After nearly 30 years of staged daytime TV mayhem, The Jerry Springer Show has reportedly ceased filming and may be canceled. The daytime talk show was a relatively classy form, notwithstanding the odd outbreak of violence on Geraldo, when one-time politician and possible television genius Jerry Springer entered the scene in 1991.
In the hands of Springer, the once-sedate talk show became something closer to a pro wrestling event crossed with a circus sideshow. The format was simple: host Springer would introduce someone going through a life crisis, then after a break would bring out someone else with whom the first person was in conflict. A confrontation would inevitably ensue, forcing security to break up the "fight." Critics decried this lowest common denominator approach to entertainment, but the formula would prove a popular one, and the show would continue to endure as an icon of trash TV.
But now, nearly 30 years after it first debuted, The Jerry Springer Show may have staged its last redneck rumble. The CW recently struck a deal to pick up the show for this fall, but TV Line reports that no new episodes are being made and as of now, the plan is only to air already taped episodes and repeats. It's possible the CW could still order new episodes somewhere down the line, but nothing is guaranteed.
Some would argue that Springer's apparent cancellation comes several decades too late. In the '90s, the show became the go-to example of everything wrong with television, as a flood of ever-more-crude talk shows made their way to the small screen (including a direct spinoff hosted by Springer's Director of Security Steve Wilkos). Some might even go so far as to trace the rise of reality television and its endless race to the bottom straight back to the arrival of Springer. This tendency to heap blame upon Springer and his show is perhaps overblown, but at the same time, there's no doubting the influence of what Jerry Springer created.
In a sense, there'ss almost a refreshing purity to Springer. The format is what it is, with no frills and no nonsense. For almost three decades, The Jerry Springer Show served up exactly what its audience wanted and expected: trashy people behaving in the most trashy manner imaginable. Things have changed so much on television, and in the culture at large, since Springer debuted that the show now almost seems quaint. The fact that it was still on the air after all these years is arguably the most shocking thing of all.
Source: TV Line