After 25 years, 6 500 episodes and 12 500 cases, Judge Judy has finally come to an end. But court show, host Judy Sheindlin says, is not adjourned.
Judy, better known as Judge Judy to fans, may be two years shy of 80 but she’s years away from hanging up her gavel. The 78-year-old has signed up for a new reality court show, Judy Justice.
“I like to work,” she says. “This will give me the opportunity to do what I do best. Give me a robe and a case, and I'll do my job."
And it’s a job she does incredibly well.
Drag Race host RuPaul has described her courtroom as a “sanctuary for rational critical thinking”. Former US President Barack Obama, rapper Nicki Minaj and comedians Larry David, Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer are also fans.
Judge Judy is licenced in more than 100 international territories and she gets fan mail from as far afield as Zimbabwe.
“Human emotion is the same,” Judy says of the show’s wide appeal. “Irrespective of what language you speak or where you are in the world, people like to see the right thing happen and the bad guy get a little bit of a whoopin’ once in a while.”
She’s determined to keep the same tough approach when her new show premieres next year. The series, which will be available to stream on the Amazon-owned IMDb TV, is an arbitration-style reality show.
Though it will deviate slightly from the Judge Judy format, it will still give fans exactly what they expect from the world’s favourite judge. Audiences can certainly expect Judy’s sharp tongue and clever wit to be on full display.
She maintains she’ll be shooting from the hip, even if people don’t like what she has to say.
“Are my feelings necessarily PC and kumbaya? No. They are realistic.”
In fact, she believes cancel culture has made the world a “frightening place” where people are afraid of voicing their opinions.
“To have a fear of speaking your opinion, for fear of being put on somebody's list and cancelled? It’s a frightening place for America to be. I'm not a big fan of the PC police,” she says.
The star has also opened up about her huge salary. In the past, she’d negotiate her pay package by presenting a sealed envelope containing her desired wage at the end of a lunch meeting with a CBS executive.
Judy reportedly earned around $47 million (now about R658m) per year on Judge Judy.
“So, the folks at Amazon understood what the parameters were,” she says.
Despite her great wealth, she loves getting her hands dirty. After a tough day at work, she enjoys nothing more than cleaning the bathroom at work to feel like she’d accomplished something.
Judy may have hard days on Judge Judy, but the tough cookie prides herself on not showing emotion. On her last day of filming her iconic show last month, rather than get emotional Judy applied her usual no-nonsense approach.
“I wasn’t teary,” she says. “I felt gratified I had completed that part of my journey and done it respectably. It was just the end of the day, the end of the job. I cleaned the bathroom, and the bathroom is sparkling.”
Sources: hollywoodreporter.com, abajournal.com, theguardian.com, dailymail.co.uk