NEW YORK (AP) _ Sally Jessy Raphael's daytime talk show, the longest-running of its genre, has been canceled after nearly two decades on the air.
Her show had sunk to ninth in the ratings among talk shows, after being third only to Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Springer three years ago.
Studios USA Domestic Television, which distributes ``The Sally Jessy Raphael Show'' to some 190 U.S. television stations, said it will pull the plug when the current season ends this spring.
Producers had tried to give the show a makeover in the past year or so, building a new set and giving viewers a peek behind the scenes, but they didn't succeed in arresting the slide.
``I am proud that we were able to help so many guests and viewers find solutions to their problems and comfort in their lives,'' Raphael said. ``I am also proud to have created the production formats that most talk shows now use.''
Raphael, a 59-year-old former disc jockey, began the show as a local St. Louis program in 1983, and went national the next year. She was known for her distinctive red glasses.
Relationship issues were her forte, though this occasionally got her in trouble: one impostor who claimed to be a surrogate sex partner had earlier gone on Winfrey's show as a wife who hated sex.
``I think she was at her best when she had a box of Kleenex on the table right next to her and everyone was sharing these emotional moments,'' said Bill Carroll, an expert on the syndication market for the Katz Television Group.
Recent staples like sending wayward teen-agers to ``boot camps'' didn't play to her strengths, he said.
Another prominent talk show host, Rosie O'Donnell, is walking away from her show in a few months. The genre has been suffering because cable TV offers many more viewing choices.