Sheindlin to replace Koch in syndie gaveler

New York judge Gerry Sheindlin, husband of reigning TV jurist Judy Sheindlin, has been tapped to replace Ed Koch on the upcoming season of the syndie courtshow “The People’s Court.”

The married magistrates will compete head-to-head in many markets in September. But in Gotham “The People’s Court,” distributed by Warner Bros., and “Judge Judy,” from Big Ticket/Worldvision, will air back-to-back on WNBC.

“Between having been a New York judge for almost 20 years and being married to TV’s reigning jurist, I think I bring a unique set of qualifications to the courtroom,” Sheindlin said Thursday at a Gotham news conference.

Judy Sheindlin, appearing alongside her husband, endorsed Gerry’s move into TV jurisprudence with one caveat: “So long as he doesn’t mind being No. 2!”

Sheindlin was appointed to New York City Criminal Court in 1983 and advanced to New York State Supreme Court in 1986. He also served as a U.S. Administrative Law judge and in private practice specializing in criminal defense.

In announcing the passing of the gavel, “People’s Court” exec producer Stu Billet praised Koch for helping to relaunch the strip in 1997. Koch, the former mayor of Gotham who appointed both Sheindlins to the bench in the early 1980s, has never been as dynamic a TV personality as Sheindlin, Lane and Brown.

“Court” has seen its ratings eclipsed by upstart gavelers “Judge Joe Brown” and “Judge Mills Lane” amid a syndie courtshow boom sparked by the success of “Judge Judy.”

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