Twentieth Renews Court Blocks

Twentieth Television has renewed 8-year-old Divorce Court and Judge Alex, now in its second season,through 2008-09 and may be close to also renewing its third court show, rookie Cristina’s Court.

Despite a glut of court shows in the market, Bob Cook, president and COO of Twentieth TV, says there is still continued interest in the shows’ personalities—Alex Ferrer (Judge Alex) and Lynn Toler (Divorce Court)—and formats.

In season-to-date ratings through April 22, Divorce Court is averaging a 2.1 AA rating, Judge Alex a 2.0 and Cristina’s Court a 1.4.

Despite being on a downward trend, hitting a season low mark of 1.2 the past three weeks, industry sources say they anticipate Cristina’s Court will return for another season.

Of the nine court shows, Divorce Court ranks fifth this season, Alex sixth and Cristina eighth.

Twentieth is looking at developing other court formats, reportedly including one with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kevin Ross (tentatively titled Ross Is Boss).

The syndicator’s large output of court shows is intended to fill its sister Fox station group’s desire for the genre in daytime, where it runs the programs in blocks.