Judge Judy Says She Had a 'Bill and Melinda Gates Divorce' with CBS amid Her Exit After 25 Years
Judy Sheindlin is opening up about her exit from CBS after 25 years of hosting her titular court show on the network.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sheindlin, 78, said that prior to her departure from CBS, she felt "disrespected" by the network when some stations moved her other court show, Hot Bench, to secondary channels to make room for The Drew Barrymore Show. According to the outlet, Sheindlin's Hot Bench has averaged 2.3 million viewers this season, while The Drew Barrymore Show averaged 719,000.
"You disrespected my creation," she told WSJ, referring to CBS. "And you were wrong. Not only in disrespecting my creation, but your gamble in what you put in its place."
"We had a nice marriage," she added. "It's going to be a Bill and Melinda Gates divorce."
In a statement to WSJ, CBS Media Ventures president Steve LoCascio said, "We have had an incredibly successful relationship with Judy over the last 25 years. It has been an honor representing her show, and just like there has never been another Oprah, there will never be another Judge Judy."
CBS did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
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Back in 2017, Sheindlin sold 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 — a sale that she referenced when she announced that the reality series was coming to an end.
"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," she said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March 2020. "So what they decided to do was sell a couple of years worth of reruns."
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Her partnership with Amazon was announced about seven months later in October and the new series is set to start filming later this year.
"I assume that I'll know if Judy Justice bombs," she told WSJ. "At this point, I don't need that validation of my footprint."