Kicking off the syndie selling season, Debmar-Mercury has sold Citylife Productions’ court show, Caught in Providence, starring Municipal Court Judge Frank Caprio, to the Fox Owned Television Stations. The show will debut this fall.
"If there’s one thing the Fox TV Stations and Debmar-Mercury have always agreed upon, it’s that the last thing syndication needs is another court show,” said Frank Cicha, senior vice president, Fox Television Stations, in a statement. “So, here comes one. This show is different, though. It’s a completely fresh approach. Just goes to show, never say ‘never!’"
80-year-old Caprio, who serves as chief judge of the Municipal Court in Providence, Rhode Island, is already a social media star, having captured more than 1 billion views via his YouTube channel, produced by Citylife Productions. Citylife is run by Caprio’s brother, Joseph, who sets up cameras in Judge Caprio’s courtroom to capture everything that goes on, from kids determining verdicts for their parents to people doing handstands in the middle of the court.
“We are proud to work with Debmar-Mercury to showcase the wonderful people of the City of Providence, RI, and their experiences in America’s most interesting courtroom,” said Joseph Caprio, also in a statement. “We will keep it real by continuing to film the actual cases and litigants in the Providence Municipal Court.”
The hallmark of Judge Caprio’s courtroom is that he intentionally presides with compassion and understanding.
“We love Judge Caprio’s heartfelt take on justice and think Caught in Providence will truly stand out from every other show on daytime television,” said Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury. “In these contentious times, many viewers are simply looking for something light-hearted and fun. Caught in Providence has proven to be exactly that, and has an unprecedented social media following to prove it.”
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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.