CBS Television Distribution has extendedJudge Judythrough 2020-21, taking the show through its 25th season, and acquired the Judge Judy library, CTD said Tuesday.
The new agreement gives CTD rights to more than 5,200 hours of current and library episodes of the show as well as to future seasons with no expiration date. Judge Judy star Judy Sheindlin acquired the rights to the library in her current deal, and worked with Lisbeth R. Barron, chairman and CEO of Barron International Group, to shop the library to potential distributors.
While several buyers were interested, in the end, it returned to CTD with sources estimating CTD paid $80 to $90 million for it. At one point, its value had been estimated to be as high as $125 million. Beyond whatever Sheindlin earned on the sale of the library, she’s also paid approximately $47 million a year to star on Judge Judy.
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“Judge Judy Sheindlin is one of the all-time great stars in the history of daytime television. She’s been a part of the CBS family for over two decades and we wanted it to stay that way by acquiring her incredible library of episodes,” said Paul Franklin, President of CTD, in a statement.
CTD isn’t expected to make the show’s library episodes available to stations until Sheindlin officially retires, and this agreement puts that off for another year. Sheindlin turns 75 in October, and if her show does sign off in 2021, she’ll be nearly 79. That said, Maury Povich is still going strong in syndication and he turns 79 in January.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.