Judge Judy Sheindlin was out and about in Beverly Hills, California, on Easter Sunday when TMZ sought her reaction to the news of Sarah Palin's new courtroom TV reality show similar to the no-nonsense judge's own long-running program.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Palin apparently signed a deal back in February with Warm Springs, a Montana-based production company. She and the firm have since put together a team, which includes the executive who launched both Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, to develop and market the show.
The former governor of Alaska, 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, and current Donald Trump supporter will presumably film a pilot episode once things settled down on the home front and her husband recuperates from a recent serious snowmobile accident. If greenlit, Sarah Palin's Judge Judy-style show could begin airing in the fall of 2017.
Although the Palin haters on social media had a predictable response to the potential Sarah Palin courtroom show, Judge Judy was far more diplomatic.When the TMZ cameraman asked Judge Judy if Sarah Palin might be infringing on her turf, an unconcerned Sheindlin simply replied that "it's open territory."
As far as any tips for Palin as a TV judge, assuming the new show gets picked up by a syndicator, Judge Judy chuckled and replied, "I don't know, and then added "You have to use your common sense and know a little bit about the law."
When asked if Palin has the requisite legal knowledge, Judge Judy smiled and raised her index finger to sky as if to indicate "'nuff said."About a year ago, Judy Sheindlin signed a new contract with CBS TV Distribution to continue her daily small claims court show for five additional years. She had three years left on her existing deal, which was signed in April 2013. Judge Judy premiered in September 1996.
The feisty ex-New York City family court judge, 73, reportedly already banks an estimated $47 million a year to hear legal cases on television, so no one will ever have to hold a bake sale for her or her family. Currently in its 19th season, Judge Judy is said to be the top-rated show in first-run daytime syndication for the past five or six years, pulling in about 10 million viewers a day. The deal also includes possible new co-ventures between CBS and Sheindlin's Queen Bee Productions, which currently produces Hot Bench, a similar show but with a three-judge panel.
Last week, Judge Judy was nominated for a daytime Emmy in the outstanding legal program category. Other nominees included Divorce Court, Hot Bench, Lauren Lake's Paternity Court, and The People's Court.To appear on Judge Judy (or any of the other similar shows in this genre), real litigants agree to dismiss their pending small claims court cases from around the country to allow them to be heard as a form of binding arbitration in Judge Judy's televised courtroom/studio.
It's an open secret that the show, rather than the loser, pays the money judgment and reimburses for travel, which incentivizes litigants to allow their disputes to be resolved on national television even if embarrassment or humiliation is the byproduct.
Earlier this year, the Priceonomics website accused the Judge Judy show of fostering hypocrisy.
"The 20-year run of Judge Judy has been one of the most remarkable in television history. It has had the highest ratings of any daytime show for the last 5 years, and it consistently attracted more viewers than Oprah. Sheindlin makes $47 million a year and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame...Sheindlin reiterates the theme of responsibility and accountability over and over. Accountability is her thing, and like most of what you see on television, it's mostly an illusion. Because as even Judy Sheindlin has acknowledged, after she admonishes guilty defendants and orders them to pay for what they've done, the producers write a check to pay for those damages and give everyone in the case an appearance fee."Separately, Judge Judy's fat pay envelope is the subject of a lawsuit against CBS filed by a former agent on March 14. "Talent agency Rebel Entertainment Partners said in a suit filed Monday that it has not received contractually obligated payments for Judge Judy since 2010, because the show is losing money due to Sheindlin's annual salary of as much as $47 million," Variety reported.
Although Sarah Palin was her state's highest elected official, she does not have a law degree, so it's likely that the producers will have to find a gimmick by, for example, obtaining a ceremonial justice of the peace appointment for her.
"She's not a judge but she did appoint many judges, and your job as governor is to take in facts and pass judgement and she's pretty fearless when she does that," a spokesman for the production company told the New York Post about Sarah Palin. "What people like about Judge Judy is her strong point of view and she certainly has that."
Sarah Palin is no stranger to TV, having hosted reality shows Sarah Palin's Alaska and Amazing America with Sarah Palin and was a gig as a Fox News pundit.
Although obviously Judge Judy, love her or hate her, reigns over all the similar judge shows on TV by far, there is a significant difference between her presentation and that of Judge Marilyn Milian on the above-mentioned People's Court, which now films episodes in Stamford, Connecticut.
Although both judges engage in lots of grandstanding and short-circuiting of testimony, Judge Milian — a former Florida circuit court judge — routinely explains how specific and established legal principles apply to each case before her rather than just berating the litigants. Judge Milian has presided over The People's Court since spring 2001.
It remains to be seen what approach Sarah Palin will take in her planned Judge Judy-style show.
[Photo by Evan Agostini/AP]