RIP: The Jerry Springer Show

After 27 years, your favourite crap show has come to an end.
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The crown prince of tabloid excess, Jerry Springer, has quietly left the building. There were no broken chairs, Steve’s arms weren’t crossed, and there weren't any bleeped expletives or paternity results.

Instead, Jerry Springer simply confirmed rumours. “We’ve stopped production of the show,” he told ET’s Kevin Frazier, adding that a handful of new pre-shot episodes will continue to run alongside oldies.


Twenty-seven years and 4,000 episodes seems to prove that The Jerry Springer Show gave the people what they wanted. Before its debut in 1991, television feigned civility. But then Jerry Springer revealed that TV audiences everywhere are conflict perverts hung up on status and freakdom.

According to the New York Times, the show peaked in 1998 with the unforgettable episode I Married A Horse. It was during that episode that Jerry Springer briefly topped Oprah Winfrey in ratings.

Since then, the show has suffered a slow decline propped up by invented character and increasingly dramatised plot lines. It's also seemed increasingly tone deaf, with its constant attack on lower socioeconomic communities and trans people. You might even remember that in 2005, Jerry Springer - The Opera prompted protests and a blasphemy lawsuit when it was aired on BBC2.

Whether this is the sign of an increasingly enlightened TV audience, or the death of a ratings-at-any cost attitude, there is no denying Jerry Springer’s influence on tabloid television.

This article originally appeared on VICE AU.