CBS Extends Judge Judy Sheindlin Through 2020

Judge Judy Portrait - P 2012
CBS Television Distribution

Judge Judy Portrait - P 2012

Judy Sheindlin’s Queen Bee Productions also has inked a first-look deal with the distributor.

Judge Judy Sheindlin's contract has been renewed through 2020, it was announced Monday by Armando Nunez, president and CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group.

The new contract includes a first-look production deal with Queen Bee Productions, which is owned by Judy Sheindlin. This past season, Queen Bee and CBS launched Hot Bench, a show that quickly has become one of the highest-rated new hits on daytime television, averaging 2.3 million viewers a day (when multiple airings are combined).

The show Judge Judy is already set through the 2017 season. It is typical that the creator's deal is renewed before they renew the show itself. That is expected shortly. 

 Other than the extension through 2020, there were no details announced about the contract for Sheindlin, 72, who has been starring on Judge Judy since September 1996. She is reportedly is among the highest-paid personalities on television, earning about $45 million a year under her old contract (and without factoring in earnings from Hot Bench).

“I’m thrilled to be working with my CBS family for five more years and very excited about this new adventure in production,”  said Sheindlin. “I loved the experience of creating and developing Hot Bench and look forward to replicating its success with more new, compelling and smart TV.”

Said Nunez: “She is a true television icon who entertains and inspires millions of fans each day on Judge Judy. We look forward to continuing to provide our station partners with her highly successful show and to working with her to create the next generation of hits.”

Judge Judy is the highest-rated regular series in all of TV syndication, regularly outdrawing such iconic shows as Wheel of Fortune and top-rated talkers like Ellen and Dr. Phil. In its 19th season, Judge Judy is averaging 10.3 million viewers a day.

Among court shows, it has been the top program nearly since it went on the air. It now has been No. 1 in the genre for 969 consecutive weeks.

Judge Judy is produced by Big Ticket Pictures, a division of CBS, and is distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Randy Douthit is executive producer and director.

Hot Bench was created by Sheindlin and is executive produced by Douthit and Maureen FitzPatrick. It features a panel of three judges – Patricia DiMango, Tanya Acker and Larry Bakman – who take viewers behind the scenes to share in their deliberations before a verdict is rendered.

Hot Bench also is produced by Big Ticket Pictures and Queen Bee Productions and is distributed by CTD, which distributes 10 five-run shows in syndication. 

Correction 11:15 a.m. March 2 - Judy Sheindlin's contract has been renewed by CBS through 2020, not that of her show Judge Judy. That renewal is expected to follow shortly.