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End Of An Era: 'The Jerry Springer Show' Leaving CW Network

Jerry Springer on the set of his TV show before ceasing production in 2018.
Courtesy NBCUniversal
Jerry Springer on the set of his TV show before ceasing production in 2018.

'The Jerry Springer Show' started 30 years ago on WLWT-TV when Springer was anchoring the evening news.

Three years after ending production, The Jerry Springer Show finally will vanish from the CW network Friday, Sept. 3.

The CW began broadcasting Jerry Springer reruns on WKRC-TV's Channel 12.2 and other affiliates in fall 2018, a few months after he stopped taping new episodes.

In May, the CW announced that it will end weekday afternoon programmingthis fall, and return the time period to affiliates, in exchange for adding Saturday night programming to become a seven-night network. The CW's Saturday night lineup premieres Oct. 9 with Whose Line Is It Anyway? and World’s Funniest Animals.

To fill the void on the Cincinnati CW, syndicated Jerry Springer reruns will move from WSTR-TV (1 p.m. Channel 64) on Monday to 3 p.m. on Channel 12.2 Also on Labor Day, WSTR-TV will move Judge Jerry, Springer's other syndicated show, from 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to replace his talk show at 1 p.m.

Jerry Springer debuted as "Judge Jerry," a half-hour syndicated show, in September 2019.
Jerry Springer debuted as "Judge Jerry," a half-hour syndicated show, in September 2019.

Springer, 77, returned to daytime TV as the syndicated Judge Jerry in 2019, a year after his talk show ended. .

Once the highest-rated daytime TV show, WSTR-TV picked up Jerry Springer from WLWT-TV after Springer's original flagship station and employer dropped the show.

The former Cincinnati mayor and city council memberlaunched his daytime show on Sept. 30, 1991on WLWT-TV and sister stations owned by Multimedia Entertainment, which also produced the Phil Donahue and Sally Jessy Raphael syndicated talk shows.

From my 2018 story:

Jerry Springer went national in fall of 1992, when production moved to NBC's WMAQ-TV in Chicago as part of a deal for NBC stations to air the show. Universal Television bought the Multimedia Entertainment shows after Gannett purchased the company in 1998.

Springer continued as Channel 5's news anchor while hosting the daytime show for 17 months. He commuted daily to Chicago the last five months, until leaving News 5 in January 1993.

Jerry Springer Show
The "Jerry Springer Show" beat "Oprah Winfrey" as the top-rated daytime syndicated TV show in 1999.

When he shed his new anchor duties, The Jerry Springer Show transitioned from dealing with serious family issues and political interviews into the outrageous relationship shows which made him popular. Some of the episodes were so sleazy that WLWT-TV refused to air such shows as "I Married A Horse" or about a woman who slept with more than 200 guys in 10 hours.

By 1999, Jerry Springer was the nation’s No. 1 daytime series, and the first talk show to beat Oprah Winfrey in more than a decade.

TV Guide ranked The Jerry Springer Show No. 1 on its list of the "Worst Shows In The History Of Television" in 2002.

Updated: September 1, 2021 at 1:52 PM EDT
The story was updated after the programmer for Sinclair's WKRC-TV and WSTR-TV provided new information Sept. 1.
John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.