Geraldo (TV series)

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Geraldo
Also known as The Geraldo Rivera Show (1996–1998)
Genre Tabloid talk show
Created by Geraldo Rivera[1]
Presented by Geraldo Rivera
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 11
Production
Location(s) Times Square Studios
New York, New York (1987-1990)
CBS Broadcast Center
New York, New York (1990-1998)
Camera setup Multiple
Running time 40 minutes
Production company(s) Investigative News Group
Distributor Tribune Entertainment (entire run)
Paramount Domestic Television (1987-1990)
King World Productions (1995-1998)
CBS Television Distribution (current as of 2007)
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated
Picture format 4:3
Original run September 7, 1987 (1987-09-07) – June 12, 1998 (1998-06-12)

Geraldo is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Geraldo Rivera that aired in syndication from September 7, 1987, to June 12, 1998, with the last two seasons airing under the title The Geraldo Rivera Show.

The series was a production of Investigative News Group and distributed by Tribune Entertainment. For its first three seasons, Paramount Domestic Television served as co-distributor. For its final three seasons, King World Productions assisted Tribune as co-distributor.

Plot[edit]

As Geraldo[edit]

The title Geraldo was used on the first 9 seasons. It led to Newsweek's characterization as "Trash TV". The show had many guests during its long run including Dionne Warwick, Tonya Harding, Gary Coleman, Bern Nadette Stanis, Jeanne White Ginder (mother of AIDS activist, Ryan White), Kathy Garver, Diandra Newlin, Peter Tork, Howard Stern, Alison Stern, Margaux Hemingway and controversial punk rock musician GG Allin among many others.

Brawl[edit]

Although public perceptions in the show's first season were leading to this dubious title, the episode that solidified Geraldo as "Trash TV" was the November 3, 1988, episode involving white supremacists, anti-racist skinheads, black activists, and Jewish activists. A confrontation between John Metzger (the son of Tom Metzger) and Roy Innis (in which Metzger goaded Innis by referring to him as "Uncle Tom") led to Innis walking over to Metzger and forcefully grabbing him by the neck, and subsequently a full-scale brawl with chairs hurled and punches thrown. Audience members, several stage hands and Rivera himself got involved, throwing a few punches at a white supremacist. In the process, Rivera was struck in the face by a chair and wound up with a broken nose. He did not press charges, saying he did not wish to be "tied up with the roaches", and also claiming "if there ever was a case of deserved violence, this was it".[2] The ratings for this show went through the roof as news of the fight attracted attention to the episode even before it aired.

In August 1992, Rivera would scuffle with KKK members again at a Klan rally in Janesville, Wisconsin. Rivera suffered cuts and a bite to one of his thumbs.[3]

From that point on, the less graceful side of society's issues, and juicy celebrity exposes were the norm, but no other future incident matched the heated fist-fight of season two. Geraldo's symbol in the grand scale of talk shows became typified by what opened each show: the image of a fictional supermarket tabloid magazine cover displaying images of the day's subject with a screaming headline accompanied by the show's scripted logo (Geraldo's handwritten signature). This practice paved the way for later talk shows using creative and somewhat drawn-out titles for their show topics (The Jerry Springer Show, Jenny Jones and Ricki Lake were among the programs to jump on this bandwagon).

The brawl served as the inspiration for the Law & Order Season Four premiere "Sweeps"; also, the Beastie Boys mentioned it in their 1989 song "What Comes Around": "You're all mixed up like pasta primavera/Yo, why'd you throw that chair at Geraldo Rivera, man?"[4]

As The Geraldo Rivera Show[edit]

In the show's tenth season, it became The Geraldo Rivera Show, and changed from the established tabloid format to a more stubbed, serious show. Gone was the opening fictional supermarket tabloid graphic, replaced with a full opening sequence that played up Rivera's caring and sensitive nature (in one shot, he is locking lips passionately with his then-wife). Summer 1996 promos for the new season showed Rivera also playing with his two young daughters. He was seen in a 1997 PSA about children.

This was one of the shows that evidenced the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, at the start of the show's final season. In 1998, David John Oates starred on the show, playing reversals on Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal.

Parodies[edit]

The 1989 film UHF, starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, parodies Geraldo, including the famous 1988 brawl.

References[edit]

External links[edit]