Maury Is Ending This Season After Three Decades On TV

After over 30 years of dramatically issuing paternity tests and being the highlight of the "sick day" television lineup for countless school children in the days before streaming platforms and dedicated children's entertainment networks existed, tabloid talk show "Maury" has been canceled. 

The show first debuted in 1991 as "The Maury Povich Show," but the title was eventually shortened to "Maury" in 1998. While the show has covered a range of topics and featured a variety of guests over its decades long run, it is ultimately a blatantly exploitative talk show that immediately calls to mind chaotic imagery of distraught men and women running off the stage, being chased by cameraman after Maury's delivery of the phrase, "You are NOT the father."

The End Of An Era (Of Exploitation)

If I were to say that "Maury" will be remembered as high quality television, the lie detector test would determine that is a lie. This isn't to say the antics in show weren't entertaining, but it would be silly to ignore the very obvious nature of the show to pretend it was something other than what it was now that it is going away. Musician Lil Nas X has even appeared on a parody episode of "Maury," fully leaning into the intentionally absurdity that characterizes the series. Like many other daytime talk shows of that nature, "Maury" has drawn its fair share of criticism over the years; however, the cancelation of the series is not the result of any outrage or apparent conflict. Instead, it is largely the result of host Maury Povich's desire to finally retire. In Povich's own words, he was ready to end the series much sooner.

Six years ago when I was ready to retire, my NBCUniversal family asked me to continue the show. Even though I told them I was ready for assisted living, out of loyalty to NBCUniversal and my more than 100 staff and crew members, Tracie Wilson and I agreed to one more deal. I'm so proud of my relationship with NBCUniversal and all those who worked on the Maury show but as I occasionally tell my guests on Maury, 'Enough, already!'

Tracie Wilson, executive VP of NBCUniversal Syndication Studios, had this to say concerning the 83-year-old host's retirement:

"Maury and I decided two years ago that this season would be the farewell season for the show, and while his retirement is bittersweet, we are so happy for him to be able to spend more time on the golf course. Maury is a television icon, a pop culture legend and we couldn't be more proud to have been a part of his incredible career."

Wilson isn't wrong there. For all its issues, "Maury" has become a nostalgic cultural cornerstone of daytime television — which probably says something about the voyeuristic nature of our society and what we find entertaining. For hardcore "Maury" fans who may find it difficult to cope with the cancelation of the series, they can always create their own "Maury"-styled adventures with the official "You are NOT the Father" board game based on the series (yes, that's a real thing). While the current season of "Maury" will be its last, reruns of the show will continue to air in syndication. Until then, new episodes will continue to air through September.

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