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Judy Sheindlin, aka Judge Judy, is looking to expand her daytime footprint.
The longtime host and creator of the widely popular courtroom series is exec producing a syndicated game show that will launch on several Fox stations this summer as part of a six-week test run, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Created by Sheindlin, each half-hour episode of iWitness (working title) will see three contestants face off to test their powers of observation. Their ability to recall what they’ve just witnessed will be tested through video clips and images from the media landscape. The winner will have the opportunity to advance to the final round and compete for a $20,000 grand prize.
John Henson (Wipeout, Talk Soup) will host the game show, which hails from FremantleMedia North America, which will handle international distribution, Debmar-Mercury, which will handle domestic distribution, and Sheindlin’s Queen Bee Productions. Scott St. John (Celebrity Name Game) will serve as showrunner and exec produce.
The six-week trial run kicks off July 10 and includes Fox stations in New York. If successful, the game show will launch nationwide in the fall of 2018.
“The best game show formats are simple, entertaining and engaging,” Jennifer Mullin, co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America, said. “This series, created by Judge Judy, offers just that. We’re excited to be partnering with Judy and our friends at Debmar-Mercury as we test this series with Fox Television Stations this summer.”
Added co-presidents of Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein: “Judy’s phenomenal track record of success in television and on the bench has absolutely nothing to do with luck. She is brilliant and has struck once again with her latest ingenious concept — a highly addictive and entertaining game show format that we believe has strong potential to live on for many years to come. We are thrilled to be in business with her, and to once again team up with our friends and partners at Fox and Fremantle.”
Although Sheindlin’s overall deal with CBS Television Distribution runs through 2020, that pact also pertains to court shows, which iWitness is not. In addition to Judge Judy, she also serves as an exec producer on the syndicated Hot Bench, now in its third season. “So thrilled to embark on a new adventure with such fabulous partners,” she said. “iWitness is a compelling game for those from 5-95. A special thanks to my friends at FOX for giving us a platform.”
Fox stations have routinely used the summer months to test out new syndicated fare, most recently with the Page Six syndicated series, which will launch nationwide this fall after a successful trial run. “Judy Sheindlin is all over our stations with her smash program,” Frank Cicha, Fox Television Stations svp of programming, said. “Let’s go!”
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