From the U.S. Marine Corps to the Chicago Police Department to the stage of "The Jerry Springer Show," Steve Wilkos is now taking center stage as host of his own upcoming talk program, "The Steve Wilkos Show," set to debut this fall in syndication. As Mr. Wilkos prepares for the spotlight, he will blog to Television Week about his thoughts and experiences as he readies for his first season. Mr. Wilkos will discuss everything from his vision for his show to his promotional tour to his preparations for production.


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Steve Wilkos

Update Show to Air Nov. 12

November 9, 2007 3:24 PM

swilkos.jpgWell, we just finished our 14th week of taping shows, whew! I am writing this on a plane to Atlanta to visit our affiliate and do some press. From Atlanta it is on to Detroit to tape a remote show.

I am loving it and thankfully, so are the viewers.

The response to the new show has been just terrific.

We get hundreds of emails everyday with sincere comments about the show. A lot of the emails ask about what happened to this or that guest.

We did an update show that will air on Monday, November 12 and I have to tell you, it is really rewarding because we brought back guests that really had problems before they came to our show and each one has significantly improved their lives.

Hey, I know we can't help everyone, but we did help the guests we contacted and that makes me feel great.

We also named our first Hero Of The Month, a terrific 16-year-old girl, Stantasha, who has sacrificed everything to provide for her family. She just captured my heart.

Positive Ratings and Reviews

October 3, 2007 9:56 AM

I love having my own show, I love doing this show. It is amazing how much work it is though. When we are done with studio, we are on the road and I am traveling all the time.

I never imagined how much work it is but the great thing is when we go to Detroit, Pittsburgh, or New Orleans, everyone is so nice. We have done a few ride-alongs with several police departments and the cooperation and brotherhood is phenomenal and makes for a really mesmerizing show.

It is great to see that the ratings and reviews are so positive.

I have been watching the ratings for new shows for the past several years and I see how tough it has been for new shows to get off the ground. We have had a fabulous start and it just makes me want to work harder.

All of our TV affiliates have been great. I try to make calls to all of my affiliates when I get a chance and ALL of them say they love the show.

That makes me feel very proud of our product.

I am on my third show taping today, getting on another plane very early tomorrow morning so I will sign off until next time.

Hope you check out the show.

First Week on Air is at Fever Pitch

September 12, 2007 3:46 PM

The anticipation for the first show is always at a fever pitch and boy did I feel it. It was exciting to see our numbers from our first day. I have to say that everyone is really happy with our first week so far. You know, it is a nice feeling to start off a new show and know that there are people out there watching it. It is a really good feeling. I realize it has only been a few days, but the response has been really tremendous.

I have to say it has been hectic, I am taping three shows today and again leaving on a plane for New York and then Philly tonight. It's hectic and a lot of hard work, but I just love doing the show.

First Week of Taping

August 10, 2007 11:06 AM

My first week of taping shows went great. We taped nine shows and I leave soon for a remote taping on location.

One of the first shows we taped was with a self-described pedophile who ran a website for other pedophiles and even showed pictures of little kids. When he told me about his website and his views AND that he felt no remorse or guilt -- I just couldn't help getting angrier and angrier and I went after him from the get-go. I am a father of two young children ages 2 and 4 and I just couldn't imagine this guy, or someone like him, targeting my kids or any innocent child. I wanted to have him on my show to reveal him to America and to try to get through to him that what he is doing is just wrong.

I am running out the door now to head to the airport. We are flying south to tape a show with the New Orleans Police Department, trying to make a difference with their huge gang problem. I am looking forward to riding with my fellow cops down there.

I have to tell you that after the first week of taping nine shows, I am exhausted. But it is a good exhaustion -- it's been exciting. I have a great crew and a great production team. I really have to thank this team for their long hours and hard work. You know, it's easier here, we've always been a family here at Springer. It is like someone in the family got married and now we have the WILKOS part of the family. Can't wait for next week!

