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The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

Federal agency by training

The South Ural State University

Journalism faculty

The abstract on English language:

The History of Talk Shows”

Student: Sokolovskaya T.

ФЖЗ № 321




  1. Talk show

    • Genres

    • History

  2. The Jerry Springer Show

    • Production: Format and Set

    • History

    • Censorship. Too Hot For TV

  3. References

Talk show.

A talk show (American and Australian English) or chat show (British) is a television or radio program where one person or group of people come together to discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host. Sometimes, talk shows feature a panel of guests, usually consisting of a group of people who are learned or who have great experience in relation to whatever issue is being discussed on the show for that episode. Other times, a single guest discusses their work or area of expertise with a host or co-hosts. A call-in show takes live phone calls from callers listening at home, in their cars, etc.


Television talk shows often feature celebrity guests who talk about their work and personal lives as well as the their latest films, TV shows, music recordings or other projects they'd like to promote to the public. The hosts are often comedians who open the shows with comedy monologues.

Talk-radio host Howard Stern also hosted a talk show that was syndicated nationally, then moved to satellite radio's Sirius. The tabloid talk show genre, pioneered by Phil Donahue but popularized by Oprah Winfrey was extremely popular during the last two decades of the 20th century.

Politics are hardly the only subject of American talk shows, however. Other radio talk show subjects include Car Talk hosted by NPR and Coast to Coast AM hosted by Art Bell and George Noory which discusses topics of the paranormal, conspiracy theories, fringe science and the just plain weird. Sports talk shows are also very popular ranging from high-budget shows like The Best Damn Sports Show Period to Max Kellerman's original public access show Max on Boxing.


Talk shows have been broadcast on television since the earliest days of the medium. Joe Franklin, an American radio and television personality, hosted the first television talk show. The show began in 1951 on WJZ-TV (later WABC-TV) and moved to WOR-TV (later WWOR-TV) from 1962 to 1993.

Steve Allen was the first host of The Tonight Show, which began as a local New York show, being picked up by the NBC network in 1954. It in turn had evolved from his late-night radio talk show in Los Angeles. Allen pioneered the format of late night network TV talk shows, originating such talk show staples as an opening monologue, celebrity interviews, audience participation, and comedy bits in which cameras were taken outside the studio, as well as music.

TV news pioneer Edward R. Murrow hosted a talk show entitled Small World in the late 1950s and since then, political TV talk shows have predominantly aired on Sunday mornings.

Ireland's The Late Late Show is the world's longest running talk show, although The Tonight Show is equally as old, though it has changed formats and titles since its beginnings in 1950.

Syndicated daily talk shows began to gain more popularity during the mid-1970s and reached their height of with the rise of the tabloid talk show. Morning talk shows gradually replaced earlier forms of programming - there were a plethora of morning game shows during the 1960s and early to mid-1970s, and some stations formerly showed a morning movie in the time slot that many talk shows now occupy.

Current late night talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien and Late Show with David Letterman have aired for years, featuring celebrity guests and comedy sketches. Syndicated daily talk shows range from tabloid talk shows, such as The Jerry Springer Show to celebrity interview shows like Ellen to industry leader The Oprah Winfrey Show which popularized the former genre and has been evolving towards the latter.

Talk shows have more recently started to appear on Internet Radio. Also, several internet blogs are in talk show format including the Baugh Experience.

The Guinness world record of 40 hours for longest talk show was broken in 27 OCTOBER-28 OCTOBER 2007 by Paweł Kotuliński in Poland.

The Jerry Springer Show.

Genre: Tabloid talk show

Directed: by Greg Klazura

Starring: Jerry Springer (host), Todd Schultz, Reverend Shnorr

Country of origin: United States

Language(s): English

Running time: 1 hour (including commercials); 43 minutes (without commercials)

Location(s): Stamford Media Center in Stamford, Connecticut 2009-present

Original run: September 30, 1991 – present

Original channel: first-run syndication

The Jerry Springer Show is a syndicated television tabloid talk show hosted by Jerry Springer, a former politician, broadcast in the United States and other countries. It is videotaped at the Stamford Media Center in Stamford, Connecticut and is distributed by NBC Universal Television Distribution, although it is not currently broadcast on any NBC-owned stations.

