Springer show ends
After almost three decades of lurid confessions and guests brawling in front of a cheering studio audience, The Jerry Springer Show is confronting a shock revelation of its own: it appears to have run its course.
Production has ended on the tacky talk show after 4000 episodes, although the network CW plans to screen repeats.
A wrap party last week reportedly included cocktails, drag queens and a video monitor with the message: ‘‘I survived The Jerry Springer Show.’’
Springer, 74, had suggested that he might retire, and has often disparaged his show as shallow, idiotic and having ‘‘no redeeming social value’’.
Even so, it became a lowbrow cultural touchstone, spawning a host of imitations, including The Jeremy Kyle Show in Britain, which was once condemned by a judge as ‘‘human bear-
Springer’s show began in 1991 as a heavyweight discussion programme focused on serious issues. Springer, the British-born son of Jewish emigres from Nazi Germany, has always been a political obsessive, and was mayor of Cincinatti in the 1970s.
By the second season, however, his producers were steering the show in a more salacious direction in a bid for ratings. Adultery, incest, surprise pregnancies, gender twists and same-sex passions became its stock in trade. In 1998, it briefly beat Oprah Winfrey’s ratings, with a daily audience of almost 10 million viewers.
‘‘My show is stupid,’’ Springer told The Daily Beast website in February. ‘‘The only defence I ever give when people are attacking it, is that they won’t admit their criticism is elitist.’’