The verdict is in: Syndicated court staples “Judge Mathis” and “The People’s Court” will both end their run at the end of this season, Variety has confirmed. “Judge Mathis” will wrap after 24 seasons, while this most recent iteration of “The People’s Court” wraps after its 26th season. Season 24 and Season 26, respectively.
Both shows come from Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures Productions and are distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. According to insiders, the decision was made due to the declining nature of the daytime syndication landscape. As local TV stations shrink their syndication dollars and the advertising marketplace shrinks for daytime syndication, first-run syndication has become a trickier landscape. At the same time, station groups have been expanding their local news broadcasts, also in a bid to save money.
“Judge Mathis” also comes from AND Syndicated Productions, while “The People’s Court” is a Ralph Edwards/Stu Billett Production.
“Judge Mathis” won the Daytime Emmy in 2018 for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program, as well as the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding News, Talk or Information Series in 2004. Judge Greg Mathis, a former judge of Michigan’s 36th District Court, is the longest-running Black male host on television and the second-longest-reigning arbitrator in courtroom TV history, behind “Judge Judy” star Judith Sheindlin.
“Judge Mathis” was also the second longest-running court show in continued production with the same host, behind “Judge Judy,” which ran for 25 seasons. Over the course of the show’s history, Judge Mathis presided over 13,000 cases on his show.
As for “The People’s Court,” the show won four Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program in 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021.
When all of its iterations are included, “The People’s Court” is the longest running traditional court show and second-longest running court show in general, with a total of 39 overall seasons as of the 2022-23 television year (behind “Divorce Court” by one season).
Judge Marilyn Milian has presided over “The People’s Court” since 2001, making her the show’s longest-reigning host for the series (22 years). She was also the first Latina judge to host a nationally syndicated television court show.
The current revival of “The People’s Court” premiered in 1997 with Ed Koch as judge, followed by Jerry Sheindlin. The original series ran from 1981 to 1993 with Judge Joseph Wapner.
Milian was appointed to the Miami Circuit Court in 1999. Reporter and TMZ boss Harvey Levin has served as series host and legal reporter, while Douglas McIntosh is court officer. Original “The People’s Court” participant Doug Llewelyn also returned to interview litigants after a decision has been rendered.