The Jerry Springer Show is ostensibly a talk show where troubled or dysfunctional families come to discuss their problems before a studio audience so that the audience or host can offer suggestions on what can be done to resolve their situations. In actuality, the show has come to epitomize the so-called "trash TV talk show", as each episode of the show focuses on topics such as adultery, bestiality, divorce, homophobia, homosexuality, incest, infidelity, pedophilia, pornography, prostitution, racism, strange fetishes, dwarfism, or transvestism, which frequently result in fighting between guests. At one point, the show proudly boasted that it was voted the "Worst TV Show Ever" by TV Guide magazine. The show also bragged to be "an hour of your life you'll never get back". The Jerry Springer Show has received widespread criticism and caused many controversies for a variety of reasons including its elements of prurience, foul language and the exploitation of the vulnerable.

On November 5, 2009, it was announced that Springer was picked up by NBC-Universal through the 2011-2012 season.



A typical episode of Springer begins with a title card warning parents that the show may contain content inappropriate for children. After the opening sequence, the screen cuts to Springer entering the stage, usually being greeted by audience applause and the "Je-rry!, Je-rry!" chant. Once the audience settles down, he welcomes the viewer to the show, introduces a particular situation, and interviews a guest who is experiencing it. After finishing the interview, Springer announces the entrance of another guest whom the first guest would like to confront. The second guest enters the stage, and a confrontation between the two guests usually occurs, often breaking down into a brawl that is eventually broken up by on-set security personnel. Once the fight is broken up, Springer interviews the second guest about the situation faced by the first guest.

This cycle is repeated about twice for other sets of guests on the show. Once all guests have told their stories, there is usually a "question and answer" segment where audience members ask guests questions relevant to their situations, although usually their questions come to insult a guest. Finally, Springer ends the show with a segment titled "Final Thought", in which he shares his feelings about the stories he has heard for the day's show. He ends the segment with the concluding statement, "Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other".

Generally, Springer tends to present his program standing up in the stands rather than the main stage. (This is probably to protect himself from the potential violence occurring on the stage)

Sometimes the show will have a look back at previous episodes. These have been rebranded as Classic Springer. These shows are interspersed with commentary from Springer himself, usually before and after commercial breaks.


Previous to moving the show to Connecticut, the program was taped at the NBC Tower operated by NBC television station WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois. The set for the show has changed twice since its current layout. When the show first started in 1991, it was very bland with white walls and bright colored shapes, in an effort to capture the feel of fellow talk show Donahue, Jerry's haircut and glasses even seeming to make him look like Phil Donahue. In 1994, when the series underwent its format overhaul, the studio received a makeover to make it look a bit warmer and more inviting, complete with brick walls, artwork, and bookcases. The stage walls were given projected outward into the audience, making room for a catwalk. In late 2000, the whole set was changed again to its current "industrial" look.



The Jerry Springer Show debuted on September 30, 1991, with fellow talk-show host Sally Jessy Raphaël as its first guest. Initially, both Springer and Sally were distributed by Multimedia Entertainment, before Sally was sold to Universal in the mid '90s, with Springer at first going to the former Universal and later to Studios USA.

1994-2000 logo, most identified with the show's peak in popularity and below is the new logo that has been in use since late 2000. In December of 2004, however, the 1994 logo was surprisingly brought back for a short period of time, while the stage and equipment was also brought back exactly the way it was between 1994 and 2000. It was only used until January 2005, when they brought back the 2000 logo, and introduced new graphics.

