Judge Judy Sheindlin is returning to television on Nov. 1 with a new red robe, a granddaughter in tow, and the challenge of competing with herself. She announced on Thursday the start date and name of her new show, Judy Justice, which will be available weekdays on the little-known IMDb TV, a free streaming service offered by Amazon. Sheindlin, 78, will be joined on Judy Justice by a new television bailiff and stenographer, reports the AP. Sarah Rose, a law clerk and Sheindlin's granddaughter, will be a legal analyst. "She's smart, sassy, and opinionated," her grandmother says. "Who knows where she gets those traits?"
- Judy's old show: Sheindlin moved to the new program when her syndication deal with CBS Media Ventures ended with some acrimony after 25 years. For more than a decade, Judge Judy has been syndication's most popular show, with the tart-talking New Yorker arbitrating small claims cases. CBS promptly cut a deal to keep Judge Judy reruns on the air. Filming for the old Judge Judy ended after CBS bought the show's old episodes from Sheindlin. That enabled CBS to continue selling rights to air them through the syndication market without having to pay her to make new episodes.
- A relationship gone sour: Sheindlin, a former New York judge who was widely believed to be the country's highest-paid television star, was also said to be unhappy with CBS for giving priority time slots to Drew Barrymore's new show at the expense of Hot Bench, another court show that Sheindlin created, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We had a nice marriage," Sheindlin told the Journal earlier this year. "It's going to be a Bill and Melinda Gates divorce."
- Judge Judy versus ... Judge Judy? Judge Judy viewers have been conditioned through the years to seeing reruns, says Bill Carroll, a veteran analyst of the syndication market. The show's look and format was kept so consistent through the years so that "if you were to say to most viewers that these are not new shows, they would say, 'Oh, really?'" Carroll notes, adding that the reruns are almost certain to surpass Judy Justice in viewership.
- What's in it for everyone: Still, the value of Judy Justice to IMDb TV will be in driving new viewers to the service, where they may be exposed to other offerings. "For them, it can't be anything but good," Carroll says. "For her, it allows her to do what she loves to do." Two of Sheindlin's longtime producers, Randy Douthit and Amy Freisleben, will join her on Judy Justice.
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