Springer in its step

ITV1 hopes talkshow host brightens day

LONDON — Jerry Springer is being drafted to revive the daytime schedule of ITV1, Blighty’s most popular commercial terrestrial channel.

Springer will bow a U.K. version of his show in a weekday 9:25 slot in May or June, during his break from his U.S. series.

The program will be made by Granada, whose director of daytime, Dianne Nelmes, said: “I am a great admirer of Jerry Springer. He has an easy rapport that immediately strikes a chord with our viewers.”

It is not the first time ITV1 has used Springer, the subject of controversial West End musical satire “Jerry Springer: The Opera,” to add emotional edge to its daytime sked.

The U.S. show, originally aired in the U.K. on cable net Living, was broadcast in 1999 in an afternoon slot on ITV1 where it was a big hit.

Four years ago, he hosted the Fremantle Media gamer “Greed” for the U.K’s terrestrial web Five, but that program tanked.

The former politician-turned-TV host also recently appeared as a guest on ITV1’s flagship talker, “Parkinson.”

The battle for daytime auds in the U.K. is increasingly fierce. Disney-owned ABC1 was launched in the fall as a daytime-only channel.

Next week, ITV1 will unveil a revamped daytime sked designed to extend its appeal beyond core auds of housewives and older viewers.

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