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Maury Povich, who returns Sept. 13 for his seventh season as host of NBC Universal Domestic Television’s hit talk show Maury, is truly one of the pioneers of television with a broadcasting career spanning more than 35 years. As the son of legendary Washington Post sports columnist Shirley Povich, who worked at the paper for an amazing 75 years, Maury Povich was destined to follow in his father’s journalistic footsteps. “My father was a remarkable man who instilled in us a sense of values that to this day guides our lives,” Povich says. “His standards of honesty and fairness in peeling away the layers of a good story are the essentials of what our show is all about.” Journalism continues to play a major role in the Povich family , Povich’s wife, Connie Chung, whom he married in 1984, is a broadcast veteran; Povich’s sister, Lynn, had a combined 25-year tenure as a writer and senior editor at Newsweek and then editor-in-chief of Working Woman Magazine; her husband, Stephan B. Shepard, is editor-in-chief of Business Week. Povich’s brother, David, is a prominent criminal trial attorney in Washington, D.C. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Povich began his foray into broadcasting in 1966 as a news reporter and sportscaster at Metromedia’s WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. The following year, he became the original host of the station’s popular midday talk show, Panorama, which brought the rising star widespread acclaim and national recognition.
From 1977-83, Povich anchored the news in such major markets as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia before returning to WTTG as news anchor and host of Panorama. When media mogul Rupert Murdoch acquired the Metromedia station group in 1986, one of his first successful moves was to bring Povich to New York to host the long-running hit A Current Affair.
Povich left A Current Affair to host the highly successful talk series The Maury Povich Show for Paramount from 1991-1998. Universal Domestic Television’s Maury debuted in 1998 and is currently a major hit in its seventh season, now under the NBC Universal Domestic Television banner. In the history of syndication, Povich is the only host/personality who has ever had three consecutive hit syndicated shows.
Povich resides in Manhattan with Chung and their son. He has two grown daughters who live in New York City and Los Angeles with their families. Family and children’s causes play a special role in the life of Povich, whose efforts to raise awareness for the National Adoption Month led then-New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani to honor the talk show host at a special City Hall ceremony in 1995.
Povich is the president of the New York Chapter of the National Television Academy (NTA), a post he has held since 2001. Previous presidents of the New York Chapter of the (NTA) have included such luminary figures as Ed Sullivan, Mark Goodson and Walter Cronkite.
"Maury" Delivers Season Best Ratings with an Average 4.5 Million Viewers
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution's "The Jane Pauley Show," delivered its best ratings of the season in households and total viewers during the week of December 20, 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution's "The Jerry Springer Show," "Maury" and "Blind Date" also hit season highs in households and total viewership during the most recent week.
"The Jane Pauley Show" had its best ever household ratings (1.7) up 21% from the previous week with series best total viewership ratings, averaging 2.1 million viewers per telecast. 'Pauley' also tied its series best ratings with Women 18-49 (0.8) up 33% from last week.
"Maury" delivered season-high ratings (3.2HH) up 10% over the same week last year with a season best average of 4.5 million viewers per show. "Maury" also hit season best ratings with Women 18-49 (2.2) and tied season-high ratings with Women 18-34 (2.4) and Women 25-54 (2.0.)
"Blind Date" showed its highest total viewership of the season with an average 1.9 million viewers per show, hit season best ratings in households (1.4) up 8% over the previous week and tied season high ratings with Women 18-49 (0.9) and Women 25-54 (0.8.)
"The Jerry Springer Show" averaged a season best 3.1 million viewers per telecast, matching its season high ratings among households (2.3), Women 18-49 (1.2) and Women 25-54 (1.2.)
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution’s current first-run syndicated programming includes “Access Hollywood,” “Starting Over,” “The Jane Pauley Show,” “The Chris Matthews Show,” “Home Delivery,” “Blind Date,” “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Maury,” “The George Michael Sports Machine,” “Rebecca’s Garden,” “Your Total Health,” “The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo” and the off-network syndication sales of NBC’s “Fear Factor,” “Providence,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Boomtown” and “Ed.” NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution also distributes the first-run specials “The Remarkable Journey” and “Good Housekeeping Reports” inserts.
Spectacle of shame on Maury Povich TV show
I’m sitting here watching The Maury Povich Show. The title of today’s show is “After Testing So Many Men . . . Will You Find the Daddy Today?”
The plot: Numerous women try to prove by way of DNA testing who the children’s real fathers are. The candidates hail from a select group of deviants, thugs, unemployed truckers and malcontents. Over and over again and with a picture of the child in the background, Maury tears open the envelope and reads “Joe or Donelle or Sam . . . is not the father.” At this point the emotionally distraught mother runs from the studio, crying hysterically while the wrongly accused jumps up and down on the stage yelling, “I told ya . . . I told ya. The woman’s a b…”
Here’s the twist. Many of the women had been on the show several times, repeatedly making accusations against upward of five or six men, all over the same child. There was one woman who had been on the show nine times concerning four different children, completely clueless as to the real fathers’ identities since she had slept with so many men. Nor had she apparently learned any lessons about conducting her sex life.
It would almost be funny if it weren’t reality. Instead, it’s a tragedy. A tragedy, not only when considering the fatherless children, but also how we as a so-called civilized nation find amusement from such wretched forms of entertainment.
