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Judge Judy is an American court show featuring former family court judge Judith Sheindlin arbitrating over small claims cases. The series is in first-run syndication and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, the successor company to its previous distributors Worldvision Enterprises, Paramount Domestic Television, and CBS Paramount Domestic Television.
Since premiering on September 16, 1996, the show has been the ratings leader in courtroom-themed reality-based shows.
As of 2010, the Judge Judy program has been nominated 13 times for Daytime Emmy Awards. In January 2008, Judge Judy was extended through the 2012-13 season (the show's 17th). It was announced on May 2, 2011 that once again the show has been extended with Judy renewing her contract until 2015 which will be the show's 19th Season.
The program earned Sheindlin a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which she was awarded in February 2006. Two DVDs have been released; the first in 2007 and the second the following year.
JUDGE JUDITH SHEINDLIN
Judge Judy (Judith Scheindlin) was born on October 21, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish and German parents Murray and Ethel Blum. Sheindlin described her father, a dentist, as "the greatest thing since sliced bread" and her mother as "a meat-and-potatoes kind of gal."
Judith Scheindlin has gained a reputation as a judge in both family court and on television for her overly straightforward manner of speaking with litigants as well as her frequent bluntness and no-nonsense attitude. Combining those qualities with her swift handling of many of the matters brought up throughout the course of each proceeding, Judge Judy is touted as, "A show where justice is dispensed at the speed of light."
The show's creation stemmed from Judith Sheindlin's reputation as one of the most outspoken family court judges in the country, becoming the topic of a Los Angeles Times article in February 1993. The piece caught the attention of 60 Minutes, leading to a segment about Sheindlin on the show, which brought her national recognition. This led to her being approached by television producers, who asked her to "preside" over her own courtroom reality show. The title of her show was originally going to be "Hot Bench" or "Her Honor". Unhappy with that title, however, Sheindlin convinced her television producer, Big Ticket, to change it. Although Judge Judy is the title of the show, it has also become a nickname for Judith Sheindlin.
Judy Sheindlin became the first television judge whose name was included in the title of the show. The creator and original executive producer of the show, Peter Brennan (creator of the original A Current Affair with Maury Povich) subsequently created Judge Joe Brown and more recently Cristina's Court with Cristina Pérez. Randy Douthit and Timothy Regler are currently the show's executive producers.