Judge Judy: 8 Behind The Scenes Secrets
Judge Judy (Judith Sheindlin) is harsh, direct or completely unafraid to ruffle anyone’s feathers or hurt anyone’s feelings, which is probably why she makes for good TV! Her arbitration-based reality show is incredibly popular and has led the ratings in courtroom programming since its premiere. Unsurprisingly, the show is on its 21st season. Because the show’s so popular, we have 8 shocking behind the scenes secrets on her Emmy-winning show:
8. Finding Litigants
There are about 60 to 65 researchers who are spread out across the U.S. They visit small claims courts and photocopy any cases that might make for good TV and send them to producers of the show, who determine whether they worthy enough for television. According to producers, most aren’t. Only 3% of the cases that researchers send in will make good television. They also recruit people on the show with an announcement and phone number for interested people to call in with their lawsuits and there is also a website where people can submit their lawsuits to the show. If producers are interested, they have their employees call the plaintiff and defendant and ask them questions about their lawsuit to ensure they are suitable for the show. If both parties agree to appear on Judge Judy, they must sign a waiver, agreeing that arbitration on the show is final and they cannot pursue it elsewhere.
7. Litigants with a Prior Relationship
Producers are looking for litigants with a prior relationship. “Boyfriend-girlfriend, mother-daughter, father-son, father-brother, sister-sister,” Randy Douthitt, the show’s Executive Producer, said. “That way it pulls in the audience a little bit more, there’s an emotional tie that’s been broken, and you end up with a bit of a mini soap opera.”