“Um” is not an answer and “goodbye” is not a sendoff—at least not in the world of Judge Judith Sheindlin. According to multiple reports, Tuesday’s episode of Judge Judy featured the last of the 12,500+ cases heard by the TV judge in her 25 years on air. The dispute was over...drywall.
“Okay, very good. You owe him $500. Judgment for the plaintiff. You’re supposed to pay your bills. That’s all. We’re finished. Thank you very much,” is what Sheindlin said at the end of the rather unremarkable case. And that was that.
The episode didn’t mark the series finale, per se—cases taped earlier will air into the summer, according to a recent Wall Street Journal profile, which also noted the one element of the case that could be seen as a reference to Sheindlin’s departure from daytime TV:
Only one detail will make it stand out among reruns for years to come: a glittery, bee-shaped clip Ms. Sheindlin wore in her hair. It was a wink to fans, and a nod to her Queen Bee production company at the end of a 25-year reign over daytime television.
There it bee.
Sheindlin isn’t hanging up her doily-lined robe, though. The TV judge, whose yearly salary by the end of her CBS show was a reported $47 million, is taking her temper to Amazon’s IMDb TV. The Wall Street Journal reports that the show is yet to be named, though Sheindlin’s preferred title—Judy Justice—has been printed as its title in multiple sources. Regarding the new show’s format, Sheindlin told an Entertainment Tonight reporter, “I would tell you but then I’d have to kill you.”
She added: “You can’t change that much of court. You can add some things to that to make it more visually interesting and sometimes more realistic, which is what we will do.”
The streaming show will include some notable changes to her formula. A higher dollar limit on her judgments will allow producers to scout for cases beyond the small-claims fodder that Judge Judy relied on. Surrogate courts, which typically deal with fallout from people’s wills and estates, could be a source of more complex family disputes, she says.
According to the Los Angeles Times, upon the completion of Sheindlin’s final Judge Judy case, producers played a video “with cameos by Jimmy Kimmel, Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Seacrest, Kelly Ripa, Joy Behar, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Meghan McCain and Wendy Williams. All showered praise on a woman who worked for more than two decades as a family court judge and prosecutor, reinvented herself at age 52, and went on to a brilliant second act.” Sheindlin’s ensuing words of appreciation were “uncharacteristically soft-spoken.”