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Gavel Drops on Original Production of Sony’s Judge Hatchett

Sony Pictures Television’s Judge Hatchett is going out of original production after this year, the company confirmed Wednesday.

That said, Sony hopes to keep the show on the air. The studio is pitching TV stations “theme weeks” -- around such topics as divorce or interventions -- comprised of repeats. Judge Hatchett, featuring Judge Glenda Hatchett, is in its eighth season, giving the studio plenty of episodes to choose from. The studio also doesn’t expect to repeat any episodes during each 52-week TV season.

Daytime is so fragmented these days that it is unlikely that viewers have watched every episode of any given first-run show. As a result, studios have cut back on the number of original episodes they produce every year, and repeats appear more frequently -- a model that has proved economical for cable networks.

In the week ending Dec. 16 -- the most recent week for which national ratings are available -- Judge Hatchett averaged a 1.3 live-plus-same-day national household rating, tying for seventh place with Twentieth Television’s Cristina’s Court, which was renewed for a third season.

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.