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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 Steve Wilkos Show
Logo of The Steve Wilkos Show.png
GenreTabloid talk show
Created bySteve Wilkos
Presented bySteve Wilkos
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons11
No. of episodes1,200+[1]
Executive producer(s)
Camera setupMultiple
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)Stamford Media Center Productions
(season 5-present)
Richard Dominick Productions
(season 1)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkSyndication
Picture format480i (4:3 SDTV) (2007-2012)
1080i (16:9 HDTV) (2012-present)
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 10, 2007 (2007-09-10) –
Related showsThe Jerry Springer Show
External links



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's usually covered, most involving criminal justice issues. Wilkos will often refuse to allow guests accused of excessively heinous misbehavior, such as being 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 at times he has also thrown the chairs, thereby 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, Wilkos typically lets pregnant women[6] and teenagers[7] sit on his stage.

Wilkos often bullies guests by not letting them sit if he has decided, nearly always without proof, that they have done wrong, yelling in their faces, telling them to shut up, 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] He claims to have an innate, almost psychic sense of who is a criminal and who is not, based on his prior experience as a police officer and Marine. When an innocent guest begins to explain their actions in greater detail, Wilkos will often ignore and shout over the top of them and tell them to shut up.[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 Wilkos has had enough of a particular guest's antics, he will eject the guest off the stage by yelling "Get the hell off my stage!," "Get off my stage!," "Get your ass off my stage!," or a bleeped "Get the fuck 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] At times, when Wilkos is at his calmest depending on how the guests conduct themselves on the show, he will kindly ask the guests to "walk off the stage."

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 during the first season, 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, Wilkos brings out the production's polygraph expert, Daniel Ribacoff (who has been on the show since the third season) 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][15]

The show also focuses on clearing the names of those who are wrongfully accused and/or convicted of serious offenses such as rape, abuse, murder, and other offenses of that nature. If the accused passes their lie detector test, Steve often turns his anger towards the accusers the same way he expresses anger at those who are guilty of committing those offenses.

In earlier seasons, Wilkos would often make jokes about prison rape to unnerve or upset abusers and rapists, but this practice is almost completely unseen in recent seasons. Wilkos doesn't yell or get in the accused guests' faces as often as he did in the first season, unless if need be for a greater cause, depending on how the guests take the heat on his stage.

Wilkos has appeared twice on Maury; once in 2008,[16] and participated in the 2,500th episode in 2013.[17]

On November 22, 2013, The Steve Wilkos Show celebrated their 1000th episode, along with Jerry Springer and Rachelle Wilkos as special guests. The 1,000th episode took a look back on the first seven of the ten seasons of the show.[18]

The Steve Wilkos Show celebrated its tenth anniversary in September 2016. Steve Wilkos and Rachelle Wilkos, as well as the producers, hosted a series of tributes entitled "A Decade of Steve", looking back on the first nine seasons of the show.


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. As time went on with the paternity and infidelity stories, Wilkos would often make jokes with guests just to get laughs from himself, his guests and the audience, since paternity and infidelity aren't as serious an offense as abuse of any kind.

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 Consiglio, Wilkos's wife and a long time Springer crew member, became the program's executive producer.[19][20]

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.[21]

In June 2018, it was announced that the show had been renewed through 2020.[22]

Notable episodesEdit

Some episodes of the show have led to guests being arrested or convicted of sexual crimes.

  • In November 2011, Norwich, Connecticut police arrested Burke Bergman after he failed a lie detector test about sexually molesting his son, in the episode "Three Possible Dads, One Possible Molester" aired on September 19, 2011.[23]
  • Five months following the October 3, 2012 episode "Did You Rape My Daughter?", guest Shaun Whitt was arrested in Flagler County, Florida on charges of raping his then-11-year-old daughter beginning in 2010. In September 2014, Whitt was convicted of two counts of sexual battery against a child and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.[24]
  • The May 6, 2015 episode "Did You Violate Our Trust...and Our Children?"[25] led to the arrest of 22-year-old Dameion McBride in Kansas City, Missouri for sexually abusing three children.[26] McBride was convicted in late 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.[27]
  • Nearly a week after the May 15, 2017 broadcast of the episode "Horrific Child Abuse Caught on Video",[28] police in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania arrested 21-year-old Jessica Lynn Samick on two charges including felony endangering the welfare of a child. She is suspected of beating and burning a one-year-old boy whom she was babysitting.[29][30]

See alsoEdit


  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
  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. ^ Video on YouTube
  17. ^ TV Guide
  18. ^ Andrea Morabito (2013-11-22). "Ex-Marine Steve Wilkos battles his way to 1,000 episodes". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  19. ^ Feder, Robert (September 11, 2008). "Choked up; Ex-'Springer' producer says he gave 'everything I had inside me'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 11, 2008.
  20. ^ Feder, Robert (September 3, 2008). "Fall from 'Springer'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  21. ^ The new studio - Steve Wilkos Archived September 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-01-04). "Talk Show 'The Real' Renewed Through 2020 as Other Syndicated Series Teeter on Bubble". Variety. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  23. ^ Smith, Greg (November 2, 2011). "Taftville man arrested after TV appearance". The Bulletin. Norwich, CT. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  24. ^ Holt, Tony (September 19, 2014). "Flagler child rapist was confronted on 'Steve Wilkos' talk show". Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Babbitt, Kasey (July 15, 2015). "Kansas City metro man charged with child molestation after appearing on daytime talk show". WDAF. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  27. ^ Kaplan, Don (February 19, 2017). "Steve Wilkos helps bust perv, failed TV lie detector test launches police investigation". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Metrick, Becky (May 24, 2017). "Update: Charges filed in Waynesboro child abuse case featured on Steve Wilkos Show". Public Opinion. Chambersburg, PA. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  30. ^ Metrick, Becky (April 19, 2018). "Family's plea stops agreement in child abuse case featured on Steve Wilkos Show". Public Opinion. Chambersburg, PA. Retrieved January 8, 2019.

External linksEdit