Crime does pay: Judge Judy eyes up $200m windfall

  • 24/02/2017

Judge Judy, the scathing magistrate at the centre of the infamous court show, is trying to sell its reruns for US$200 million (NZ$276m).

After more than 20 years and thousands of hilarious, cringeworthy arguments, the show is due to finish up in 2020.

As well as the NZ$65 million salary Judith Sheindlin gets, she's managed to secure the rights to her catalogue of shows - meaning the 74-year-old will be retiring very wealthy if she sells the reruns for the price she's asking.

A lot of talk shows have come and gone, but Judge Judy still averages more than 10 million daily viewers in its 21st season, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Judge Judy: What you didn't know

  • Fines and court costs are paid by the show

When Judge Judy bangs her gavel and charges the loser to pay $1000, it's paid by the show's producers.

  • Actually, everyone on the show makes a profit

Everyone, even the loser in a Judge Judy court case, gets paid for their appearance. And they get flown to Los Angeles for filming.

  • She has a penchant for NZ art

In 2014 Judge Judy visited New Zealand and spent more than $5000 on three works by an Otago artist.

  • The show got a school shut down

The show does get real results though. In one case, when a student came to Judge Judy to get his tuition fees refunded, Judge Judy did some research and discovered staff at the school were not academically qualified. The school was subsequently closed.

  • She's not officially a real judge

Judith Sheindlin presided over a New York courtroom in the 1980s, but on TV she is technically an arbitrator, the Consumerist website says. However, her final decisions are binding.

  • The audience are paid extras

If you have the time to watch a number of episodes closely, you'll see many of the same faces in the background.

In many ways the show is a lot like a legal version of professional wrestling