Baggage - Jerry Springer
When Jerry Springer compares the Game Show Network's dating show, Baggage, to The Jerry Springer Show, he is just as forthcoming as the contestants on his new show have to be.
"The biggest difference is the people on Baggage have teeth," Springer tells TVGuide.com. "Right off, I noticed that."
After 19 years of watching contestants air their dirty laundry (and fight and throw chairs) on The Jerry Springer Show, the 66-year-old's unapologetic honesty should come as no surprise. It also makes him the perfect host for GSN's dating show.
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On Baggage, which airs weeknights at 6:30/5:30c, contestants must go through two elimination rounds to compete for the affection of one dater. During the two rounds, the contestants are forced to reveal all of their deepest and darkest baggage. In the final round, the dater must also spill their personal history so that the contestant can decide whether they're willing give a relationship a try.
"It's a friendlier show. People aren't there to have confrontations," Springer says. "They're there to try to get a date. It's a feel-good show, but it's a show which inspires conversation among the people watching."
Despite the crowded field of dating shows, Springer thinks Baggage offers a unique approach — and a better shot at love — for its willing contestants.
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"I wish I would have thought of it. That was literally my first reaction when it was sent to me," Springer says. "Dating shows are all about selling the best parts of yourself. ... The point is, you're going to find out the baggage anyway. So why not find out before you've invested months and years into a relationship?"
And who better to handle such intimate and sometimes appalling details than Springer? He says it's hard for him to be surprised after so many years of his syndicated talk show, but he also says the show fits in perfectly with current pop culture.
"Everyone is Twittering, texting and putting everything about themselves up on Facebook anyway. There is nothing anymore that, particularly the younger generation, doesn't share with the whole world. So the fact that it's on television now is almost a yawn," Springer says. "Twenty years ago it would have been surprising, but young people today share everything."
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The biggest question for Springer is, after almost two decades of dealing with the dirty gossip and dark-kept secrets of strangers, how much more can he take?
"I have notified NBC Universal, who owns me, that I am stopping my own show when I'm 103. I told them not a day longer," he jokes. "I'm lucky in life. I obviously don't need to make a living anymore so I just do things that I enjoy and try to get different experiences.
"I've gotten a lot of offers to become a male dancer at the local nursing home," Springer jokes. "So I'll be doing that: Jerry and the Geriatrics."