Watching the studio audience was like watching a pride of lions surrounding a wounded gazelle. When the results were read, those in the crowd reacted as if they’d just seen their favorite team score the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. I don’t know if anyone in the home audience was bouncing up and down on the couch, but the very fact that millions of people are watching this stuff regularly says it all. I would like to believe that there was a time when most would have turned away in shame, or humiliation, or embarrassment. But not anymore. I guess most tend to believe, “What is there to be embarrassed about?”
Perhaps I need to go see a shrink. That’s it! I just need to change my way of thinking. I’ve got to learn to sit back, enjoy these shows and not let them bug me. If I’m going to fit in with the world, I have to quit thinking in terms of right and wrong. I have to stop empathizing with victims. The children will survive in the end. Isn’t mere survival all that matters? Then I can apply the same philosophy to crime, education, abortion and athletes using steroids. I will just force myself to believe that all behavior is victimless. Then I can start enjoying watching my television again.
Nope, it just won’t work for me. I grew up in a different age, at a time when society emphasized values and character, and when children mattered not just in mission statements, but also in how they were raised by the village. You just don’t up and dispose of those values like unneeded waste, especially when they’re so deeply embedded.
Maybe the children whose mommies are attempting to locate their daddies via the talk shows will at least be able to grow up to watch TV without experiencing disgust and dread. That’s usually the way it is when the only feelings you relate to is the feeling of pain.
Will Maury Povich host ''A Current Affair'' again?
Fox TV executives have considered reviving A Current Affair, U.S. TV's first tabloid news show, and host Maury Povich reportedly has been asked to return. The updated show, which originally aired from 1986 to 1996, may be ready for the daily airwaves by next fall, the New York Post reported Monday. We look at shows that have performed well in the past that are in our library. One of the show's we've been looking at is 'Current Affair,' although no decision has been made at this time, said an unidentified spokesman for 20th Television, the syndication division of Fox.
Povich hosted the show, which mixed hard news with strange and sometimes gossipy stories, from 1986 until 1990. He left A Current Affair to host his own talk show, which continues to air in syndication. Insiders said Povich could work on both shows, since others, including Oprah Winfrey and Montel Williams, have juggled multiple TV projects. Povich's spokesman declined to comment.
Maury Povich and his wife Connie Chung are chairpersons of the Victorian Holiday Party that benefits historic sites
The Monmouth County Historical Association (MCHA) will hold its Victorian Holiday Party at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Taylor-Butler House, 127 Kings Highway, Middletown. Monmouth County residents Connie Chung and Maury Povich are honorary chairpersons of the event that will benefit the preservation of MCHA's five historic properties.
"We encourage area residents to support historic preservation and say 'thank you' to the MCHA by being part of one of Monmouth County's premiere social events of December. We can't think of a better way to preserve our past as we celebrate the promise of a new year," said Chung, who is married to Povich.
The evening will feature hors d'oeuvres provided by Mumford's, holiday music, a silent auction and an opportunity to purchase estate jewelry from Gem of an Idea of Fair Haven. The Holiday Party committee, assisted by area garden clubs, including the Village Garden Club of Middletown and Shrewsbury Garden Club, and local businesses will transform the Victorian mansion with wreaths, live poinsettias, festive mantel trimmings and ornament-laden table-top theme trees. The annual tradition of auctioning Christmas trees continues, with one-of-a-kind creations going for between $200 and $500 each.
Maury Povich Plays `Twenty One' Questions
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, he hosts the show where a 21 could mean millions of bucks: Maury Povich is my guest for the entire hour. He's an old friend. He's a formidable figure in the world of television. His daytime show is a major hit across the country, and has grown in leaps and bounds. And he's got a new career. He is a quiz show host, which is getting to be like "I stopped on the street and met a guy today who didn't have a quiz show."
But Maury, of course, hosts "Twenty One," which is doing very well in the ratings. Indeed last night, it won its time slot with a 16 share. It's seen on NBC -- what? -- twice a week now, right?
MAURY POVICH, HOST, NBC "TWENTY ONE": Twice a week. We haven't figured out...
KING: Soon to be three, four, five...
POVICH: No, I hope not. I like twice a week, and I'd like NBC to lock in the second night and give us a time period that we can be on every night and that Regis across the street doesn't come and stunt against me and try to kill me.
KING: Are you now Wink Martindale?
POVICH: No, no.
KING: OK. Are you a quiz show host?
POVICH: Well, I, you know, I'm a -- I'm a...
KING: What are you?
POVICH: I'm hosting a quiz show, but I never considered myself a game show host. I mean, I -- you know what I think I am? I think I am what you are and I think I am what Regis is. I think we're broadcasters. And I don't know how all of the...
KING: Gotfried (ph) could have done this show.
POVICH: Oh, sure. He'd have talked a lot.
KING: Why -- yes -- why did take it? I heard you had not -- first of all, were you offered "Millionaire" first?
POVICH: There were inquiries. People had talked to me about the possibility. And then nobody knew about it. And they said, we're going to do a primetime game show. And I went -- hmm. Are you interested?
And I went, well, first of all, I have to ask my company, Studios USA, which is owned by Barry Diller...
KING: Which syndicates your daytime.
POVICH: Which syndicate my daytime. I mean, that's my day job. That's the mother lode for me.
