The Steve Wilkos Show

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The Steve Wilkos Show
Genre Tabloid talk show
Presented by Steve Wilkos
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 1,200+[1]
Executive producer(s) Rachelle Wilkos
Camera setup Multiple
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Stamford Media Center Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution
Original network Syndication
Picture format 480i (4:3 SDTV) (2007-2012)
1080i (16:9 HDTV) (2012-present)
Audio format Stereo
Original release September 10, 2007 (2007-09-10) – present
Related shows The Jerry Springer Show
External links

The Steve Wilkos Show is a syndicated American tabloid talk show hosted by Steve Wilkos. The show debuted on September 10, 2007, two months after Wilkos' departure as director of security on The Jerry Springer Show.


The show has Wilkos expanding on his "Steve to the Rescue" shows that he did while serving as a co-host for Jerry Springer whenever Springer took breaks or was doing other projects, such as Dancing with the Stars.[2][3] The idea of Wilkos having his own show came as a result of this approach, which proved to be so popular with viewers that the producers of Springer pitched the idea of giving Wilkos his own show to NBCUniversal, which proved successful.[4] On his show, each episode of the show focuses on the topics usually addressed by this type of talk show, mainly involving adultery, domestic abuse, paternity, disrespectful children and teenage pregnancy, with other topics of the same genre also covered often.

As noted, Wilkos' show takes a darker tone and deals with more serious topics than Springer usually covers, most involving criminal justice issues. Wilkos will often refuse to allow guests accused of misbehavior, convicted of certain crimes (especially sex offenses and spousal/child abuse) to sit down in the chairs on his soundstage. Wilkos will sometimes toss these chairs aside when he is angry and for dramatic effect. (At times he has also thrown the chairs, there by breaking them.) He often notes in his show that the reason he does so is because when the accused committed the crime against the victim, they weren't making them "comfortable" and as such, they don't deserve to be "comfortable" while on his show.[5] Irrespective of any heinous behavior, Steve typically lets pregnant women[6] and teenagers[7] sit on his stage.

Wilkos often gets into close confrontations with guests by not letting them sit, yelling in their faces, physically intimidating them, and even challenging them to hit him, but avoids physical contact with them unless necessary to defend himself or other guests.[8] When a presumably guilty guest begins to explain their actions in greater detail, Wilkos will often ignore and shout over the top of them.[9] When guests get aggressive, Wilkos has threatened them with arrest.[10] When guests flee backstage to try to get away from Wilkos, he often follows them and continues the confrontations.[11] Almost always, when Steve has had enough of a particular guest, he will throw the guest off the stage, yelling "Get the hell off my stage!", and with increasing frequency, will have them forcibly removed from the studio as well. On rare occasions, Wilkos would even throw guests out of the building.[12]

A trademark of the show is Wilkos' chair throwing. When angry, he often picks up and throws chairs, usually breaking them (in one notable instance, rather than breaking, a chair he threw got wedged into the wall), and often stating that he would like to do the same to his guests.[13]

Polygraph exams are commonly used on the show, as means for resolving issues. Often guests are polygraphed in regards to cases of physical abuse, child molestation, rape, murder, and infidelity. When the results of a polygraph are disputed by an accused guest, Steve brings out the show's polygraph expert, Daniel Ribacoff to explicate the results and clarify how a polygraph works. Guests usually take the polygraph exam three times or more to ensure accuracy of the results.[14]

In earlier seasons, Steve would often make jokes about Prison rape to unnerve or upset abusers and rapists, but this practice is almost completely unseen nowadays, probably due to his wife taking over as head producer, and as a result of more rape victims appearing in the audience.

Steve has appeared twice on Maury; once in 2008,[15] and participated in the 2500th episode in 2013.[16]

On November 22, 2013, The Steve Wilkos Show celebrated their 1000th episode, along with Jerry Springer and Rachelle Wilkos as special guests.


In the show's first season, Wilkos frequently closed episodes with readings of both positive and negative e-mails he received from viewers. He would preface the readings by saying, "If I read your letter, and if you're not a knucklehead, moron or belly-rubber, I'll send you a free t-shirt." He also proclaimed his show to be "Moron-Free TV", and declared that those who sent him negative e-mails were "not allowed to watch". Since the second season, these readings are less frequent, Wilkos no longer uses the "knucklehead," "moron," "belly-rubber" or "Moron-Free TV" labels (most likely to avoid offense and/or legal issues), and everyone who has their e-mail read gets the free T-shirt.

For much of the first season, Wilkos would read lie detector results as "you have told the entire truth / you have not told the entire truth". From the March 2008 episodes onward, he has excluded "entire truth" from this catchphrase.

Also in the second season, Wilkos began dividing some episodes into two segments, each one dealing with different guests and issues. In rare cases, there can be three segments on one episode. Additionally, paternity tests and infidelity were added as topics to the show.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, executive producer Richard Dominick was forced from the program by Springer and NBCU Domestic Television after encouraging Wilkos to become extremely physical with a guest. Rachelle Wilkos, Wilkos's wife and a long time Springer crew member, is now the program's executive producer.[17]

Wilkos' third season premiered September 14, 2009, originating from the Stamford Media Center in Stamford, Connecticut complete with a new studio. Fellow NBC-Universal talkers Maury and Springer made the move, as well.[18] On October 25, 2010, it was announced that the show was picked up by NBC Universal through the 2013-14 season.[19]

In October 2014, it was announced that the show had been renewed, once again, by NBC Universal until 2018 along with Maury and The Jerry Springer Show.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Steve Wilkos Show Episodes". TV Guide. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "NBCU to Launch The Steve Wilkos Show; Announces Clearances". Mediaweek. January 14, 2007. Archived from the original on February 18, 2007. 
  3. ^ Berman, Marc (September 3, 2007). "Mr. Television: Talking Tough". Mediaweek. Archived from the original on September 14, 2007. 
  4. ^ "‘Maury,' Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos talk shows renewed through 2016". The Stamford Times. July 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ Video on YouTube
  9. ^ YouTube[dead link]
  10. ^ Video on YouTube
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ Memories from 1000 Shows: Throwing Chairs - YouTube
  14. ^
  15. ^ Video on YouTube
  16. ^ TV Guide
  17. ^ "Chicago Sun-Times". Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. 
  18. ^ The new studio - Steve Wilkos[dead link]
  19. ^ "Veteran Daytime Talk Shows". Futon Critic. October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  20. ^ . October 1, 2014 Retrieved June 1, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help); |article= ignored (help)

External links[edit]