'Divorce Court' Renewed Through 2017

Courtesy of 20th Television
Judge Lynn Toler

The longest-running court show currently on television, with Judge Lynn Toler presiding, first went on the air in 1957 and is now in its third incarnation.

Divorce Court, the longest-running syndicated court show on television, has been renewed through the 2016-17 season, it was announced Wednesday by 20th Television and the Fox Television Stations.

The show, which airs midday in major markets on Fox-owned stations, has also been cleared once again to run on some of the Sinclair stations. Divorce Court is clear in about 96 percent of all U.S. TV homes.

Featuring real people going through marriage dissolutions, with Lynn Toler now presiding, Divorce Court is in its third incarnation. It first aired in 1957 and ran until 1969. It then returned from 1985 through 1992. The current edition, which premiered in 1999, is now celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Toler took over the televised bench in 2006, succeeding Maybelline Ephraim, who had held court for the first six years of the current incarnation. Toler is a former Cleveland family court judge.

According to Fox, Divorce Court scored a four-season high in the February sweeps, rising 38 percent over the same period one year earlier (a 1.88 household rating compared to a 1.3). It also attracted the most viewers in seven years, with an average of 3 million viewers per episode, up 49 percent over the prior year.

"In the current landscape where many shows have declining ratings," says Stephen Brown, executive vp development and programming for Fox TV Stations, "we are thrilled to have a long-running program on an opposite trajectory. Renewing the series was an easy decision to make."

Divorce Court is produced by Lincolnwood Drive and distributed by 20th TV.