And they said: "Look, Maury, if you really want to do this, we might try to accommodate you. But if you're really not into it, we'd prefer you not do it." And at that point, what did I know? A primetime -- I mean, wasn't "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" enough? So I went back, and they moved on and got very serious in discussions with Regis. And then I had little pangs of doubt afterward.
KING: Did you feel badly?
POVICH: Well, I didn't. But then it became such a big hit. Then subsequently NBC calls me up to do "Twenty One".
KING: Fred Silverman, right?
POVICH: Fred Silverman. And in fact, of all the guys involved, Fred and I are the only two people who had watched the original show, because Fred was...
KING: You're all young, right?
POVICH: Fred's like, you know -- I mean, he grew up in our era.
KING: "Twenty One" was my favorite quiz show.
POVICH: Me too. When I was a kid, I was -- I mean, I was like 17 years old.
KING: But you had to strategize it. You had to play it, numbers and...
POVICH: And it was appointment television. And at that time, huge money. I mean, that was big-time money, because you could win more than the $64,000.
POVICH: You could win even more than that. So it was large money.
KING: So they twisted your arm or they... POVICH: No, then I got -- and then because of the history of the show, the fact that I watched it, the fact that it had a history, the fact that it was caught up in the rigging scandals of the '50s and because of my background as a journalist, I liked the idea. And in looking back on it, if you lined up all the shows today and you had me pick one of them, I'd pick "Twenty One."
KING: But in its heyday, in its fame, it was once a week. It was live, and you ran home to watch it. Now you tape shows over the weekend.
KING: They play them, right?
KING: Do you -- Regis told us he doesn't like taping. He has to tape, but he...
POVICH: No, I would much rather do it live. I mean, look, you do your show live for the most part.
KING: The best.
POVICH: I mean, you don't like it when you tape two shows...
KING: Hate it, right. Hate it.
POVICH: ... because you've got a conflict.
KING: You're live, you're on.
POVICH: Yes. And I tape my daytime show.
KING: Now, give us your schedule. This is the Povich schedule.
POVICH: Yes. Well, I work in New York Monday. I don't -- I'm not on the air Monday, all day at the office. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I tape two talk shows each day.
KING: Six shows.
POVICH: So, that's six.
Friday I go to -- tomorrow I go to California. Saturday I tape three "Twenty One" shows. And Sunday morning, I'm back on the plane to come home, and I start again next week.
KING: What does -- does Miss -- Miss...
POVICH: The Chunger?
KING: ... Mrs. Povich -- the Chunger and the baby say?
POVICH: Well, the baby -- the baby... KING: The baby's now four years old. He said for the first time the other day, he said, "Daddy takes too many trips." So, that was the first inkling. That and Connie was not happy in the beginning. But then when I told her why I thought I wanted to do it, the fact that the show has a history, the fact that I hadn't been on primetime in a long time, since "A Current Affair" and an evening audience, I kind of convinced her. And then when she saw the show -- she came out the first weekend -- she liked it. And she's rooting hard for it. But now with Matthew, I think I have to sit down and have a talk with him. But I'll tell you this: I mean -- and I swore to Connie this and I told NBC this -- if the show goes into next year, they're on notice. It's coming to New York. First of all, this is where we live. Secondly, Larry, you and I know -- how about live in New York with a great venue? Wouldn't that be great?
KING: Why not live?
POVICH: Live in New York, a great venue, great audiences.
KING: Are there lots of edits that they can't do it live?
POVICH: You know, it's not the edits so much. It's the fact that with these game shows, these quiz shows today, there are so many computer graphics, and everything's whizzing by with all of these various computer vehicles, that's their problem. They're afraid -- because once in a while they crash, and you don't get the question up, you don't get the multiple choice answers up, you don't get the money up right.
KING: In other words, when it was simpler, it was easier to do.
POVICH: Oh! Of course. You knew that. It's like the typewriter and the computer.
KING: Now, the key, though, do you like doing it?
POVICH: Oh, I love it. I love it.
POVICH: I think because there's a lot of drama, there's tension. And I think it's the classic game show for the -- for America, and that is, it's -- it's like a board game. It's mano a mano, person against person. It's not a host asking questions. You either ask -- you have to strategize against your opponent.
KING: You make decisions.
POVICH: And that's how games, to me, that's how they always were in this country.
KING: And you're enjoying it.
KING: If you weren't, though, it would be terrible, right? Wouldn't it be tough to be a host of a show you don't like?
POVICH: No, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't -- I wouldn't like that. Would you? Come on.
KING: It would be the worst, right? The worst. I would imagine that's the...
POVICH: I mean, I'm sure -- I don't know whether you've done specials on occasion or you've done -- or you've been out of your element on occasion, and you say...
KING: Sometimes you are.
POVICH: ... do you say, what am I doing here?
KING: Our guest is Maury Povich Did you have any negative side that one -- that show was a major scandal show?
POVICH: Well, you know, I liked that idea that it had that sordid background, that checkered background, because you loved the game, didn't you, back then? And I loved the game. And I think when I look back on it, we were kind of death stated when the rigging scandal happened.
KING: One of the worst days.
POVICH: So I think -- I really believe that the television public lost its innocence in the 1950s when all of this was proved to be rigged. We believed everything on television. I mean, you couldn't do anything on...
