Somehow it doesn't seem right for Jerry Springer to exit quietly. There should be one last thrown chair or a bleep-filled tirade, at the very least. Instead, it was announced with no fanfare this week that he will stop making new episodes of his memorably raucous talk show, and neither Springer nor his bosses will talk about it, the AP reports. The Jerry Springer Show won't fully disappear; NBC Universal said this week that the CW and other networks that have bought the show in syndication will air reruns of the slugfest. Producers said "there is a possibility" that more original episodes could be ordered sometime in the future but, since they wouldn't answer questions, it's not known how serious that possibility is.
At its heyday in the 1990s, Springer's show challenged Oprah Winfrey for daytime television supremacy with TV studios filled with seething spurned lovers, gender fluid guests before that was a term, and pretty much anyone who was spoiling for a fight. It even provoked serious end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it talk. Springer, a former Cincinnati mayor who realized he had to do something to distinguish himself in a competitive market, was the low-key ringmaster who didn't take himself too seriously and let you know he was in on the joke. During an interview with the AP at his show's 25th anniversary three years ago, Springer said that anyone could do his job if they learned three phrases: "You did what?" ''Come on out!" and "We'll be right back." He presided over more than 4,000 episodes.