Maury Shoots for 20

NBC Universal is still in negotiations with Maury Povich to keep Maury, its top-rated daily talk show.

The syndicator's contract with Povich expires at the end of this season, its eighth. NBC doesn't comment on ongoing talks.

Povich says he is optimistic, noting that tentative carriage agreements are in place and can be finalized quickly once a deal is reached. He originated The Maury Povich Show at Paramount in 1991, which ran until 1998, when Universal lured him away.

“We're trying to dot the i's and cross the t's and have a future together,” Povich says. The 66-year-old host says he is not ready to retire from broadcasting, but expects Maury will be the last show he hosts.

Povich likens his role to an uncle in an extended family, especially for his viewers in their teens and 20s. “I don't know why and quite frankly don't want to consider why I'm allowed in the house,” he says. “All I know is that something connects.”

If NBC Universal and Povich re-up, Povich will be back this fall for his 20th straight year hosting a syndicated show. Before Maury, which debuted in 1998, he anchored Twentieth Television's A Current Affair (1986-91), which is looking to make a comeback with a fall 2005 edition.