Maury (TV series)
Format Tabloid talk show Created by Maury Povich Presented by Maury Povich Country of origin United States No. of episodes 3,000+ Production Location(s) Hotel Pennsylvania
New York, New York (1991-2009)
Stamford Media Center
Stamford, Connecticut (2009-present)
Running time 60 minutes Production company(s) MoPo Productions (1991–present)
Paramount Television (1991–1998)
Studios USA (1998–2002)
Universal Television (2002–present) (as Universal TV Talk Productions since 2004)
Distributor Paramount Television (1991–1998)
Studios USA (1998–2002)
Universal Television (2002–2004)
NBC Universal Television Distribution (2004–present)
Broadcast Original channel Syndicated Picture format 480i SDTV Original run September 9, 1991 – present External links Website
When the series first aired in 1991, the show was called The Maury Povich Show and was produced by MoPo Productions in association with Paramount Domestic Television. The show was revamped in the late-1990s as Maury, adopting this title in 1998 when Studios USA (now NBC Universal) took over production. However, MoPo continues to co-produce with NBC Universal. For the series' first 18 seasons, it was taped in New York City, but beginning with Season 19, the show has been taped in the Stamford Media Center in Stamford, Connecticut. Maury is one of four NBC Universal syndicated properties to make the move to Connecticut, joining the former Chicago-based Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos shows. (The fourth, the syndicated Deal or No Deal, is no longer in production.) But the TV rating on Maury has been rated TV-G, TV-PG, and TV-14 on the syndicated stations of the United States, based on each episode's content. Due to the show's suggestive content, it is recommended for local stations that air it do so mainly during the evening, late night, or overnight hours.
Common show themes
Maury has dealt with a variety of issues across its 21 seasons, including – but not limited to – teenage pregnancy, sexual infidelity, paternity test results, uncommon illnesses, makeovers, "out of control" teenagers, transgender individuals, obese children, men controlling and abusing women, little people, bullying, and unusual phobias. After the taping of these episodes, guests are often tracked for progress, both on air and on the Maury website.
The show in its early years covered topics of a serious nature, including gang warfare. 
One of the most famous topics associated with Maury is paternity testing, where a mother appears on air in an attempt to prove (or in some cases, disprove) that a man is the biological father of her child or children. The mother will often bring the child into the studio to prove to Maury, the audience, and the accused father, the validity of her claims. In most cases, the father is hostile towards the accusing mother, and is certain that he is unrelated to the child for a variety of reasons, sometimes due to infidelity or sterility.
In other episodes, adults who been fathering their child(ren) all the child(ren)'s life/lives discover that they may not be their biological father and have suffered a paternity fraud (they discover this either by infidelity suspicions/proof, or the wife may admit it to the husband on the show) and turn to a paternity test for proof. These episodes are more sentimental.
After the initial accusations, Maury sits the opposing parties down to read the results of a paternity test that had been performed before the show's taping. This can be either "You ARE the father!" or "You are NOT the father". After the results are revealed, the parties react accordingly, and a follow-up episode often checks up on the story months later.
Some episodes of the series deal with infidelity in relationships. The accused individual is often attached to a lie-detector machine and asked questions about the topic at hand (or will sometimes admit secrets to his/her partner). Additionally, the "Special Ops Expert" Dave Vitalli will often set up an undercover sting operation in which the accused cheater is put into a green room with a decoy (buddy and/or sexy), and everything that happens between the man and the decoy is recorded and shown on the show (though the men have no idea that they have been busted doing this until it is revealed during the show). In recent episodes, this may sometimes be a Facebook decoy; essentially the same except it happens over the internet.
This process is done to men who are being accused by their wife or girlfriend. Often, this could be done the other way round; a man may make his wife or girlfriend take a lie-detector test if he has doubts that his child(ren) are his.
Shocking Sex Secrets
Some episodes of the series deal with individuals who wish to reveal a secret to their loved ones. The segment usually begins with the person wishing to tell the secret on stage with Maury and he/she goes through the story. Next, the wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend is brought out, and soon after the secret is told. The wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend will often walk away the stage, with the person telling the secret chasing after them apologizing. However, it may occasionally result in a positive reaction from the wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend.
In some segments, the third party involved in the secret may also appear on the show. Secrets revealing a man may not be the father of their children can sometimes result in a paternity test.
Controlling and abusive men
Some episodes in the series also deal with abusive relationships where men believe it is their right to control and abuse the women they love. In these episodes, women currently in relationships with controlling and abusive men appear on the show for help. These men often say things such as "It's a man's world" or "A woman is here to serve a man". A lot of the times they will emotionally and physically abuse women if they feel the women are not following their rules (i.e. when they can and can't see their family and friends, not allowing them to see other men, how they are to serve the men their food, how the men are to be addressed as, when and where they can sleep, etc.). In some episodes, the men may also inspect their woman's body on a consistent basic to make sure their wife or girlfriend does not cheat on them. These men are also brought to the studio and publicly rebel against their girlfriend, fiance, or wife and refuse to listen to their pleas.
In an attempt to help both the women who are being controlled and to stop the men's controlling ways, Povich brings in a variety of guests, from women who were previously in an abusive relationship to mothers of daughters in abusive relationships; in one episode, a former guest, a man who changed his controlling ways after his first appearance on the show, was brought in. After the show, the men are transported to a location in an attempt to scare them into acting differently; mostly the place was a funeral home (the abused women are in coffins to appear as if they have deceased); other times the place was a homeless shelter. In one episode, the place was a prison. Usually, the tables are turned and they are made to follow the rules (i.e. serve the women food in a different manner than their abusive manner).
