The CBS Television Distribution show, which currently draws more viewers than any other program in daytime, has signed a new multi-year deal with Judy Sheindlin to continue with her series through 2017. That adds up to 21 seasons.
Sheindlin has by far the highest rated judge show (since 1996) and usually is 2nd in weekly syndie household Nielsen ratings to The Big Bang Theory. Now in its 17th season, the show averages more than 9 million daily viewers.
“We would like to thank Joe for 15 great years,” CBS Television Distribution said in a statement, “as well as executive producer John Terenzio and the entire staff for all their hard work and dedication to the show.”
Added Sheindlin: “Twenty-one is a terrific number. It’s when you officially become an adult, it’s a winning hand in blackjack and it’s the number of seasons we will have hit in 2017. I am so fortunate to have a job that I still love, working with a staff I respect and with a company who is at the top of their game.”
The news comes after CBS Television Distribution announced it was canceling “Judge Joe Brown” in late March. Ratings for the 15-year-old syndicated show were dropping, and negotiations on a new deal ended up breaking down, apparently over Brown’s salary. He reportedly has been making $20 million a year, but CTD was looking to trim his compensation in line with a decline in his ratings.
In the recent February sweeps, Judge Brown had a 2.5 household rating, down 17% from the prior February. He attracted an average of 3.4 million daily viewers, down from an average of 4.1 million last February. Judge Brown airs on Fox O&O TV stations in many major markets and on stations owned by Sinclair, Lin and others. At this point, he is scheduled to run in original and repeat episodes on the Fox until September, when they will have the opportunity to reprogram his time periods.