Here comes the judge — in primetime. CBS plans a May 20 airdate for a one-hour special on the career of TV’s most powerful jurist ahead of the launch of her second syndication courtroom show. Judge Judy Primetime will trace Judith Sheindlin‘s career path from New York Family Court to Judge Judy, daytime’s No. 1 program. The special will include new cases and footage from a 1993 60 Minutes profile about then-unknown Sheindlin and another from 2003. The upcoming Sheindlin-created syndie, Hot Bench, is cleared in more than 75% of the country and bows in the fall. Like Judge Judy, which premiered in 1996, it hails from CBS Television Distribution.
Judy Sheindlin, host of top-rated daytime show Judge Judy, has signed a new multiyear deal with CBS TV Distribution to continue on the show through 2017. Her previous pact, signed in 2011, went through 2015. The new contract will bring Judge Judy‘s seasons on the air to 21. The show, now in its 17th season, averages more than 9 million daily viewers. Judge Judy has been the top-rated half-hour syndicated court show since its debut nearly 17 years ago on September 16, 1996 (860 consecutive weeks), and has ranked as the No. 1-rated daytime show for the past three seasons. Randy Douthit is executive producer and director.
EXCLUSIVE: There will be a change at the helm of the No. 1 show in syndication, Judge Judy. Longtime executive producer Timothy Regler is retiring from day-to-day production after 42 years in the business. He is expected to leave at the end of the season to pursue interests in arts education. Amy Freisleben has been promoted to Executive in Charge of Production for the show.
Freisleben has been with Judge Judy since 1998, serving as VP and then SVP Legal and Business Affairs for CBS Television Distribution, the company that distributes the court show, for which she handled all production-related legal work. Regler has been with Judge Judy since it premiered in September 1996 as Co-Executive Producer and then Executive Producer. Randy Douthit, who has served as executive producer since the show’s 1996 launch, will continue as Executive Producer and Director.
UPDATE: CBS Shares -2% In After-Hours Trading Although Company Vows 2012 Will Be “Record-Breaking Year”
UPDATE, 2:45 PM: Despite the strong 3Q earnings, some investors are concerned about the lower-than-expected revenues and a slowdown in ad-sales growth from 2Q. But that didn’t stop CEO Les Moonves from his usual cheerleading in his quarterly conference call with analysts: With more digital and retransmission consent deals ahead, as well as polticial ads, “the company is set up for a record-breaking 2012,” he says. He’s confident about the ad market despite signs that the economy might weaken. “It is business as usual,” he says. “Very few people are cancelling us because they know they’ll have to pay more” next year. Moonves says the recent online streaming deal that CW cut with Hulu does not mean that CBS might join Comcast, News Corp, and Disney at the online video venture. CBS co-owns CW with Time Warner, but “CW is a different animal. It appeals to a younger demographic.” Moonves adds that the most important takeaway is that “we got paid a chunk of money. There was no advertising split, which is something we refuse to do.”
Filming on top-rated syndicated series Judge Judy was stopped abruptly today. According to RadarOnline, star Judy Sheindlin started speaking incoherently during the taping in front of an audience before saying that she wasn’t feeling well. The 68-year-old judge was taken to the hospital for observation. A rep for Judge Judy said he’d just spoken with Sheindlin, “who says she is feeling much better. She says all the tests are negative and she’s going home tomorrow. She’ll be back taping her show on April 12 as scheduled.” CBS TV Distribution’s Judge Judy has emerged as the daytime ratings champ, regularly beating Oprah.