KING: That's right. If it was on TV, it was the truth.
POVICH: Anything that came out of anybody's mouth. And now, to -- when you're an impressionable teenager, like I was, to see that, you mean, they knew the answers? Charles Van Doren isn't that smart? I mean, they're not that brainy? Because if you look -- remember back then, all of these people were brains.
KING: Now what about the critique of your show, and of "Millionaire" and others that you don't have to be very smart?
POVICH: Well, I mean, you know, dumbing down -- I really don't believe...
KING: There were tougher questions than...
POVICH: Oh, no question.
KING: And the British company that's involved in that insurance thing now is complaining that they're not as tough.
POVICH: Yes, right. I know that. In fact, NBC they were very smart. They self-insured the show.
KING: They don't have a company...
POVICH: The money's all part of the budget. We don't have outside insurance companies. But at least with "Twenty One," it's very simple, we say out front, you want a four-point question, you're going to get an easy question, you go for a nine, or 10, or 11 point question, you're going to get a tough question, so they know that.
KING: Is that the same as it was...
POVICH: Yes, and that's the way it was back then, too, the easier questions...
KING: And are the 11-point questions as tough as they were years ago?
POVICH: Not -- well, there was a question back then now -- they had the answers, because I saw Van Doren knew it. He had to list the wives of Henry VIII, I mean six of them, all of their names, and how they died.
KING: You would never get...
POVICH: No, today...
KING: And do get multiple choice.
POVICH: You do multiple choice. But that's more for the public playing along, because the public is now very much involved in playing along with the guests on the show. But on an 11-point question, we have five multiple choices, and you have to give -- and there are two correct answers, and you have to give both correct answers, so that's pretty difficult.
KING: The kick you get is giving away money to people who need it?
KING: You're the Pied Piper?
POVICH: I mean, I love that, and it changes their lives. I mean, you just ran a clip of a man named David Legler.
KING: We're going to follow him along.
POVICH: You're going to follow him along?
KING: I think so, yes.
POVICH: He's a lieutenant in the United States Navy. He's a submariner. He was a recruiting officer. But he's been, you know, he's been in submarines for a long, long time. And this man's -- I mean, he could be in the service all of his life and not win this kind of money.
KING: Later, we'll talk about daytime talk, your success with it, but one of the things it's got labeled with is tabloid and, you know, the Springer approach. Do you think doing this is changing your image in a sense?
POVICH: No, in a way I think because of the way they're played today -- and I think Regis would attest to this, too -- that our talk show background helps do "Twenty One," because we find out that the viewers -- they're vested in these players and these people. They want to know about them. They want know...
KING: You're used to doing that every day.
POVICH: Yes, they want to relate to them. They want to know if their background is the same as the viewers' background. Is there any connection between the player and the viewer? And we can have fun. Yes, it's -- it works.
KING: Who came up with the gimmick of handing them the cash? Because they don't keep that, do they? You don't send them out of the building with $200,000. They're going to get mugged in the car.
POVICH: I almost want to think that either Scott Sasa (ph), the head of West Coast NBC.
KING: Our former Turner man.
POVICH: That's right.
KING: Great guy.
POVICH: Yes. Scott or Ted Harvard, the heard of NBC Studios, or Garth Van Seer (ph), who's the head of NBC Entertainment.
KING: Garth is 11 years old.
KING: He'll be forever 11. POVICH: And the only other man I will mention along with Fred Silverman, the executive producer, is the other executive producer, Phil Guarin (ph). And I've done my work, and I don't have to name drop anymore.
KING: One of them came up with the dollars?
POVICH: One of them came up and said, we're going to do it live. And I went what. Any every...
KING: You give them the money.
POVICH: Every week an armored truck, every time I tape the show, an armored truck comes up with about $2 million in cash in $100 bills. And I always said, I wonder how much this weighs. So I picked it up, because it was in one of these bags. It's about 40 pounds. It's pretty heavy.
KING: They don't take the money home, do they?
POVICH: No. We take the money, we give it to them. They march off. There are about three security guys offstage taking it away. There's people writing down all the -- so the IRS knows exactly what's happening.
KING: Do they get the full check?
POVICH: No. They get the money taken out, the money taken out and all of the rules -- that's the last thing you see on the show before...
KING: Do they get paid right away, though?
POVICH: Within I think 90 days they get a check for everything except the tax.
KING: But the feeling of that money is one of the great kicks.
POVICH: Well, how many people -- I mean...
KING: Whoever felt a million dollars?
POVICH: You know, half a million dollars. I have never saw half -- have you ever seen half a million dollars in cash?
KING: No, I have not.
POVICH: Neither have I.
KING: The saga -- well, except when I got the bonus for... Only kidding. When we were playing ball, remember that, the football player.
POVICH: Of course.
KING: We're both sports nuts, which is up with of the reasons -- Maury's father, by the way, the late Shirley Povich, one of the greats sports writers this country ever produced. His material, you can read it now like it was written -- 30 years ago, like written today.
KING: We're back with Maury Povich, the host of "Twenty One." When do you know the answer?
POVICH: I know the answers about 15 minutes before the show.
KING: You go over everything?
