After 22 years behind the bench, Judge Judy Sheindlin has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Sunday.
The Judge Judy star, 76, was presented the award by Parks and Recreation actress Amy Poehler, who said of the honoree, "She sets clear boundaries and does not allow people to humiliate each other, and you better not lie, but if you do and admit it, she will say, 'Good for you!'"
"The Daytime Emmy Awards recognize both the excellence and vibrant diversity of daytime television programming,” NATAS President & CEO Adam Sharp said at the time of her nomination in a statement, as per Variety. “Judge Judy Sheindlin epitomizes both, shaping one of the mainstay genres of our medium.”
Added David Michaels, senior vice president and executive producer of the Daytime Emmy Awards, “Daytime television wouldn’t be what it is today without Judy Sheindlin. ‘Judge Judy’ redefined and reinvigorated the courtroom format propelling the genre to new heights.”
Also awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Sunday's ceremony was Chef Jacques Pepin.
In a recent interview with Variety, Sheindlin explained what about the courtroom series has compelled people for more than two decades.
“If I had to guess why our program has had longevity it’s because we have a consistent, honest approach — or I do anyway,” Sheindlin said. “I really believe that the American viewing public is smart enough to know when it’s raining outside or when their leg is being peed on — when something is phony or contrived.”
The lessons she works to teach the litigants in her courtroom, she added, are hopefully rubbing off on the people watching from home.
“The responsibility that people are supposed to have as parents, as citizens, as adult children, as good co-workers, as good neighbors — the civility — I think those are messages that subliminally, through many of the cases, get told,” she explained. “When I say to you, ‘You’re supposed to be a good neighbor,’ it means you’re supposed to have a tolerance; you’re supposed to be able to speak civilly, even if you have a difference of opinion.”
As for the future she sees for the program in a changing world?
“People’s emotions and their emotional needs haven’t changed,” Sheindlin said. “We’ll be on, either in first-run or second series, forever because we’re evergreen. The same problems that existed 30 years ago exist today and will exist tomorrow.”
Photo credit: CBS