Maury Povich responds to criticism that he’s ‘exploiting’ TV show guests: ‘There are a lot of good endings to these stories’


Maury Povich, pictured this month in Beverly Hills, Calif., is wrapping up his talk show in 2022. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

After 30 years on the air, Maury Povich’s daytime talk show, Maury, will soon conduct his final paternity test in September. And despite the criticism he’s faced, the host feels good about what he’s achieved.

“Over the years these critics have said that I was exploiting these people, taking advantage of them,” Povich told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Wednesday. “They can take that tactic. But I feel there’s a [greater] good. And I prove it. I bring these guests back 15 years later and find out that the guy came into the child’s life, reunited with the mother and they had more children and the child ended up with good job… There are a lot of good endings with these stories. I’m not saying that’s the majority of them. But a significant amount shows that the stories and the results were helpful.”

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He explained that his goal was more than on-air drama. (Although there was part of that, like him not wanting to know the test results before the taping.)

“Yes, there is drama, and I accept it because I have a goal in mind. I’m going to take it because I’m looking for the truth,” said Povich, who was nominated for the award. Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host. at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2020. “If I can prove that someone is the father of this child, this child will have a better chance in life with two people, two parents.”

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Over the years, he has met several generations – up to three – of fans.

“I was able to be as close and intimate with my guests, my audience and my viewers as anyone who has done this type of show,” he said. “I appreciate the faith and trust they had in me.”

His retirement begins six years after he first wanted it, but NBCUniversal executives persuaded him to stay by noting it would have the longest-running daytime TV talk show of all time. remained this season.

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Now, however, he said, “I have no more mountains to climb.” He plans to leave the industry for good.

“My hero throughout my career has been Johnny Carson. I kinda knew him. The way he came out was the right way. He was never seen again,” Povich said. “I have no desire to be on TV again. It’s the end of a great job, and there’s no reason to try anything else. We’ve seen too many athletes try to hang on too long. I don’t want to be in this business.”

Instead, Povich plans to spend more time on the golf course and work on a weekly Montana newspaper that he and his journalist wife, Connie Chung, own near their ranch there.


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