Judy, Judy, Judy!

October 12, 2011

Who will be the new Oprah: Anderson Cooper? Rosie O’Donnell? Katie Couric?

I don’t care, because my favorite daytime personality is still going strong. Judge Judy, who has earned higher ratings than Oprah in seasons past, began her 15th year this fall and has been renewed through 2015. In D.C., her show airs at 4:30 p.m. on Fox and 6 p.m. on WDCA.

I love Judge Judy because she says things we yearn to say to acquaintances who bend the truth and act like morons: “I don’t believe you.” “You should stop doing all that piercing. I think it’s affecting your brain.” “I find your smirk objectionable.”

Where do the show’s bad eggs come from? Court records are combed. Defendants and plaintiffs are contacted. The TV decisions are binding and cannot be appealed. The show pays any judgments awarded, as all court shows do.

What motivates people to risk the wrath of Judy? A spokesman for the show believes they simply want to be told in front of nearly 10 million viewers, “You’re right!” What happens more often is summed up by a teenage defendant who damaged a friend’s car with a drunken kick: “We look like idiots on TV now.”

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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Katherine Boyle | October 11, 2011