Judge Judy Sheindlin is already TV’s highest paid personality. The syndicated celebrity judge brings in a whopping $47 million annually thanks to her top-rated show. Judge Judy’s courtroom-themed reality show has been ranked No. 1 in all of TV syndication for the past eight years, drawing upward of 10 million viewers per day. Now, Sheindlin has inked a deal with CBS to acquire the complete library rights to her long-running syndicated series. In addition, Judge Judy has been granted a contract extension to cover a 25th season of her self-titled show, which will extend her show through the 2020-21 season, according to Variety.
CBS has acquired 5,200 hours of Judge Judy for a reported price in the “high eight figures.” In a statement about the deal, CBS television president Paul Franklin described Sheindlin as “one of the all-time great stars in the history of daytime television” and that the network wants to keep her in the family more than two decades after her syndicated series made her a TV star.
Judge Judy revealed that she is happy for CBS to “continue to shepherd my program and be the custodian of the library.” The TV judge described the Eye Network as “the gold standard in television.”
Because Judge Judy is the most-watched syndicated program on daytime TV, bringing CBS an estimated $160 million to $170 million in revenue per year, it’s not a surprise that Sheindlin can command such a highs salary, especially since production costs for the show are minimal. Variety reports that Judge Judy works about 52 days a year to produce 260 new episodes of her series. If you do the math, that means Judge Judy makes more than $900,000 per workday. And that’s before her new deal with CBS ever saw the light of daytime TV.
As for her insane wealth, in a 2003 interview with CBS News, Judge Judy admitted she never expected to be one of the wealthiest women in the history of daytime TV.
“I would have been happy with my pension as a family court judge,” Sheindlin told CBS, referencing her pension of less than $40,000 a year.
“A little Social Security, a little bit of equity in an apartment, in a little apartment,” Judge Judy added. “Go down to Florida, buy a two-bedroom condo and eat early birds. That was the idea.”
Judge Judy was a hit from its beginning in 1996 when it was spawned by Big Ticket Television, a unit of Spelling Television, on the heels of Judge Wapner’s pioneering arbitration-based courtroom reality show, The People’s Court. CBS acquired Judge Judy as part of its 2006 separation from Viacom.
[Featured Image by Damian Dovarganes/AP Images]