Judge Judy, which first premiered in 1996, is the highest-rated courtroom program in the United States, averaging roughly 9 million viewers a day

By Dave Quinn
March 02, 2020 08:21 AM
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Judy Sheindlin is saying goodbye to Judge Judy but isn’t turning in her gavel just yet.

During a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 77-year-old Emmy winner dropped two major bombshells — one, that her syndicated arbitration-based reality court show, Judge Judy, will be wrapping up its run after 25 years, and two, that she’s prepping a follow-up show titled Judy Justice.

“I’m not tired,” Sheindlin tells DeGeneres in their chat, which airs in full on Monday. “You’re not tired, you’re not supposed to stop!”

Sheindlin goes on to explain that she came to the decision of ending the popular series after selling Judge Judy‘s 5,200-episode library, as well as rights to future episodes of the syndicated program to CBS for an estimated $100 million back in 2017.

Credit: Paramount TV/Courtesy Everett Collection

The network was interested in making profits off reruns of the series, she explains, opening the door for Sheindlin to try something new.

“I’ve had a 25-year long marriage with CBS and it’s been successful. Next year will be our 25th season, silver anniversary. And CBS, I think, sort of felt they wanted to optimally utilize the repeats of my program because now they have 25 years of reruns,” Sheindlin says. “So what they decided to do was sell a couple of years worth of reruns.”

Instead, Sheindlin will focus her efforts on her new show, Judy Justice. The longtime TV personality keeps mum on what network the program would be airing, but promises that viewers will be able to see it a year after Judge Judy ends in the 2020-21 season.

Judy Justice will be coming out a year later,” she says. “Judge Judy you’ll be able to see, next year, a full year, all new shows. The following couple of years you’ll be able to catch all the reruns that CBS has sold to the stations that are currently carrying Judy. After that, Judy Justice will be going elsewhere.”

Judy Sheindlin
| Credit: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Judge Judy, which first premiered in 1996, is the highest-rated courtroom program in the United States, averaging roughly 9 million viewers a day. It’s won three competitive Emmy awards.

The program made Sheindlin — a former prosecutor and retired family court judge who was first appointed to the bench in 1982 — a household name.

It also made her a millionaire. She’s the highest-paid personality on TV, earning $47 million a year. Back in 2018, Forbes reported Sheindlin boasted a net worth of $400 million, making her the 48th richest self-made woman in America.

All of her TV success earned Sheindlin a lifetime achievement award at the 46th annual Daytime Emmys and she also has a spot in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving judge or arbitrator in courtroom-themed programming history.

As for season 25 of Judge Judy, Sheindlin told DeGeneres the show will be her “best” yet.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs weekdays in syndication.