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ITV springs for Springer U.K. show

Yakker following 'Tonight' format

Alert the U.K. trailer trash: Brit network ITV has picked up four episodes of a new nighttime variety series from Carlton TV to be hosted by American talkshow ringmaster Jerry Springer.

But adulterous transvestites and Klan leaders needn’t apply. “Springer on Sunday” won’t ape Springer’s day job, the Studios USA boisterous talker “The Jerry Springer Show,” which is also seen in Britain on ITV and cabler UK Living.

Instead, the show will include a topical monologue, guests and skits, and will be modeled after traditional U.S. latenight chatfests such as “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “Late Show With David Letterman.”

“The one thing I’ve always wanted to do was a ‘Tonight Show’ format,” Springer said.

The pilot to “Springer on Sunday” was shot in August and aired on ITV Sept. 5. Glenda Jackson, Robbie Coltrane and Tom Jones were among the guests on that program, which won its timeslot in U.K. households and was the highest rated special all year on English TV, according to Springer.

Springer will travel to London in April to tape the new round of shows, which are expected to air in May. If it’s a ratings smash, “Springer on Sunday” could become a weekly skein, the host said. Springer would then travel to London every two weeks to produce two episodes.

Springer said his Studios USA contract allows him to moonlight in sitcoms or talkshows overseas. The company has first crack at distributing “Springer on Sunday” in the U.S. Springer said he has also started talking to Studios USA about other domestic projects.

“I like the idea of not having everything dependent upon the whims of my crazy show,” Springer said. “I love doing it, but I’ve done it for nine years. My responsibility is to my current show, that’s not changing. But I have time to do other things.”

ITV first approached Springer about developing other projects last year when he served as guest host on the network’s breakfast show “This Morning.”

“The Jerry Springer Show” executive producer Richard Dominick will pull double duty, co-executive producing the British show in conjunction with Carlton producers.

Springer has become a relatively major star in the U.K. since “The Jerry Springer Show” debuted there earlier this decade.

“Here, I’m the devil incarnate. There, I’m not,” he said. “In a sense, they ‘get’ the show more there. They understand its humor. No one there sees the show as anything but what it is: camp, circus.”

Springer was born in London and moved to the States when he was 5. The Chicago-based host and one-time Cincinnati mayor has taped “The Jerry Springer Show” since 1991.

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