Move over Judge Judy, there’s a new personality taking a seat on the bench.
That’s right: longtime talk-show host Jerry Springer is walking away from The Jerry Springer Show and starting up a courtroom show similar to Judge Judy, entitled — what else? — Judge Jerry.
Forget the days of scandalous love affairs and violent altercations onstage; it looks like Springer will be presiding over a court rather than egging on guests to fight with each other.
“For the first time in my life, I am going to be called honourable,” quipped Springer, 74. “My career is coming full circle, and I finally get to put my law degree to use after all these years.”
(Prior to his talk show’s start in 1991, Springer was indeed a lawyer. He was also the mayor of Cincinnati for one year in the late ’70s.)
While the show still needs to work out the kinks, the plan thus far is to have Springer render verdicts for small-claims cases, which is very similar in structure to Judge Judy.
Akin to Springer’s “Final Thought” at the end of each episode of Jerry Springer Show, on Judge Jerry, he’ll provide some insight into each case once he’s given his verdict.
The show is set to launch in fall of 2019. It’s unclear if it will air in Canada, though it is likely.
“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, executive VP of creative affairs at NBCUniversal Television Distribution. “We are so happy to continue our fantastic partnership with Jerry, who is a proven TV icon with a dedicated and broad fan base.”
In June, it was announced that production had halted on Springer after 27 years on the air.
Springer started off with the greatest of intentions: it sought to be a serious conversation-starter, focusing on politics and societal issues. The show moved to Chicago in its second year, and in order to boost sagging ratings, the subject matter took a turn for the salacious. It’s well-known for misbehaving guests, and it wasn’t unusual for fights to break out. The show even had a boxing-ring bell to spur the volatility. Subjects included incest, infidelity, transsexualism, pregnancies and scandalous reveals.
There was even a “stripper pole” onstage if any guest felt compelled to dance for the audience (many, many did).
The show’s popularity took off the more out-there it became. The infamous chant of “Jer-ry, Jer-ry!” is now chronicled as one of TV’s most recognizable catchphrases. For a brief moment in 1998, Springer temporarily beat the immensely popular Oprah‘s ratings with a daily audience of nearly 10 million viewers.
For years, the show has been plagued by questions about its veracity, and many critics have claimed the show is fake and rigged. Several people during the show’s run have fabricated issues just to appear on-air.
In recent interviews, Springer has said multiple times that his day job is a circus with “no redeeming social value.”
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