POVICH: I go through them only for pronunciation. Wouldn't it be stupid if the host doesn't know how to pronounce some word in a question or a name or something? So I just look for pronunciations. Nothing sticks in my mind in terms of what the correct answer is to anything. KING: And you also can't help the person because they really don't see you, right?
POVICH: They cannot see the live audience, because of the way the light hits the glass. They can see me only when they're being asked the question, and they go -- and they can't see me when I am talking to the opponent. And we've gotten a lot of calls about this, because people say they can hear applause, the opponent can hear applause, when the other person answers the question correctly. What they -- I keep saying this over and over again, I'll say, they play music and applause constantly in the ears in their headphones.
KING: They have no idea.
POVICH: So they have no ideas. They're getting applause whether somebody has answered the question right or not.
KING: We have "Twenty One," "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?," "Greed," and we learned today "Winning Lines" was just canceled by CBS. Too many?
POVICH: But you know something, I -- well, Les Moonves -- and he's an acquaintance, and I have a lot of respect for him. He was never onboard. He hates this. He hates the...
KING: He's the head of CBS.
POVICH: Yes. He hates the game show stuff. And he has some -- some justifiable complaints, because if these game shows are going on and on and on, who is going to be developing the comedies? Who is going to be developing the dramas? You're not going to have any time on your -- on your schedule.
KING: Game shows and magazines...
POVICH: Right, you're not going to have any -- you're not going to have enough time on your schedule to run new product. So he was never onboard.
And I -- he bought this show, "Winning Lines," and Dick Clark, who is a terrific guy -- and I have known him for a long, long time -- hosted it. I probably was on -- Saturday night is the worst night in the world to try to do anything on television. And that's where they stuck it, and it didn't work.
KING: What makes a good host? Good broadcaster to begin with, what else?
POVICH: Yes. I think you have to be comfortable with people. I think you have -- I think you have to kind of gain the trust of the public. You always -- I mean, it's like anything in broadcasting.
You also -- you know, I always believed this -- and it has -- goes back to talk shows and anything else else. And you -- we're all doing the same thing. We're knocking on the doors of television viewers every single day saying, can I come in? And will you feel comfortable if I come in and if you invite me into your home? And I think if you can get over that hump -- I mean, I think that's what it was all about with Cronkite in terms of trustworthiness.
KING: In other words, if you're too slick, it ain't going to work?
POVICH: No, no. No, it doesn't work. First of all, television viewers, they've been around a long time. They've been watching this thing now for 50 years. I mean, they know exactly what's happening when it comes to television programming. You can't put anything over on them anymore.
KING: Now, do you -- are you constantly feeling in conflict with -- with "Millionaire"? Do you feel like it's a -- a competitor?
POVICH: Well, I mean, they're...
KING: They're not against each other? They put you on one night.
POVICH: Yes, they just -- you know, when we have something good going, at the last minute they say, well, I think we'll just shove a "Millionaire" right against you and they hit us hard and beat us pretty good. I mean, they're kind of "Big Foot."
But it's interesting: They were first out. They've done 70 some shows. We've done nine.
KING: That's all you've done?
POVICH: Yes. And they think -- you know, I can turn it around and say they have enough respect for us that they're going to put "Millionaire" in there on a special night to try to clobber us. And that's OK.
But I've been -- you know, I've had it reversed with me. I mean, back in the days of "A Current Affair," we were the first kind of tabloid news magazine on the air.
KING: Sure were.
POVICH: And we kind of caught fire, and the whole world was interested in us. So I know what it's like being out there first, because then came "Inside Edition" and "Hard Copy" and "Extra" and all of these other shows. And so I'm on the other foot. My -- I'm...
KING: It's very -- and you also know it's hard to unseat the first one.
POVICH: Oh, it's very difficult. And I don't think we're out to unseat anybody. All we're trying to do is make a -- make a claim, you know? Put down our stake, and ABC doesn't want us to.
KING: Here's more of Maury and our friend on "Twenty One." Watch.
KING: So you are self-insured, so you don't have the insurance problem.
KING: Where do you see this going? Do you see...
POVICH: I don't know.
KING: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) if you start really doing well, let's do three times a week, let's do four times. I mean, do you see -- the danger that Moonves fears, do you fear?
POVICH: Yes. I mean, to me twice a week. I think in order to establish this particular kind of show, twice a week is terrific. "Millionaire" is on three times a week, plus, you know, they have these week-long things where they go on every day from time to time. I can't see that. But twice a week would be good. And I think, believe it or not, that the shows that are going to get hurt the worst quickest are the news magazine shows.
KING: Where your wife works?
POVICH: Where my wife works, at "20/20."
KING: Already canceled one of them, right?
POVICH: Right, because of "Millionaire."
KING: You're knocking your wife off the air.
POVICH: I know it. I know. I don't want to do that.
KING: Maury, I told you not to go.
POVICH: I have got to go home tonight.
KING: What do you -- what's with "Greed"? How is that doing on Fox?
POVICH: Well, "Greed," it's -- I just don't know how it's doing. It's doing OK. It's a little confusing to me. And it's kind of mean- spirited apparently. Apparently you throw people off each other's team.
KING: Speaking of ideas, what do you make of the CBS idea to put 10 people together in a house, run it stripped across the week live, and whatever happens happens.
POVICH: Yes, and apparently in the Netherlands when they do this...
KING: 75 percent total of the audience.
