Longtime Judge Judy bailiff Petri Hawkins-Byrd may have parted ways with Judge Judy Sheindlin after 25 years, but that doesn't mean he's ready to walk away from the courtroom for good. As Sheindlin partners with a new bailiff for her upcoming series Judy Justice, Hawkins-Byrd is said to be eyeing a role in a new courtroom TV series.
While there are currently no concrete plans for a new show and Hawkins-Byrd is "not actively pursuing" a new credit, a representative for the beloved bailiff told TMZ that Hawkins-Byrd is still interested in TV appearances and would "consider any offers that come in." According to the rep, there is already some interest in bringing Hawkins-Byrd, who recently appeared on an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful, onboard a new show, with several producers said to be "showing interest." Hawkins-Byrd's manager is also said to be in "ongoing conversations" with producers who are "working on a new court TV show idea/concept," and a separate "big-name producer" has reportedly already made an offer "for a new project." At this time, however, there are no solid plans for Hawkins-Byrd to make his return to courtroom TV.
The interest comes after Hawkins-Byrd suddenly found freedom in his schedule after he was not asked to join Sheindlin as the bailiff for her new series Judy Justice, which will debut on IMDb TV on Nov. 1. Instead, Sheindlin will be joined by a new bailiff, Kevin Rasco. Addressing his absence in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hawkins-Byrd said he was told he was too expensive.
"She informed me I was not being asked to come along on the project," he said. "I didn't inquire as to why, that's her choice. But she did inform me that fundamentally, I was priced out as the new bailiff on her new show. My salary would have been too much. I was curious: How would she know? She didn't ask me. She didn't give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary."
Prior to his break with Sheindlin, Hawkins-Byrd served as the bailiff on Judge Judy throughout the show's 25-year run. According to his biography on the Judge Judy website, the Brooklyn native, who received his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1989, got his spot on the series after he sent a letter congratulating Sheindlin after she was offered her own TV series. In the letter, he jokingly offered to be the bailiff. According to TMZ, despite Sheindlin going with a new bailiff for Judy Justice, there is "no bad blood between" Sheindlin and Hawkins-Byrd, who "knows he wouldn't be where he is without her" and is "confident God has a plan for him and something new is coming his way."