Judge Judy star Judith Sheindlin is coming back to television, but it might be a little difficult to find her. She signed a deal Thursday to bring her next series to Amazon Studios, and it will air on the Amazon-owned IMDb TV platform. The news comes about eight months after Sheindlin surprisingly announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March that she is leaving Judge Judy after 25 years.
Although Sheindlin told DeGeneres she might call it Judy Justice, although the new series does not have a title. Sheindlin will still bring her famed no-nonsense personality to the courtroom, where she will decide on new cases. The decision to head to a streaming service is a major move for Sheindlin, who is among the highest-paid television stars in history. Sources told Variety Scott Koondell, and his Sox Entertainment Inc. brought the Amazon deal together.
"I'm over the moon to be in business with Amazon Studios and continuing this incredible journey with them on a new platform is so exciting," Sheindlin said in a statement Thursday. "I used to yell at my husband, Jerry, for all the packages he had ordered from Amazon every day. I have enough mouthwash in the cabinets to keep the entire planet's breath fresh until the next millennium. The doorbell never stops ringing. The dogs don't even bark at the delivery of people anymore. After I signed this deal, I apologized to Jerry. Who would have thought that the Sheindlin's and Amazon would be mishpachah?"
Back in March, Sheindlin told DeGeneres CBS Television Distribution, which distributes Judge Judy, was more interested in using repeats of the show than creating new episodes. However, the 78-year-old Sheindlin said she had no interest in retiring. "Next year will be our 25th season, silver anniversary, and CBS, I think, sort of felt they wanted to optimally utilize the repeats of my program because now they have 25 years of reruns," Sheindlin told DeGeneres. "So what they decided to do was to sell a couple of years' worth of reruns."
Scheindlin reportedly makes about $47 million a year for starring in Judge Judy, which will come to an end after the 2020-2021 season. She signed her last CBS contract in 2015, and it was set to end at the end of 2021. In 2017, CBS also spent about $100 million for the entire Judge Judy library, which includes over 5,200 hours of content.
Unlike Amazon Prime Video, IMDb TV is a free streaming service and includes commercials "As we build the IMDb TV slate of high-quality, ambitious Amazon Studios Originals, we are delighted to deliver customers a court program from the legendary Judge Sheindlin who, without a doubt, is the very best in the business," Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming for IMDb TV said Thursday.