POVICH: Yes. But do you know what they're showing back over there? Shower scenes, sex. They're doing the whole thing.
No, I don't think Les is going to allow that on his channel.
KING: No. How do you think that'll do? That's a...
POVICH: It's an idea. It's an idea. But it's a summertime thing.
KING: Like "The Truman Show."
POVICH: Yes. It's a summertime thing. And trust me, if it works, Moonves would be glad to eat crow and put it on in the fall.
KING: Why does daytime talk still work?
POVICH: I think some does and some doesn't.
KING: There's a lot that's lasted now for...
POVICH: Yes, a lot of it's lasted. And some -- I think some of the -- of the shows that came along and tried to do the same thing in terms of a formula -- and I don't want to knock anybody in particular, but there are some shows that are not doing as well. In fact, in November -- and it looks like now in February -- we're the only daytime talk show up year to year.
KING: And Dianne Reeve (ph) has gone up...
POVICH: No, they're fun. Yes, that's -- that's more of a variety show.
POVICH: This is what we call a "single topic talk show." And we've taken a very different direction in the past year or so, because I mean, I don't know what it's like you raising your Chance and this other one coming along...
KING: You know what it's like to...
POVICH: I mean...
KING: There's nothing like it in the whole world.
POVICH: I mean, I have no clue what direction to -- so I'm -- I'm almost like the new parent out there. So I'm doing a lot of kid issues. I think the -- the biggest social issue in this country, and not one presidential candidate talks about it, is the relationship between kids and parents. There's more incivility, more anger, more temper, more meanness between parent and -- and kid today. It's just -- and so I'm -- I'm doing that.
KING: Are you trying to help it or play to it?
POVICH: No, I...
KING: There is that charge.
POVICH: No, I think -- what I'm trying to do -- I think you have to expose it. I think you have to show it. And then, of course, we use boot camps, and they're controversial, but we think they work. But now I'm down to -- because I asked these parents, "Well, what age did these kids start all of this stuff?" And they said, "Well, when he was eight, or when she was eight, nine and 10." Now I'm taking in the 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds with the parents who shout and scream and yell at each other.
KING: Ask you in a minute, why? Maury Povich is the guest, the host of "Twenty One." We're showing you scenes from this -- there are very two very successful quiz shows. It's "Millionaire" and this one. And "Millionaire" was first; this one was second. "Twenty One" was the show that aired years ago we all watched as kids. Why this children-parent dilemma in an age of affluence?
POVICH: Because I don't think the parents learned any parenting skills. I mean, I think it's that -- I almost want to say it's my generation -- my kids' generation now -- because my kids are in their 30s -- those people, either by -- because of broken homes, because of one-parent home, because of latch key children, because of all of these things, because of the permissiveness of that generation, their parenting skills were lacking. They don't know how to take care of these 13, 14 and 15-year-old girls. I have these kids on the show all the time, and they're screaming these terrible things to their parents and the parents are screaming the same things back to them. Now I don't know about you, but somehow, when we got mad at our parents, when they got mad at us, they used a different language than we use when we got mad.
KING: They were the boss.
POVICH: That's right. And that's never gotten through.
KING: What changed? They weren't trained to be parents, were they?
POVICH: I think they're out. I don't think their discipline is there.
KING: What's it like to deal with it so much?
POVICH: Well, it's -- you know what it is? Because the kids come on with the parents, I'm -- they're -- I'm automatically in the game, because somebody -- that means there's something in that child that they want to change in themselves, and that's why they're there, and so I have a chance at that, and then when I shock them, and either take to them boot camp and put them -- let them see what these kids who get in real trouble, or take them to the morgue or take these over -- sex-addicted kids to former prostitute homes, or take the prostitutes, take -- ex-prostitutes, take them to the streets, and see what it's really like, and what stripers are really like and what that profession is all about, they get a wakeup call.
KING: Do you feel really that you're helping? Do you get the feeling...
POVICH: I think so. I think I am. I mean, we're pot going to help everybody. Our batting average isn't that good. But it's good enough. It's not just one kid. If I bring five kids on one of these shows, I guarantee you two or three of them are going to be different after the experience.
KING: Your audiences get very involved too, do they not?
POVICH: Oh yes, oh yes. And you know something, in a way they've got a lot of good answers too, because a lot of my audience, the daytime audience, they've been through what these kids and parents have been through; they've had to deal with this in their own homes.
KING: The age-old question we in broadcasting ask all the time: Why do they go on?
POVICH: I think there's a sense of desperation about them. I do not think it's a -- I don't think of the -- they think it's a performance.
KING: Ah-hah, I am on television?
POVICH: Yes, I don't think -- I think they're desperate. They have run out of every possible option that they have, and we're the last call for them.
KING: How about how well you're doing? You're -- in your time period.
POVICH: I mean, we're doing great. Our demographics are getting younger, and they love that in the television business. We're the only show from year to year of all -- I mean, that's from "Oprah" on down -- that has gained audience over the last year.
KING: You changed the show you were doing, right?
KING: The old "Maury" is different from the new "Maury."
KING: The old "Maury" also had one topic, though, didn't it?
POVICH: Yes, it had one topic, but it was a different company. I worked with Paramount then, and now I work with Studios USA.
KING: You're happy where you are now?
