'Judge Judy' Profits Fight Settles

Judge Judy Still - H 2016
Courtesy of CBS

Judge Judy has been presiding over disputes on television for two decades, but a fight over profits from the hit series has quietly settled behind closed doors.

Rebel Entertainment Partners in March 2016 sued Big Ticket Entertainment, a division of CBS, claiming that Judy Sheindlin's $47 million salary was improperly being deducted as an expense and therefore denying the company its cut of the profits. Rebel, which is the successor in interest to the talent agency that packaged the series, also claimed it was unfairly shut out of a spinoff series called Hot Bench.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell in 2018 found nothing wrong with Sheindlin's massive salary or its placement in the budget and dismissed that claim, but she wasn't convinced of CBS' claim that Hot Bench wasn't really a spinoff.

The parties on Wednesday informed the court that they reached a settlement with the help of a mediator and the agreement has been signed. 

Meanwhile, the sequel to this suit is currently set for trial next year. That fight alleges that the co-creators of Judge Judy are owed millions from a sale of the library to CBS in 2017. Kaye Switzer and the heirs of Sandi Spreckman, who died in 2009, sued Big Ticket, CBS and Sheindlin in January 2018. While press announcements indicated Sheindlin acquired the library during a 2015 negotiation and CBS paid $95 million to buy it back, CBS has argued there was never actually a sale.