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Why Is 'Judge Judy' Actually Ending After 25 Years?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 2, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 2, 2020 |


The Walking Dead is the highest-rated show on cable. At this point in its run — its 10th season — it earns about 6 million viewers a week (with delayed viewing). The highest-rated late-night show is The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. On a really good night, it’ll reach 3 million viewers, which is about a million more than Fallon and Kimmel. The very popular reality show The Bachelor, on ABC, is seen by about 7 million people a week after three days of delayed viewing.

Judge Judy is seen by 9 million viewers. A day. For 25 years. That is insane. She earns $47 million a year for working 5 days a month (or about $895,000 a day). I’m not saying that anyone deserves that much money, but Judge Judy is definitely worth that much to advertisers.

However, Judge Judy — the show — is going away at the end of its 25th season in 2021. Judy Sheindlin — who earns enough money to be a passionate Bloomberg supporter (and has made it her life’s mission to take down Bernie) — will be taking her ball and going to another court.

What happened is this: Sheindlin sold off her back catalog of episodes to CBS for $200 million in 2018. CBS has roughly 4,000 episodes of Judge Judy now, and they don’t necessarily need more new ones, so they’re just gonna rerun Judy episodes in 2022 and beyond. Honestly, who will know the difference? People getting screwed by their landlords is timeliness and settling dog custody disputes with exes is timeless!

In the meantime, Judy will start making a new show in 2021 called Justice Judy. It will probably be the same show with a different title and a slightly different set. Judy, however, will continue being Judy. My guess is that CBS said to Judy, “We have $200 million in episodes. We’re not going to pay you $45 million a year anymore,” and Judy was like, “Cool, bro! I’ll just make new episodes for someone else.”

For folks who watch a lot of daytime television, it means there will be new episodes to go along with the reruns. For Judy, it means making enough money to make up for what she might otherwise lose to the wealth tax in a Bernie or Warren administration.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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