Front Page







World Summary

On Air


Talking Point


Text Only


Site Map

Saturday, December 27, 1997 Published at 02:30 GMT


No joke - Seinfeld calls it quits
image: [ After nine years,
After nine years, "Seinfeld" is no more (Picture courtesy NBC)

American comedian Jerry Seinfeld has decided to pull the plug on his quirky hit TV show "Seinfeld".

He told the New York Times he will stop production of the show this May because he wants "to end on the same kind of peak we've been doing it on for years."

Millions of fans who have tuned into "Seinfeld" weekly for nine years will miss the TV show, which chronicles the lives of four single, neurotic and self-absorbed friends negotiating the perils of love and life in New York City.

[ image: Jerry Seinfeld wants to get back to his roots]
Jerry Seinfeld wants to get back to his roots
The US television network, NBC, is one of the show's most disappointed fans.

The award-winning show has anchored NBC's Thursday night programming since 1993 and led the network to its number-one position - and to record-making profits.

"To keep a show of this calibre at its peak is a great undertaking and we respect Jerry's decision that at the end of this season it's time to move on," said NBC spokeswoman Pat Schultz.

But the network, which earns more than $200m (120m) on "Seinfeld" each year, did not let the show go without putting up a fight.

One executive familiar with the negotiations told the New York Times that Seinfeld was "walking away from more money than has ever been offered before to a television star."

The executive estimated that NBC had offered the comic a deal worth about $5m (3m) an episode to keep going.

The show produces 22 episodes a season.

But money clearly was not enough of a draw.

Jerry Seinfeld, who says he wants to get back to his roots in stand-up comedy, already profits from the syndication of his series.

Forbes magazine put his income for last year at $94m (56m).

End of an era

[ image: Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the ever-popular Elaine (Courtesy: NBC)]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the ever-popular Elaine (Courtesy: NBC)
Media critics say this year's episodes fell short of the show's highest standards.

But Jerry Seinfeld said he was proud of the work and was not quitting because of the critics.

Nevertheless, for many fans it is the end of an era.

"It's a funny show that just continues on nothingness," said fan Gloria Cooper as she ordered a late breakfast at Tom's Restaurant, whose "Restaurant" sign is a backdrop for many of the show's episodes.

For others, life goes on.

Kenny Kramer, the model for actor Michael Richard's zany "Kramer" character, said that as a fan, he was "terribly disappointed" but otherwise he was not discouraged.

Mr Kramer, who leads tours of Seinfeld New York said: "I plan to continue to shamelessly cash in on my illustrious name and branded identity by continuing to run my world-famous Kramer's Reality Tour."

But at least one New Yorker is happy that Jerry Seinfeld is calling it quits.

And Al Yeganeh, made famous in the popular "Soup Nazi" episode, says it is good riddance to bad rubbish.

Mr Yageneh, who closed his shop, Soup Kitchen International, in midtown Manhattan on Friday to avoid the publicity of Seinfeld's decision, says Mr Seinfeld is an "idiot".

"That guy, he make me crazy with all the publicity, I burn my soup and my quality goes down because I am constantly distracted."

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

Internet Links

NBC's Seinfeld page

Seinfeld "Soup Nazi" page

Seinfeld Chronicles - Entertainment Weekly

Seinfeld Episode List

Listen to the Seinfeld theme song!

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named

World Contents

Middle East
South Asia
From Our Own Correspondent
Letter From America