A British High Court judge will have to watch episodes of The Jerry Springer Show to decide if the talk show is too risque for audiences. A Court of Appeal judge ruled yesterday (18JUL06) that the legal battle between the show's makers Universal Studios and its British distributors Flextech Television would have to go to trial. Flextech, who provides cable channels in the UK, signed a deal with Universal in 1998 to air the show as long as it was broadcast in the United States, but cancelled the show in 2002, saying the programme had changed and was too controversial. Universal insists the show's content did not change and has accused Flextech of breach of contract and is seeking payment for the full run of the series. Lawyers for Flextech in an earlier hearing said that the 1997 series was "mainstream viewing suitable for broadcast during the daytime", but "deteriorated from season to season", before, in 2001, "a majority" of the episodes were unsuitable for broadcasting during the day. Lord JUSTICE NEUBERGER said, "It must be necessary for the judge who determines such issues to see at least some of the episodes although I would strongly encourage the parties to agree a sensible basis upon which the trial judge can reach a conclusion on the issues without having to view anything like the totality of all the episodes." A High Court judge will watch edited highlights from episodes from 1997 and 2001 to see if there are any significant differences.
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