Next on “Jerry Springer”: a kinder, gentler approach to the show? Buzz is building that USA Networks boss Barry Diller — who moves in decidedly different circles than the average “Springer” fan — has become increasingly disenchanted with his syndie division’s tawdry top-rated daytime yakker and the image problem it presents.
Sources familiar with the situation say that Studios USA brass are moving to rein in the brawling and T&A, and possibly implement a major overhaul of the show itself. Although Studios USA hoped to make gradual changes with zero fanfare, plans for the makeover were signaled last week when all of this week’s planned “Springer” segs were yanked and replaced with tamer episodes circa 1992-94 (Daily Variety, May 24). Of course, Studios USA vowed to stop the “Springer” madness amid a firestorm of criticism this time last year, but this time the corporate resolve is said to be stronger. How all of this will sit with the feisty host himself — a passionate defender of the show as is — remains to be seen.