Geared Up

July 24, 2007 3:55 PM

Last night was my first day in the office after the first two parts of my tour. I have to say it was almost surreal. We were out late shooting some segments on kids living in the street which was really exciting because we were trying to reconnect one girl with her father in order to try to get him back involved in her life.

Now I can't wait to start taping in studio and seeing the shows come together. I have to say, at first I was a little bit apprehensive about doing this show but now I'm really geared up for it.

Last week on the tour we hit San Diego where I got to go to the Miramar Marine base. I have to say Miramar has been my favorite part of the tour so far. I haven't been back to a base since I was in the Marines and I immediately felt like I was back again.

There was terrific camaraderie out there and I really would like to do more stuff with the Marines. Just driving on to the base and having to go through the MPs, or passing a chow hall really brought back memories of my service. A lot came back to me that you forget, but a lot of things are different now too. I noticed that they no longer wore boots that needed to be shined every day. I wish I had that during my years.

We then went to LA, which was so overwhelming because the studio wants to prep and coach you to get ready for the critics tour. In the end though, I was told to just go out there and be myself which was what I did and everything seemed to go really well.

In Chicago, we're just not exposed to that kind of press, or walking down a red carpet. So it's kind of crazy in LA but everyone is nice, most of the articles that came out of it were pretty positive about the show.

We then traveled to Phoenix where I got to shave heads at Banner Children's Hospital for St. Baldrick's, as well as have lunch with the station managers at the Fox group. When I first came down here to sell the show, they were quiet and I didn't think they were going to buy my show and when I told them this they said that was the name of the game in order to do business.

I'm really learning aspects of the business that I never saw being second banana on "Springer."

We finished up this leg in Sacramento where we did some terrific radio. There must be a lot of "Springer" fans there because we got a ton of calls. It is really more fun doing radio in studio than as a phoner.

We had a great time.

It's a Wrap

July 16, 2007 2:02 PM

We just wrapped up our first week of my national tour to promote the upcoming launch of “The Steve Wilkos Show” as well as to drive awareness to The St. Baldrick's Foundation which is dedicated to fighting children’s cancer.

I don’t want to jinx myself but I’ve got to say it, so far everything has been amazing, the stations, the fans and the people supporting the Foundation.

Everyone seems to know that this show is coming and I think that’s such a good feeling, especially when we are working with Headblade to use that momentum to help St. Baldrick’s.

Right from the start in New York, we were able to get people to come out and shave their heads in an effort to make people aware of kids with cancer.

This is a problem that touches me in so many different levels, including that my nephew has cancer.

New York is also great in that just walking down the street, you run into so many “Springer” fans, and everyone seems to know that I’m getting my own show and wishing me luck. I took my family here a couple of weeks ago for Promax and we got flooded with fans. My wife was laughing and said she was going to take the kids and play “you entertain everybody.” So, I was able to stay and take pictures and meet some terrific people.

It’s strange to see how many people know me, in Chicago of course, where we tape the show, people everywhere recognize me. But to see that elsewhere in the country is truly amazing.

We also had a good turnout in Baltimore, where we got some kids to come up and shave their heads and got a lot of good messages across. The one thing about Baltimore, is that everybody always says I look like baseball great Cal Ripken Jr., who is a legend, and I’ve even been confused with him a number of times!

One of those times goes all the way back to 1982, when I was still a cop. I walked into a store where they make suits, and they immediately started putting suits on me, which were made for Mr. Ripken.

The funny thing is that he’s the one guy I’ve never met. I did meet a woman that is best friends with him and was telling her all kinds of Cal Ripken stories where people assumed I was him.

She invited me to play in Cal’s charity golf tournament and meet him and I’m looking forward to doing that, especially since the charity is Badges for Kids. That’s right up my alley.

This week I’m in the west coast, visiting San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Sacramento. I’ll keep you posted.