POVICH: Yes, it's good. I mean, I like it. I have a great executive producer, Amy Rosenbloom (ph). I get along with these people.
KING: Do you miss something that -- when I came to Washington, the first thing I saw you doing -- news, sports.
POVICH: You know what, I was very jealous of you the other night, hear you doing the debate in South Carolina, and that's what we always wanted to do when we were growing up in news.
KING: Me too.
POVICH: I have a wife who is totally immersed in news.
KING: You miss it?
POVICH: At times, I miss it. I miss this campaign. Boy, this is a good campaign, isn't it?
POVICH: Oh, this is good.
KING: Interesting people.
POVICH: Oh, yes . And I don't know John McCain too well. George W. Bush is a friend of mine.
KING: You knew him from baseball too, right?
POVICH: Not only from baseball, but we've played golf together. We have a group that used to go up to the Monterey Peninsula every year, and George was part of that. I like George a lot. I'm not -- I don't support any...
KING: You must know the Gores from Washington.
POVICH: I know the vice president. I've met the senator, Senator Bradley. I like all of these people. KING: Yes.
POVICH: Don't you? I heard the other night you said, hey, forgive me if I call you all by your first name.
KING: First name -- it's hard not to, yes. You like them.
POVICH: I know.
KING: And you give them credit. It's not easy to stand...
POVICH: But I think it's good, because I think you have four very competent people there.
KING: How about sports?
POVICH: Oh, wow.
KING: I mean, you grew up with -- you grew up at batting cages.
POVICH: I was the bat boy for the old Washington Senators during spring training in Florida in the late '40s and early '50s. I mean, to us, that was golden years. That was Joe DiMaggio, and that was Mujoe (ph), and Williams, and all of those guys, and they all trained in Florida, and we loved that, and...
KING: Son of a sportswriter. Wow.
POVICH: Son of my father, learned everything I knew about the news business at his knee.
KING: your father covered Ruth.
POVICH: My father covered Ruth. My father was at the Tunney- Dempsey fight, covered the '27 Tunney-Dempsey fight.
KING: Are you having a problem that "Millionaire" is having, that Regis has complained about, with white males only?
POVICH: No. How about that? We have -- I would say -- I would say it's about 50-50 men and women. Some of our champions have been minorities. We've had none of that problem at all. I don't know why Regis. I don't understand what's going on with "Millionaire." I am surprised. We have what I consider to be a very equitable pool.
KING: That's the next thing?
POVICH: I mean, don't think it's not going to happen again.
KING: Hire me. I'll interview employee night. POVICH: I know. and the head of the Fox specials, Mike Darnell (ph), who I know, because I've done a special for Fox in the past said, well, we'll just have a woman multimillionaire and have men parade just to make it equal. Why do the nightly tabloid shows -- I remember when you started "A Current Affair" you came on my nighttime radio show.
KING: Early '80s.
POVICH: Everybody -- we were...
KING: You were saying we're starting this half hour show, we're going to give news about this person starting a fire, and -- why did that work.
POVICH: It worked because back then, we were doing stories nobody else was doing, and they were basically stories that the legitimate news organizations didn't think was news, and that could be the smallest story. I mean, I can remember one of our first stories was that there was a dog in Westchester County here in New York that was in a pound set to die because he had bitten a neighbor twice. If you bit a neighbor once, bite a neighbor twice, you're going to your great maker, and we go out there, and we cover this story, and we announce on the air that the dog has escaped from death row and has been placed in a witness protection program in Connecticut. I mean, these little stories, I mean, that's what we used to do. We did the Mary Beth Whitehead surrogate baby story before anybody else. It was Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, remember we did that? And then all of a sudden "Nightline," remember "Nightline" did it? I mean, Ted Koppel was doing wall to wall Jim and Tammy Bakker. It was those kinds of stories that put "A Current Affair" on the map.
KING: Back with more of Mary Povich. Thank you. Just call the "Maury" show in New York, listed, for the "Maury" show?
KING: Tell me about this Hank Greenberg documentary. I've been reading all about it.
POVICH: I saw it the other day, and I thought of you, because you grew up in Brooklyn, you're a great baseball fan, and I had always -- I mean, I knew Hank Greenberg much later in his life, when he was partner -- well, he ended his day -- his career in Pittsburgh in 1947, but played every other year in Detroit and -- but he also was Bill Veeck's partner at Cleveland and Chicago when Veeck owned those teams and Hank was his partner, and Hank was -- I mean, I don't know -- we're both from Jewish homes. Hank was the only Jewish ballplayer I had never known.
KING: As a kid.
POVICH: Never ever heard of.
KING: Until Al Rosen came along. POVICH: Right, until Al, until Al came along in the late 1940s, early '50s. Anyway, not only was Greenberg a great Jewish ballplayer, he was huge. He was 6'4", 6'5"; he was like a God. He was this great-looking guy. And they go back to his roots in the Bronx, growing up there. And I always remembered -- and I had a very small cameo in it, because the producer asked me a question. My father's in it: Of course, he followed Greenberg all the way through. I mean, when my father said to me, you're going to synagogue -- Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur -- and I said, yes, but dad, there's a game. And he said, "If Hank Greenberg..."
KING: Can stay home.
POVICH: ... "can stay home..." It was the Sandy Koufax story as well. But Greenberg was the first that we knew of. And so I knew that at least twice a year my father was going to get me to that synagogue.
