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D-FW one of four markets testing new Wendy Williams show. Damn the luck

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"I've talked my way through the whole first segment? Well, crap, this is a cakewalk."

Outsized New York radio personality Wendy Williams burst onto Fox4 late Monday morning with a loud and lofty opinion of herself.

"How you doin' "? is her tagline and how she did was pretty awful on opening day. The Wendy Williams Show, getting a six-week "sneak peek" in just four markets -- D-FW, Detroit, New York and L.A. -- is supposed to position the sashaying "shock jock" as the next big, bawdy thing in daytime TV.

In D-FW it's supplanting the canceled Montel Williams Show at 11 a.m. weekdays for the rest of this month and next. Then a decision will be made on whether to give Williams a longer lease on more Fox stations.

Wearing a royal blue evening gown, she posed and then flounced onstage toward a prototypically adoring studio audience. Her opening "Hot Topics" segment then fell on hard times, with the host either very nervous or merely incapable of saying anything of note or bite.

Oh wait. Right at the top she did say, "I feel the bloating from my period coming on, which hasn't started."

Still, though, "I feel very loved."

Some aren't reciprocating, though. Williams' husband and business manager, Kevin Hunter, is newly on the receiving end of a federal lawsuit charging him with ordering a hit on a rival female deejay. That particular bit of business didn't make Monday's "Hot Topics."

At one point, a discombobulated Williams couldn't come up with the name of an exceedingly familiar face whose framed picture adorns a controversial cover of The New Yorker next to centerpiece caricatures of Barack and Michelle Obama as fist-bumping terrorists. Uh, honey, that would be Osama bin Laden. For our bonus round, who's pictured on the Lincoln penny?

Williams held forth from a very cheap-looking set decorated with a few overhead disco balls. A public access cable show from Poughkeepsie could match those production values. Right, Poughkeepsie?

Williams' first guest, ubiquitous James Denton from Desperate Housewives, hung in gamely even after the host asked whether his wife walks around naked in front of their five-year-old son.

Denton later recovered to tell her, "I'm so happy to be your first guest." Must've been a helluva fruit basket.

Williams also welcomed Rihanna's wigmaker and made much ado about a "Truth Booth" housing a silhouetted young woman named Mary. She's mulling whether to break it off with an apparent deadbeat she's been dating for a year. The alternative is a guy with a "bigger package" and more money whom she met four months ago.

Williams dipped into her studio audience for input as the show continued to grind its gears until quit time.

Maybe Tuesday will get better -- how could it not? -- with guest Al Roker in the house. Oprah Winfrey ain't quakin', though.

Grade: D