Warner Bros. Cancels Two Fan-Favorite Series After Decades on Air

Warner Bros. has canceled two of its longest-running syndicated programs, announcing the shows will wrap up after their current seasons. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Judge Mathis, and The People's Court will both end after decades on TV.

The outlet reports that Warner's decision came due to shifts in the daytime syndication environment. The move follows Judge Judy's exit from television and shift to Amazon's Freevee with her new series, Judy Justice.

Judge Mathis had been on television sets for 24 seasons and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2018 for outstanding legal/courtroom program. It was the second longest-running court program with a singular production, right behind Judge Judy. Mathis is also the longest-running Black male host on television, which is quite a feat.

The People's Court was a revival of the original version of the show from 1981 with Judge Joseph Wapner, premiering in 1997 and running for 26 seasons until it was brought to its end. The revival of the series originally saw former NYC Mayor Ed Koch as the presiding judge, followed by Judge Judy's husband Jerry Sheindlin in 1999, and finally with Marilyn Milan beginning in 2001. Milan is the longest-running arbiter in the show's history and reached 20 years on the bench by spring 2021.

The People's Court stands as the longest-running court show and second-longest-running court show on television. The series has a total of 39 seasons if the original series is added to the total. The series also has four Daytime Emmy Awards, the most for a court show at the awards. It was also the most popular court series on TV behind Judge Judy and Hot Bench, both produced by Judith Sheindlin's company.

Warner's decision is the latest culling of content by Warner and Warner Bros. Discovery. The company has canceled a number of original offerings on HBO Max, including a restructuring of the streaming platform to include Discovery+ programming. This also affected many projects that actually never saw the light of day or didn't reach an audience, like DC's Batgirl film or original shows like Raised by Wolves.