KING: Now there are two, Shawn Green...
KING: ... Lieberthal with Philadelphia.
KING: They're on the cusp.
KING: And of course, Koufax.
POVICH: Who knows?
KING: Who knows?
POVICH: Could be a renaissance.
KING: When we come back, we have to ask him -- he's a New Yorker -- about Hillary-Giuliani. And does he want to get into that?
POVICH: I love it, don't you?
KING: What do you make of that race?
POVICH: Well, you know, it's almost like -- I mean, I hate to use the sports analogy.
KING: Go ahead. POVICH: Let's say -- I mean, even her husband says, she's the manager, she's the coach, she's helped me all of these year. It's like the coach and the manager saying, I can play this game. So now she's in the race. And now you have to understand, it's one thing to be smart, be behind the scenes, pull some strings, you know, direct people. But now you're the candidate. Boy, you better -- you better be -- you have got to be a different soul if you're the candidate. You can't be that same person. The operative is always the worst kind of candidate.
KING: There's going to be no race ever like this one, right? I mean, well, no first lady has ever...
POVICH: It is going to be a knock-down, drag-out. This is going to be -- I mean, I -- I mean, that's another reason why I'm upset I'm not in news anymore. I would love to cover that race.
KING: Would you go back to news?
POVICH: You know, it's interesting...
KING: Nothing is forever.
POVICH: I mean, I don't want to say this about a competitor, but Roger Ailes is a friend of mine. And he said, anytime you want to quit this stuff you're doing...
KING: And go over to Fox.
POVICH: And go -- and go back -- I mean, look, I -- I'd -- I'd do it if I -- if I was tired of what I'm doing. I love what I'm doing. I mean, that woman's pain, talking about that child of hers -- I'm telling you, she'll call tomorrow, and we'll get on that case. And I love doing that kind of stuff.
KING: And you get the actual feeling of helping just like giving people money.
POVICH: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely, yes. That's all.
KING: And that overweighs the fact that you could be covering Hillary-Giuliani.
POVICH: Yes, yes. It could. It's more important to me, because you and I know that, I mean, in politics, it can be, you know -- it's not as high-lofted kind of...
KING: There are low days?
KING: All right. What's it like being a father again? I know, but I'm asking you. Mine is still an infant.
POVICH: I -- I'll tell you one thing, don't you feel younger? I feel younger.
KING: Every day.
POVICH: That -- I mean, that's the biggest.
KING: Makes you feel alive.
POVICH: Feel alive, and you are watching something grow. And I think when we were younger, at least when I was younger and this was happening, I don't know. I didn't -- I didn't see it.
POVICH: No, I didn't see it. I couldn't...
POVICH: I didn't remember it. I didn't watch it the way I watch it now. I mean, it's like -- I mean, I watch this child. I mean, every week it's little different, he's doing something different. I love to watch his love for his mother. I love the relationship he has with Connie. I mean, they are so devoted to each other. And I mean, I'm -- I'm just trying to be part of it. And it's a -- it's nice to have somebody at our age call us "daddy."
KING: Also, it's not near, you know, the trouble we thought it would be.
KING: You know, we thought it, well, oh, boy, was this going to cramp our lifestyle.
POVICH: No, no.
KING: The opposite.
POVICH: First of all, I think we give up some things.
KING: Yes but (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
POVICH: And happily. I mean, you know -- I mean, I -- Connie might argue with me, but I don't play as much golf as I used to play, and I don't do a lot of the things I used to do. And I -- I enjoy him. And I like to take him places. He comes into the office. Every time he sees the ABC newsroom with Peter Jennings, come on at 6:30 at night, he says, that's mommy's office, daddy. I said: "OK, son. All right. Where's my office?" He says, "Your office is next to Madison Square Garden."
KING: What was it like to grow up rooting for the Washington Senators?
POVICH: Oh, it was painful. I mean, it was painful.
KING: First in war, first in peace, last in the American League.
POVICH: It was -- in my years of remembering the Washington Senators from 1946, let's say, until 1961 when they moved to Minnesota, they didn't have a winning year. They did not have a winning year.
KING: In all of those great array of names.
POVICH: Oh, it's terrific. In fact, I heard from one the other day: Pedro Ramos.
KING: Pedro Ramos! He could bring it.
POVICH: I heard from him. He told me that they're having a kind of a little reunion in Washington next weekend, after this weekend. And I think he said Roy Sievers was going to be there, and maybe Camillo Pascual and maybe Harmon Killebrew and Jim Lemon.
KING: Could Major League Baseball come back there?
POVICH: It could come back in a second.
KING: Why don't they?
POVICH: Well, I think the Orioles will prevent it from being in the American League. And if I had to get upset at Major League Baseball, I think underneath everything they don't believe there are enough white people in the Washington area to support that team. And they're dead wrong.
KING: Dead wrong. And they got the two biggest per capita incomes in Fairfax and Montgomery County in the United States.
POVICH: That's right. That's right. And they've got all that Internet money sitting there. It deserves a team. It's a travesty.
KING: Couldn't agree more.
KING: Maury, you're the best.
POVICH: Good to see you, Larry.
KING: Maury Povich, he hosts "Maury" daily. It's in its second season. The studio's USA, his own production company.