Originally seen in only the four markets where Multimedia owned TV stations, it started as a politically-oriented talk show, a longer version of the commentary for which Springer had gained local fame as a reporter and anchor, and was even taped at Springer's former station, WLWT in Cincinnati. Guests early on included Oliver North and Jesse Jackson, and the topics included homelessness and gun politics, as well as social effects of rock and roll, featuring shock rock stars like GG Allin, El Duce from The Mentors and GWAR as guests. For its second season, the series was purchased by the NBC owned-and-operated stations, thus allowing it to finally achieve full national clearance, and production was moved to its longtime home of Chicago. However, ratings remained low for the next three seasons, and Multimedia threatened cancellation if ratings didn't improve by November 1994, which led to an overhaul that saw original producer Burt Dubrow's departure and replacement by former Weekly World News reporter Richard Dominick. The search for higher ratings led the program towards tawdry and provocative topics, becoming more and more successful as it became more and more obscene, although it still covered issues that were more sensitive and less sensational. It became, by Springer's own admission, a "freak show" where guests seek their 15 minutes of fame through discussion and demonstrations of deviant behavior. Its extraordinary success has led it to be broadcast in dozens of countries. The show gained so much popularity that for a while it was the top-rated daytime talk show in the United States.

Controversies over authenticity and violence.

In the late 1990s, the show was quite popular and controversial, so much so that it caused contemporaries like Jenny Jones, Maury Povich, and Ricki Lake to "revamp" their own shows in order to improve ratings.However, major figures in television, along with many religious preachers, had called for the show's removal and considered it to be of bad taste.

In 1997 and 1998, the show reached its ratings peak, at one point becoming the first talk show in years to beat The Oprah Winfrey Show. However, it had since been featuring almost non-stop fighting between guests, triggering mass protests from TV personalities and some priests. The Chicago City Council suggested that if the fistfights and chair-throwing were real, then the guests should be arrested for committing acts of violence in the city, as alderman Ed Burke was concerned over the fact that the off-duty Chicago police officers serving as security guards for the program failed to take legal action against fighting guests. Springer explained that the violence on the program "looked real" to him, also arguing that the fighting on the show "never, ever, ever glamorizes violence".Ultimately, the City Council chose not to pursue the matter. Because of this probe and other external and internal pressures, the fighting was taken off the show temporarily before being allowed again in a less violent nature. In the years of the show having toned down the fights, viewership has declined but remains respectable by newer standards of daytime television ratings.

However, there has been continuous debate over the actual authenticity of the fighting. Marvin Kitman, television critic for the Newsday newspaper, felt that the fighting had been choreographed beforehand. Christopher Sterling of the George Washington University media department compared the program to professional wrestling; in fact many of the producers later on admitted the fights in the show were inspired by the fights and angles in the WWE. Sixteen former guests of The Jerry Springer Show, who were interviewed on various U.S. media outlets such as the entertainment news program Extra, Rolling Stone magazine, and The New York Post newspaper, even claimed there was a "fight quota" for each episode and that they and other guests were encouraged to fight one another. Springer himself even admitted in an October 2000 interview with the Reuters news agency: “I would never watch my show. I'm not interested in it. It's not aimed towards me. This is just a silly show”.

In his autobiography, Ringmaster, Springer himself reveals that the show's guests undergo intense screening before appearing on-set; most Springer guests are required to show evidence that their story is true, or at least plausible. Additionally, Springer has stopped the show entirely on at least two occasions—one such occasion occurred when one guest, who boasted that he could make almost anyone a successful porn star, claimed that he could also do it with children. Outraged, Springer walked off the set and refused to continue taping, and later issued an apology to the viewers.

Early 2000s.

In 2000, Springer was given a five-year, $30 million contract extension paying him $6 million per year. The same year, a married couple, Ralf and Eleanor Panitz, were guests on an episode of the show entitled "Secret Mistresses Confronted" with Mr. Panitz's ex-wife, Nancy Campbell-Panitz, in which they complained about Ms. Campbell-Panitz's behavior and accused her of stalking them. Hours after it was broadcast on July 24, 2000, Ms. Campbell-Panitz was found dead in a home that the three were fighting over, and Florida police soon confirmed that they were treating the death as homicide. It was then reported that Mr. Panitz, having been issued a first-degree murder warrant for the death, was trying to flee to Canada to avoid prosecution.Upon news of the 52-year old woman's murder, a spokeswoman for the program issued a statement saying it was "a terrible tragedy."

