Sherri Shepherd pays tribute to Wendy Williams; Viola Davis stars as Michelle Obama; and more

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After announcing Tuesday that she will launch her own TV talk show in September, Sherri Shepherd is paying tribute to the veteran star she is replacing, Wendy Williams.

“She made her own path. What Wendy does nobody can recreate,” Shepherd said Wednesday on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “I love her fearlessness, and that is something I want to emulate and keep going.” The Emmy winner added, “She opened up a lot of doors, and she’s up there with the greats.”

The 54-year-old comedian previously served as a co-host of The View, while Beauty Shop, Think Like a Man and Precious are among her many film credits. 

In other news, Viola Davis portrays Michelle Obama in the The First Lady series, and the Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winner admits that she’s nervous about how Michelle will react to her performance.

“Not only does the thought [of Michelle Obama watching the show] come to mind, it keeps me up at night,” Davis said Wednesday during a media industry panel, according to Deadline.

“You don’t want to insult them by your portrayal…As much as we feel like we know Michelle Obama — and I did everything I could to research — there are those private moments where there’s some level of creative decision-making that you have to take,” Viola continued. “I don’t know how she lays in bed with Barack or how she disciplines her children.” The First Lady premieres April 17 on Showtime.

Finally, Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Talk Series and Outstanding Host in a Talk Series for Red Table Talk on Wednesday during the third non-televised night of the awards show. The NAACP Image Awards ceremony will air live Saturday, February 26, at 8 p.m. on BET.

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