It's official: Jerry Springer, whose daytime talk show ceased production last spring, will debut next fall as TV's Judge Jerry, and likely air on Cincinnati television.
In late October, I reported that Springer – the former Cincinnati attorney, mayor and news anchor turned TV talk host – had taped a TV court show pilot for NBCUniversal, which produced and distributed the Jerry Springer talk show, which ended production earlier this year.
NBCUniversal Television Distribution announced Monday that the half-hour weekday show has been sold to station groups covering 75 percent of the nation. Judge Jerry Iikely will air here, since buyers include the owners of WXIX-TV (Raycom), WKRC-TV and WSTR-TV (Sinclair), WCPO-TV (Scripps) and WLWT-TV (Hearst), plus the Tribune, Weigel, Cox, Sun Beam, Block, Tegna, Meredith, Capital and other station groups.
"For the first time in my life, I am going to be called honorable," said Springer in the NBCUniversal announcement."My career is coming full circle and I finally get to put my law degree to use after all these years."
Springer came to Cincinnati in 1968 after earning a law degree from Northwestern University, and working on Sen. Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. After Kennedy's assassination, he joined a Cincinnati law firm, where he spearheaded Ohio's effort to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1970, then won a seat on Cincinnati City Council in 1971, and later served as mayor.
He joined WLWT-TV as a political commentator in 1982, after an unsuccessful run for Ohio governor against Dick
Ted Celeste. Springer was named Channel 5's news co-anchor with Norma Rashid in 1984, and remained primary male anchor when his daytime talk show started at WLWT-TV on Sept. 30, 1991. The Jerry Springer Show was launched when Multimedia Entertainment owned Cincinnati's NBC station.
A year later, Jerry Springer moved to Chicago NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV in a deal which put the show on all NBC owned-and-operated stations. Springer later moved to New York, and then to Samford, CT.
Judge Jerry will be taped in front of a studio audience at the same Stamford Media Center. It's also the home for NBCU's Maury Povich and Steve Wilkos shows.
"Judge Jerry will merge Jerry’s talent for connecting with people, his incredibly relatable and funny personality and his legal training and governing experience to bring viewers a more entertaining court show,” said Tracie Wilson, NBCU executive vice president for creative affairs in the company announcement. "We are so happy to continue our fantastic partnership with Jerry, who is a proven TV icon with a dedicated and broad fan base."
More from NBCU: "The iconic Jerry Springer will slide from the stage to behind the bench using law and order to settle disputes on his new show. Judge Jerry will take on actual cases from real people. In each episode, Judge Springer will hear cases and render a verdict with a fair yet firm hand and always leave litigants with a dose of classic Springer wisdom."