’s diehard fans insisted on showing up to support the host as she deals with health issues.
Once fans were let into the studio, it was revealed that several seats were left empty.
Producers seemed desperate to have audience members stay for both tapings, as they only handed out gift bags to those that agreed to attend both of the episodes filmed on Monday.
Several fans regularly attend the show’s tapings, while some admitted they noticed something was off with Wendy during her last week of filming before she was hospitalized.
While talking to The Sun, one audience member said: “During her last week of tapings last season- she seemed off- quieter, distant.
“Between segments she was particularly off & was not engaging.
“But once she’s live she’s on!”
The Wendy Williams Show was postponed from its original return date of September 20th after the host was rushed to the hospital days earlier for a “health scare.”
The Sun was first to report that police received a 911 call from her building at 8 am about a “57-year-old female in need of psychiatric services.”
The Sun was also the first to report that the TV star had been “struggling with addiction” leading up to her hospitalization.
“Wendy was drinking every day, even while filming the show,” an insider revealed to The Sun.
Earlier this month, The Wendy Williams Show’s Instagram page announced that the host will not be returning due to “serious complications.”
LEAH TAKES OVER
Days later, The Sun exclusively reported that actress Leah Remini, 51, was set to serve as the guest host during the show’s return this week.
Leah will guest host the talk show on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the possibility of her continuing on for the rest of the week, a source confirmed.
The Wendy Williams Show will air new episodes as planned, with guest hosts taking over in Wendy’s beloved segments and new games.
A source exclusively told The Sun last week that the process to find replacements for Wendy has been difficult.
The insider said at the time: “The search for Wendy‘s guest hosts is an absolute mess.
“Producers are totally winging it day by day trying to book people to fill in for her.
“They haven’t nailed down a solid roster of people as of yet.”