Wilkos: I'm No 'Springer' Rip-Off

As Steve Wilkos prepares to make his debut this September as host of his own syndicated show, the former Jerry Springer Show bouncer wants everyone to be clear on one thing: He's no Jerry Springer.

“I know it's hard to look at me and take me away from the Springer thing, and I don't hide the fact I love being on Springer,” said Wilkos, a former marine and police officer who has run security for the often chaotic talk show since 1994. “But [my show] is a different show. It's going to have a different set. It's not, you know, strippers and stripper poles and women getting their beads [for flashing their breasts].”

Speaking at a panel during last week's Television Critics Association tour, Wilkos said The Steve Wilkos Show (from NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution) will focus on a “protect and serve” approach to problems that people may call the police about, like domestic violence and gang affiliation. And unlike other talk shows, Wilkos added, his may involve more brute force.

“I never watched any talk shows,” he said. “I recently just turned Dr. Phil on, I saw a little bit of Keith Ablow, and I noticed everybody just sits there. And that's not a criticism; it's just not me … I rarely ever sit down. I'm so physically involved in my show; I do get emotional sometimes. And I do have a little bit of a temper.”

'Regis and Kelly' Chat Hits Web

Live With Regis and Kelly is putting its opening “host chat” segment online.

The daily segment, in which hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa have an unscripted discussion about the day's events, will be streamed on liveregisandkelly.com following the show's West Coast airings. Each segment will remain archived on the site for five days.

Philbin has used the “host chat” format for about 40 years, dating back to his Regis Philbin Show on KOGO San Diego in the early '60s.

Another July 4th Slump

The week of the July 4th holiday brought the usual ratings doldrums for the syndication world, according to the national household ratings, which were also hurt by NBC's coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championships.

The top talk shows took a beating, with even powerhouse The Oprah Winfrey Show managing just a 3.8.

The magazine shows were all down double digits except Entertainment Tonight, which fell only 7%, to a 4.0.

None of the top five court shows gained on the week, and in game shows, the news wasn't much better, as topper Wheel of Fortune dropped 12%, to a 6.0—typical of the genre's performance.

It was a tough week for the national debut of syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz. The show's first week of national Nielsen numbers produced a 0.2 average, putting it at the bottom of the pack in syndication.

The show, from ACME Communications, debuted in September 2002 and is carried on 141 stations, with approximately 31% coverage.

LATV Fest Kicks Off

The inaugural LATV Fest, produced by the National Association of Television Programming Executives, kicks off this week at various locations around West Hollywood and Hollywood.

The three-day festival features a digital day, a Producers Guild Breakfast Series, an evening screening series and other networking events. It leads into the fifth annual TV Producers' Boot Camp and Pitch Pit, a two-day event for independent television and video content producers.