When the men return to the studio, they often apologize for their behavior. Occasionally, couples return because the men, who stop their abuse are suspected of cheating on the same women they beat.
"Out of control" teenagers
In these episodes, distressed mothers or family members of delinquent teenage girls turn to Maury for help. These teenagers often have issues dealing with drugs, promiscuity, prostitution, shoplifting, gang involvement, or the strong desire to become pregnant at a young age. More simply, the show usually deals with violent teens or teens who wish to have a baby (sometimes both). These teens are brought to the studio, where, like the controlling men, they publicly rebel against their parents/guardians/foster carers and refuse to listen to their pleas.
In an attempt to help the young girls, Maury brings in a variety a guests, from former prostitutes and teen moms, to motivational speakers and police officers. In recent episodes, Maury gets a combination of Trisha Goddard (Conflict Resolution Expert), Raphael B. Johnson (Motivational Speaker) and Dave Vitalli (Special Ops Expert) to help reform the teens. These individuals will often share their stories with the girls, or attempt to motivate them to improve themselves. Afterward, the girls are shipped to a location in an attempt to scare them into acting differently; sometimes these places have been prisons, other times the girls have been forced to partake in boot camp activities, and often are shown that they could end up dead or homeless if they don't change their ways. Teens wanting babies are sent to "Baby Boot Camp" and are forced to take care of young children.
When the girls return to the studio, the majority of them apologize for their behavior, and, in cases where they want babies, realise that they are not ready to be parents.
In these episodes, a group of ten to twelve guests who look like beautiful women (but in reality, some of these guests were born male) would parade on the set in revealing clothes (i.e., skimpy dresses, lingerie, swimsuits, etc.) while Maury would ask the audience if the guest in question was a man or a woman. Towards the end of the show, the guest would reveal his/her gender.
Occasionally, there would be shows in which some of the guests who look like men are actually women but it doesn't happen nearly as often.
These type of episodes focus on a man or woman who used to be very different and have now changed their life. Usually, the man or woman that has changed their life will show what their lives had been like before they had changed themselves. Then, they will walk in to the stage, showing off their new looks. One of the people who primarily hated their old looks will then come out on to their stage, and the person that had changed their looks will briefly "hide" from the stage. Then, the person who had changed their life will walk back on to the stage, and the once-opposing person will then react accordingly.
Most of the time this will be a woman that's changed their life, but men that have changed their life have also sometimes appeared.
At the end of each year, Maury will do a "top 10" of the season and do an update on each guest.
He will also occasionally do a "guest update" and reveal to the viewers what happened to a guest after the show (i.e. if a man is still raising a child proven not to be his, or if a husband who previously controlled his spouse is back to his old ways).
For the first 18 seasons, Maury episodes were taped back-to-back at the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The studio shared the facility in the Hotel Pennsylvania with The People's Court until the show relocated studios in 1998, and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show until its cancellation in 2002.
For the 2009-10 season, production was moved from New York City to Stamford, Connecticut, where the series is now taped at the Stamford Media Center, along with The Jerry Springer Show and The Steve Wilkos Show. This move was made in part because Connecticut is offering NBC a tax credit if production of these three series was moved to the state.
Studio audience members obtain free tickets to the taping of Maury via the show's official website.
Maury is syndicated on various stations in the United States at various times of the day, whether in the morning, afternoon, or late evening. All syndicated episodes of Maury are edited for content for broadcast regardless of broadcast time to comply with U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations regarding the broadcast of indecency and obscenity. Profanity, guests' last names or other unusual language on the program is bleeped out. In fact, this can extend as far as to remove a group of many bad words or even of an entire sentence, but making some speech incomprehensible. In addition, nudity and the partial exposure of breasts or buttocks are pixelized out.
Although Maury has a more serious tone and is less raunchy in nature, some critics denounce it as being even worse than other similar talk shows such as The Jerry Springer Show, due to what is perceived as an insincere sympathy for the guests and using their serious problems for the entertainment and humor of the viewing audience. Whitney Matheson wrote about the show in her USA Today column, "Povich's talk show is, without a doubt, the worst thing on television. Period. Don't be fooled by the pressed shirt and pleated khakis; Maury is miles further down the commode than Jerry Springer." This was also mocked on a South Park episode called "Freak Strike".
- The Jerry Springer Show
- The Jeremy Kyle Show
- The Steve Wilkos Show
- Face to Face (Philippine TV series)
- ^ a b Grego, Melissa (February 2, 2009). "'Springer,' 'Wilkos,' 'Maury' to Tape in Connecticut". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/189304-_Springer_Wilkos_Maury_to_Tape_in_Connecticut.php. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- ^ "Veteran Daytime Talk Shows "Maury," "The Jerry Springer Show" and "The Steve Wilkos Show" Sold to Broadcast Stations Through 2014". Futon Critic. October 25, 2010. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2010/10/25/veteran-daytime-talk-shows-maury-the-jerry-springer-show-and-the-steve-wilkos-show-sold-to-broadcast-stations-through-2014-591401/20101025nuts01/. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- ^ "Story Tracker". Maury. http://www.mauryshow.com/story_tracker.php. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- ^ Matheson, Whitney (December 3, 2002). "There shouldn't be a next time, America". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/candy/2002/2002-03-13-candy.htm. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
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