Here’s Why Judge Judy’s Epic Split With CBS Is A Massive Deal In TV Land


Judge Judy (Judge Judith Sheindlin) has made a name for herself with her tough, no-nonsense way since her show started in 1996. She just wrapped production on her Judge Judy show, which had been on for 25 seasons, with a salary of $47 million. She is parting ways with CBS due to an apparent difference of opinion about the direction of the show and her future.  


Judge Judy’s legal hit drew an audience of 10 million viewers every episode. It was what most of us would consider a raging success. So, for some, it might make sense to retire, let the syndicated shows run their course, and rest on the well-earned success of four Emmy Awards and the wide acclaim of her from-the-bench rulings and seven books. After all, she has a net worth of $440 million.  

But Judge Judy is only 78, and she refuses to call it quits. After all, Americans trust her judgement more than that of the Supreme Court justices, which is kind of a BIG DEAL. All that tension with CBS has built up to a boiling point, and she’s NOT afraid to tell anyone who will listen that she’s OUT and ready for a whole new reinvention. She’s been comparing her split to an epic divorce.  


So, now, Judge Judy is starting a new reality show, which she’s taken to calling Judy Justice. It’s scheduled to air on Amazon’s free IMDb TV later this year, with some reports that it will live in December. For now, though, Judge Judy says that she felt “disrespected” by CBS, with the unceremonious displacement of her 2014 courtroom creation, Hot Bench, from the line-up, in favor of The Drew Barrymore Show.  

Judge Judy says, “And you were wrong. Not only in disrespecting my creation, but your gamble in what you put in its place.” Of course, it’s never JUST one thing that ends a marriage, just as it’s not just one thing that is ending her relationship with CBS. Judge Judy’s ire has roots in the buyout of her ownership shares of Judge Judy reruns.  

It’s being widely speculated that the move prevented her from “shopping” the reruns herself. The most consistent message that she’s been sharing is that she really is not ready to call it quits. She says: “I don’t play golf. I don’t play tennis. I don’t play mahjong. Why would I want to look for something I want to do when I already know what I like to do?” 

But then again, she also says, “Sometimes I feel like Don Quixote.” Maybe she stands comparing with Don Quixote. After all, he was famous for his inability to know when to call it quits. He railed at windmills, and he passed his own kind of judgement on everyone he met. Her next foray into tilting at windmills may be realized with the success (or failure) of her new reality show.  

Here’s the thing, though. It doesn’t really matter at this point whether her next delivers the response she’s hoping for. She’s already been one of the highest paid stars in TV history, and she also holds a spot in the Guinness World Records for having outlived those infamous competitors/imitators like The People’s Court. I still remember watching Judge Wapner on our old black-and-white TV (he was judge for 12 seasons, from 1981 to 1993).  

Not only did Judge Judy pick up where Wapner left off, but she made the first (unsuccessful) approach to the studio to pitch herself as the new judge. The receptionist hung up on her, but that’s just one more example of how she’s really turned the situation around.  

She’s an impressive lady, and she’s not done yet. She famously says, “I’m not tired. I still feel engaged by what I do, and I still have people who like to watch it.”


 When’s the last time you watched Judge Judy?! What do you think about the reruns? Will you watch her old shows, or would you prefer the new ones on Amazon’s free IMDb TV later this year? Let us know what you think about it below!

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