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The Jenny Jones Show
Format Talk show
Presented by Jenny Jones
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 1500
Production
Executive producer(s) Jenny Jones
Quincy Jones
Running time 1 hour
Broadcast
Original channel First-run syndication
Original run September 16, 1991 (1991-09-16) – September 12, 2003 (2003-09-12)

The Jenny Jones Show is an American syndicated daytime tabloid talk show that was hosted by comedian/actress/singer Jenny Jones. It was produced by Quincy Jones' QD Productions and Telepictures and was distributed by Warner Bros. Television. The show ran from September 1991 to September 2003 and was taped in Chicago at WMAQ-TV studios.

Contents

Format

When the series began, the concept had a traditional feel in its first season. However, by 1993 it began to move away from serious subjects and began to take on more unusual subjects and theme shows such as paternity tests, out-of-control teens (including shows in which they are sent to boot camp), confronting former bullies (something Jenny dealt with when she was young), makeovers for people who had no sense of fashion or style, celebrity impersonators, talent contests (and at times, people who make it an obsession to enter them, especially parents of the children who enter the pageants/contests/shows), feuding neighbors, strippers and secret crushes. The show would also feature regular live performances by bands of varying genres (notably pop, punk, rock, hip-hop, and R&B), ranging from lesser known bands from the local Chicago area to more well known bands from around the USA (or outside the country, as in the case of one guest who performed on the show in 2000, Dance music artist Jacynthe Millette-Bilodeau from Canada).

Comparisons

While some people would equate this show to The Jerry Springer Show (which was also produced at WMAQ-TV studios), Jones claimed that her talk show was not as outrageous as Springer's. However some believe that some of Jones' ideas were copied from fellow talker Ricki Lake after her show debuted in 1993 and overtook her in the ratings. It was also rumored that when Rosie O'Donnell started her talk show, she and Jones had hostility toward each other despite the fact that both their shows were syndicated by Telepictures and both were friends with Lake (both even sent shout-outs to her show, albeit separately). Many of the themes also appear on Maury, such as DNA testing and boot camp, but the "guests" on Jenny Jones were less contentious than those on Maury.

Outrageous titles

Another unique feature of the show was the use of subject titles that were over the top, usually phrased in a rhyming manner, for example, "You May Shake it for Money, But Leave Those Sexy Clothes at the Club, Honey!" to describe a sexy makeover show for women whose occupations involve working in nightclubs or strip clubs. The rhyming titles feature began with the show's third season.

The "Same Sex Crushes" controversy

On March 6, 1995, Jenny Jones taped an episode called "Same Sex Secret Crushes" on which Scott Amedure, a gay man, confessed to his best friend Jonathan Schmitz, that he had a crush on him. The response from Schmitz was mostly humorous as he laughed about that revelation in front of the audience. However, three days after the taping, Schmitz, allegedly upset over that incident, killed Amedure. After the murder made headlines, the producers decided not to air the show. However, the episode did air on Court TV when the network was covering the trial. Clips of the episode were also featured in the HBO documentary, Talked to Death.

That incident, and the revelation that Schmitz had a history of mental illness and alcohol/drug abuse would come out in a trial, where Schmitz would be convicted of second degree murder. He is currently serving a 25-50 year prison term.[1]

Jones and the producers would later be sued by Amedure's family for neglecting to find out Schmitz's history of mental illness and substance abuse. Jones testified under oath that the producers told Schmitz that his admirer could be a man, but Schmitz thought that the admirer was a woman. Jones also admitted that the show didn't want Schmitz to know the outcome of his secret crush. Amedure's family won the ruling and the show was ordered to pay $25 million, but that decision was later overturned by the Michigan appellate court because the producers were not responsible for what happened to the guests after their appearance on the show.[2][3]

Another show involving secret crushes resulted in one station in Chico, California, CBS affiliate KHSL-TV, dropping her show altogether after learning the episode involved transgendered people. After those two incidents, the producers decided to no longer do shows featuring crushes involving same-sex or transsexuals.

Its final years

By what turned out to be the final two seasons, the show began to drop heavily in the ratings, similar to what happened when Springer was dropping off from his plateau of ratings popularity (however, Springer still runs reasonably well today). It nearly got the axe at the conclusion of season 11, but was saved by a last-minute deal with the Tribune station group,[4] although the subsequent station shuffle this necessitated in such key markets as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles didn't help the ratings erosion. In the 2002-2003 TV season, Jones' program became the lowest-rated daytime talk show, and after the last original episode aired that spring, Jenny Jones was canceled in the summer of 2003. Reruns continued to air until September 12, 2003.

Cast of characters

The show also had an in-house cast of regulars, some of whom were originally guests before they became fan favorites:

  • Rude Jude
  • Raymond Moses
  • Pink House
  • Tornado "Big Daddy WooWoo" (Comedian)
  • Chela
  • Valerie Mikita

References

External links








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