Television’s longest-running court show just keeps on going. The syndicated daytime show Divorce Court has been renewed through the 2016-17 season, Twentieth TV and Fox Television stations announced today. The show, currently celebrating its 15th anniversary season, is also set to return on Sinclair television stations. During the recent February sweeps, Divorce Court hit a four-season ratings high; rising +38% versus the comparable sweeps month a year ago (1.8 HH vs 1.3 HH), according to Twentieth TV. Additionally during this sweeps month, Divorce Court hit a seven-year viewer high – averaging nearly 3 million viewers per episode – a +49% increase over a year ago. Judge Lynn Toler presides over the real-life courtroom drama which is produced by Lincolnwood Drive and distributed by Twentieth TV.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Fresh from her second marriage (in April) and a monthlong honeymoon in Spain, Ricki Lake met the critics at TCA in advance of her second go-around in the syndicated daytime talk wars. Twentieth TV’s The Ricki Lake Show joins the battle on September 10, cleared in 99.5% of the country. She’ll be entering a crowded chat market that includes fellow newcomers Katie Couric, Jeff Probst and Steve Harvey. Unlike those three, Lake has been down this road before, having had a mega-successful 11-year run (1993-2004) with her previous daytime talker. Lake began that one at the tender age of 24. Now she’s 43, hardened by life, once-divorced and the mother to two school-age kids. “I really want lightning to strike twice,” Lake said during a lunch panel. “There’s a lot of pressure, a lot of money invested in this show. But I feel like I have more to offer this time. Last time, I was just trying to be Oprah. This time, I’m wiser and more evolved.”
Twentieth Television’s syndicated daytime court shows Divorce Court and Judge Alex have been renewed through the 2013-14 season. For the upcoming season, each program is cleared in 75% of the country, with Fox Television Stations as the flagship station group in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas. Divorce Court and Judge Alex will also continue on Tribune, Sinclair, CBS, Local TV, Belo and Newport owned stations. Divorce Court, starring Lynn Toler, is the longest-running court show. Judge Alex, starring former Miami police officer, attorney and Florida Circuit Court Judge Alex E. Ferrer, is now in its seventh season. According to Twentieth TV, this season Judge Alex and Divorce Court are the only television court programs to deliver three months (October-December) of consecutive growth with household ratings — rising 13% and 14%, respectively. Additionally, in December Judge Alex hit a 41-week high. Court show have been hot fist-run syndication draws over the past few years, led by CBS TV Distribution’s Judge Judy, the top-rated daytime syndicated series. Its star, Judy Sheindlin, has been signed through 2015.