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Springer to get rid of violence

The producers of The Jerry Springer Show agreed Thursday to edit out the fistfights, chair-throwing and all other violence on the nation's top-rated daytime talk show. The agreement came after a meeting with community activists in Chicago who staged a Springer boycott and denounced his fists-flying program as a pornographic slugfest.

"It's a wakeup call for television," the Rev. Michael Pfleger said after meeting for 2{ hours with Springer executives and management at Fox Broadcasting's WFLD-TV in Chicago. "This kind of trash television has got to go."

The agreement comes after a tumultuous week for the show. Former guests said they were coached and the fights staged. The show was dropped by NBC's Chicago affiliate because of its tawdriness. WFLD quickly picked it up but also became the target of Pfleger's boycott. And the show's producers ordered Springer to tone down the violence.

ABC: "Ellen' not funny

ABC says Ellen was canceled because it lost its comic edge. Ellen DeGeneres says the series was canned because she's a lesbian. "I was fired basically because I'm gay," the sitcom's star said. ABC Entertainment Chairman Stuart Bloomberg said the network stood by the show. "But as the show became more politicized and issue oriented, it became less funny and the audience noticed," he said.

Walter interviews Reeves

Three years after an accident that made headlines around the world, actor Christopher Reeve, his wife, Dana, and their family are interviewed by Barbara Walters tonight at 10 on ABC's 20/20. It is a portrait of a family facing tremendous physical challenges and repeated hospitalizations but gifted with hope, humor and the firm conviction that Reeve will someday walk again.

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