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Still Holding Court

CBS Television Distribution has renewed its top court show, Judge Judy, on the Fox, Sinclair, Belo, Nexstar and other station groups through 2013, making it one of only a handful of shows to be renewed out so far.

In January, CTD said the show had been renewed through 2012 on the CBS Television Stations, the show's primary group. Now, CBS has signed the show's star, Judy Sheindlin, 65, through 2013. Sheindlin earns an annual salary of $45 million, according to reports.

"Most people don't know where they are having dinner next week," says Sheindlin. "At my age, it's comforting to know where I'm going to be in 2013."

"Judy has tremendous charisma," says John Nogawski, president of CBS Television Distribution. "She's as feisty as ever and, if anything, has become even more humorous while remaining a tough judge."

Judge Judy's ratings have stood out in first-run syndication over the past year. Many weeks, Judge Judy was the only show to improve over last year, and it leads the court genre by more than double. In the week ending July 20, the show averaged a 4.5 household live-plus-same-day rating.

CTD also is renewing its No. 2 court show, Judge Joe Brown, through 2013, as well as its genre-leading access magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and that show's spinoff, The Insider.

"I haven't seen it this difficult on the broadcast side of the business for a long time," Nogawski says. "When stations have a show that's a staple of their lineup, they feel better if they can get it locked up."