In August 2000, Springer appeared on CNN's Larry King Live to discuss the incident, claiming that it "had nothing to do with the show" and that his talk show does not glamorize deviant behavior. On March 27, 2002, after 18 hours of deliberating from jurors, Mr. Panitz was convicted of the murder after a 10-day trial and sentenced to life.

In 2001, efforts from groups like the Parents Television Council and American Family Association made some advertisers decrease or stop their sponsorship of Springer. For the United Kingdom, the Independent Television Commission banned Springer and other tabloid talk programs from being shown on television during daytime hours on school holidays in response to numerous parental complaints and concerns about children's potential exposure to the salacious content (there was a British version of the show made for ITV which was lighter and more tongue in cheek).The show also topped TV Guide magazine's 2002 list of the "The Worst TV Shows Ever".The phrase "Jerry Springer Nation" began to be used by some who see the program as being a bad influence on the morality of the United States. In addition, the phrase has shown the association of Springer with any "lowbrow" type of entertainment in general.

In 2003, a British opera inspired by the series, Jerry Springer: The Opera, began playing in the United Kingdom.The same year, it was revealed that a group of guests from Hayward, California faked a "love triangle" for an appearance on two episodes of the show; one guest in the group was murdered, but Hayward police determined that his appearance was not connected to his murder.

From the 2005-2007, director of security Steve Wilkos, became sort of a cult figure on his own, and would close each show walking down a hallway engaging in casual talk with one of the more colorful guests of the preceding episode. He also would occasionally host the show. Episodes that he hosted were intended to be more serious in tone than the typical Springer show. Wilkos left Springer at the end of the 2006-2007 seasons to pursue his own self-titled talk show.

Mid-2000s to present.

In 2005, the program became a subject of criticism in Bernard Goldberg's book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, being called "TV's lowest life-form" and Springer himself being ranked at #32 and labeled an "American Pioneer". Goldberg also claimed that Springer was knowingly capitalizing on the disadvantages of his guests and the stupidity of his audience, also citing the controversial episode revolving around the man who married his horse.

In January 2006, the show was renewed for its sixteenth season; ending speculation that Springer would leave his talk show to run for elected office in Ohio, where he is the former mayor of Cincinnati. On May 12, 2006, Springer celebrated his show's 3,000th episode by throwing a party on the show (which no one but Jerry showed up to humorously), and showed many clips, including rare excerpts from the first episode.

In the United Kingdom, meanwhile, a Commercial High Court trial was scheduled for summer 2006 to resolve a dispute between Flextech Television and NBC Universal over Flextech in 2002 cancelling its 1998 contract to broadcast Springer in the UK as long as new episodes continued to be produced in the U.S.

In 2007, security director Wilkos left Jerry Springer to host his own syndicated talk show.The Steve Wilkos Show is also shot at the NBC Tower in Chicago and produced by Richard Dominick, who continued to produce Springer as well. On July 15, 2007, it was announced that Springer was picked up by NBC-Universal through the 2009-2010 season. Also, VH2 ran a documentary series The Springer Hustle, going "behind the scenes" of the show, having already run another Springer-related documentary in 2005 titled When Jerry Springer Ruled the World. Springer's appearance on the NBC television network show America's Got Talent led to an increase in viewership for the first quarter of 2007. Steve Wilkos filled in for Springer during the beginning of America's Got Talent.

A recurring character, the comical "Reverend Shnorr" (played by Director of On-Air Promotions, Brian Schnorr), was introduced in 2007 to perform weddings on the program and counsel certain guests on "Biblical values". The security staff for the program also was given new additions, as starting in the seventeenth season, three female security guards were added. Certain professional athletes have come on the show as one-off security guards for some episodes. They include hockey players Joe Corvo and Adam Burish, and mixed martial arts fighters Andrei Arlovski , Shonie Carter, and Bas Rutten.

