After 25 Years, Judge Judy is Cancelled
It feels impossible that the show I grew up watching during sick days home from school could actually be going off the air.
What feels more impossible is that I’m 30 years old and it’s still on the air.
Judge Judy was the first example I ever had of idiots being yelled at by someone far smarter and in a position of absolute control.
I’d seen plenty of yelling in my young life, but Judge Judy provided the ultimate example of people being completely destroyed for being stupid. I was in love with the show from the very first episode.
But all good things must eventually come to an end, and after 25 years, it’s time for Judge Judy to leave the CBS set and plan the next step in her career.
“Umm is not an answer!”
After gaining national attention because of a 1993 Los Angeles Times article reporting on her tough judging style, Judge Judith Sheindlin was on her way to the top.
She wrote a book appropriately titled ‘Don’t Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining’ and was approached by two producers who worked for People’s Court.
The producers wanted to give her a court show just like People’s Court, and decided to call it Hot Bench with Judge Judy. They promoted the show with this name before eventually changing the show to Judge Judy.
Sheindlin was a real family court judge before starting work on the show, and brought across her beloved bailiff Byrd.
Petri Hawkins-Byrd, affectionately called “Byrd” on the show is the longest-running bailiff in court history, staying with Sheindlin through all 25 years.
There was always a chemistry between Byrd and Sheindlin on the show, and the two pulled off an incredibly entertaining courtroom drama that kept us hooked longer than any other courtroom show has.
“Is the word stupid written across my forehead?”
Because of the stellar ratings, Judge Judy was a juggernaut for CBS, and Sheindlin was paid a salary to match. The TV judge made more money hosting her show than any other TV personality, being paid $47 million a year for her 5 days of work every month.
Each season of Judge Judy has 260 action-packed episodes, and the best are about to begin a long run of syndication on CBS for many years to come.
This syndication is possible thanks to a deal the network struct with Sheindlin to buy her library of content for an amount north of $80 million.
“They don’t keep me here because I’m gorgeous; they keep me here because I’m smart”
Sheindlin could easily rest on her success at this point, but instead she’s in the process of putting together a new project.
Sheindlin revealed on The Ellen Show that the new project will be called ‘Judy Justice,’ but we don’t know anything more than that.
Rumours suggest that the show is being made by one of the streaming networks, but no-one has any idea which one. Sheindlin is working on the new project with former CBS executive Scott Koondel.
Whichever streaming network is taking on the new project is going to have to at least match her former salary, and work around her preferred schedule.
Sheindlin filmed her previous show in LA, but lived in New York. So flying between home and work on her private jet was always a factor the producers needed to plan for.
It’s unlikely that the show will be streamed on either CBS All Access or HBO. We’d know if it were staying with CBS, and it doesn’t feel like HBO content.
The show also doesn’t feel like Disney content, and I doubt she’d have been allowed to say even this much if it was Netflix.
Apple isn’t smart enough to think of the idea, and most other players don’t have the cash.
My money is on Peacock as the streaming network that’s working with Sheindlin on the new project.
Peacock is the new streaming service being launched in July of 2020 and is owned by NBCUniversal, who in turn is owned by Comcast.
The company has been buying up other streaming networks, presumably in a bid to expand their content library and hit the ground running.
Opening their service with a brand new show starring Judith Sheindlin feels like a Universal decision to make.
If I’m right, I’ll write a follow-up story bragging about my prediction. If I’m wrong, I’ll write an article apologising to Apple for calling them stupid.
High stakes ladies and gentlemen.
Regardless of who got Judy, it doesn’t seem that we’ll see the new project until the current season of Judge Judy wraps up on CBS next year.
So enjoy the incredible Judge Judy show while it lasts, because it really is the end of an era.