Steve Wilkos is the host of “The Steve Wilkos Show,” a nationally syndicated series produced by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution. The show is now in its ninth season. Since its debut, Wilkos’ popularity has skyrocketed—the show has grown 56% in households over its premiere season. His straightforward approach combined with his sincerity and humor has earned viewers’ trust and respect.
Before beginning a career in entertainment, Wilkos served in the U.S. Marine Corps for seven years. When he returned from service, he went back to his hometown of Chicago and joined the Chicago Police Department, following in his father’s footsteps. During that time, he took great pride in keeping the streets of the notoriously volatile Shakespeare District safe for almost 12 years. Wilkos retired from the police force in 2001.
Late in his law enforcement career, the 6’3” Wilkos began moonlighting, as a security guard on “The Jerry Springer Show.” By the time he started hosting his own show, Wilkos had guest-hosted more than 50 episodes of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
His no-nonsense style, informed by his law enforcement background, was different from Springer’s and allowed Wilkos to create his own identity as a tough-talking host. His popularity grew with viewers and as a result, in 2007, he began hosting his own show.
For the 2013-14 season, “The Steve Wilkos Show” is averaging over 1.9 million daily viewers with nearly 50% of his audience deriving from the advertiser friendly Adults 25-54 demographic. The show has grown steadily for most of its seven seasons, with this current season delivering a +48% increase in viewership vs. its premiere season back in 2007-08. It also continues to deliver strong results for local stations and is #1 in its time period among Women 18-49 and Adults 18-49 demographics in New York at 12:00 p.m. on WPIX, and in Los Angeles at 2:00 p.m. on KTLA, during the November 2013 sweeps period.
Wilkos’ show has earned him four Prism Award nominations for raising awareness about substance abuse and other social issues. He served as the host of the Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy® Awards in 2011 and appeared briefly in a cameo role on a Halloween episode of “The Simpsons,” a milestone he calls “the highlight of my career.” Wilkos also appeared in several TV shows and films, most notably the hit motion picture “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”
A huge sports fan and avid golfer, he attends as many professional sporting events as his schedule allows, especially baseball, basketball and football games. In his downtime, he can also be found riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Wilkos and his wife Rachelle, who is the executive producer of “The Steve Wilkos Show” and “The Jerry Springer Show,” have two children and live in Connecticut.