Certain advertisers continue to avoid buying ad time for Springer. However, the show has continued to keep steady ratings in the February 2008 "Sweeps" period.

Executive producer Richard Dominick resigned shortly after the start of the 18th season; Rachelle Consiglio, wife of Steve Wilkos and longtime Senior Producer, replaced Dominick. The set decorations added during the 17th season were removed.

In May 2009 Richard Dominick Productions announced they would be staging a worldwide search for the next Jerry Springer. Dominick has teamed up with an Australian based international production company and as such plans to start the search Down Under.

On May 19, 2009 the show recorded its last episode at WMAQ-TV's NBC Tower in Chicago, Illinois. The show was recorded at this location since early 1993, midway through the second season. The shows would be produced at Stamford Media Center. Jerry was quoted as saying he was not happy with the move, but understood the financial reasons for which it was being done, and is working to secure jobs for those on his staff who wish to move with the show.


Springer is syndicated on various stations in the United States at various times of the day, whether in the morning, afternoon, or late evening. All syndicated episodes of Springer are edited for content for broadcast regardless of broadcast time to comply with FCC regulations regarding the broadcast of indecency and obscenity. Initially, profanity or other explicit language on the program was bleeped out, but later episodes used muting to edit out explicit language; in fact, mute censors can extend as far as to remove a group of many words or even an entire sentence, thus making some speech incomprehensible. In addition, nudity and the partial exposure of breasts or buttocks are pixelized out.

Springer himself has stated that, while his show is a bit wild, there are certain things that are not permitted: the audience is not allowed to shout anything that encourages or sustains violence among the guests, and though furniture may be pushed aside, the chairs are purposely large to preclude their use as a weapon. Also, violence against women is never acceptable, on or off camera—in Ringmaster, Jerry mentions that he always asks if the woman wants to press charges.

Too Hot For TV.

During the show's most popular era in the late 1990s, The Jerry Springer Show released videotapes and later DVDs marketed as Too Hot for TV. They contained uncensored nudity, profanity, and violence that was edited out from broadcast to conform to FCC standards for broadcast decency. The releases sold remarkably well and inspired similar sets from other series. Eventually, the show started producing similar "uncensored" monthly pay-per-view/video on demand specials as well.


  1. Jerry Springer wraps up his tenure in Chicago before leaving for Connecticut". Chicago Tribune. 2009-05-19.

  2. Dixon, Mary. Trash TV? Salt Lake City Weekly: May 26, 1998.

  3. Springer's latest: 'I Married a Horse'. The Cincinnati Post: May 21, 1998

  4. Green, R (on the application of) v The City of Westminster Magistrates' Court [2007] EWHC 2785 (Admin), paragraph 5 (2007-12-05)

  5. Albiniak, Paige (2009-11-05). "Tribune Stations keep 'Em Talking". Broadcasting Cable

  6. Kelly, Erin St. John. (1998-04-27). "Springer's Harvest". .The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 

  7. Fabrikant, Geraldine (1996-11-26). "Unit of MCA is Acquiring Talk Shows". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 

  8. TV Guide biography on Springer

  9. Jerry Springer Show

  10. Elder, Larry. Who's faking whom? Jewish World Review: April 30, 1998.

  11. Jerry Springer episode from May 5, 1993 from IMDB

  12. Mifflin, Lawrie (1998-04-24). "Jerry Springer Loses a Chicago TV Contract, But Bounces Back". The New York Times.

  13. Robinson, Bryan (1999-06-03). "Jerry Springer hearing before Chicago City Council to reveal whether show violence is real or staged". Court TV.

  14. Weber, Bruce (1999-06-05). "Live, at Chicago's City Hall: It's the 'Jerry Springer Show'". The New York Times.

  15. Downey, Kevin. Here they are, TV's Dirty Dozen. Media Life Magazine: January 29, 2001. 

  16. CBS News The Worst TV Shows Ever

  17. "Springer opera set for Broadway". BBC News. 2004-04-27.

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