The Amazon-owned free streaming service has picked up her new as-yet-untitled court show, around eight months after Sheindlin announced the project following the end of “Judge Judy” after a historic 25 seasons.
The show will see Sheindlin preside over a different court with her usual iron fist, featuring no-nonsense, expeditious verdicts on a new array of cases, litigants and judgments. The move is a hugely splashy one for Amazon, given the audience size that Sheindlin commands and her considerable influence on the television business for over two decades. It represents a significant shift for the famous judge from years of syndication to an over-the-top service. Scott Koondel and his company Sox Entertainment, Inc. were instrumental in putting the bumper Amazon deal together, according to sources.
“I’m over the moon to be in business with Amazon Studios and continuing this incredible journey with them on a new platform is so exciting,” said Sheindlin in a statement. “I used to yell at my husband, Jerry, for all the packages he had ordered from Amazon every day. I have enough mouthwash in the cabinets to keep the entire planet’s breath fresh until the next millennium. The doorbell never stops ringing. The dogs don’t even bark at the delivery people anymore. After I signed this deal, I apologized to Jerry. Who would have thought that the Sheindlin’s and Amazon would be mishpachah?”
Sheindlin revealed her plans to launch a new series in an “Ellen” interview with host Ellen DeGeneres, saying that the desire of “Judge Judy” producer CBS Television Distribution to capitalize on repeats played a part in the show’s end.
“I’ve had a 25-year-long marriage with CBS, and it’s been successful,” Sheindlin told DeGeneres back in March. “Next year will be our 25th season, silver anniversary, and CBS, I think, sort of felt they wanted to optimally utilize the repeats of my program, because now they have 25 years of reruns. So what they decided to do was to sell a couple of years’ worth of reruns.”
Sheindlin is among the highest-paid stars on television, pulling in around $47 million a year for “Judge Judy.” There’s no doubt that ending the show’s end in 2021 represents both a significant cost savings measure for ViacomCBS, and also a major shift in the syndication business. Sheindlin sold the “Judge Judy” library to CBS in 2017 for a reported $95 million to $100 million figure.
“Judge Judy Sheindlin is a TV icon and visionary who has entertained millions of fans for decades,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming for IMDb TV. “As we build the IMDb TV slate of high-quality, ambitious Amazon Studios Originals, we are delighted to deliver customers a court program from the legendary Judge Sheindlin who, without a doubt, is the very best in the business.”
“For over two decades our honor, Judge Judy, has dominated broadcast television. Now America’s Judge will continue to reach her millions of fans through IMDb TV, Amazon’s free streaming service,” added Koondel. “I’m thrilled to help with the transition of this entertainment phenom from over-the-air to over-the-top television.”