Success leads to imitation, so there is nothing unusual about several new potential first-run talk, game and court show strips next fall. “It’s all about tapping into a proven format with the right personality,” noted media analyst Bill Carroll. “And we are now beginning to see more time periods open, which could be why there are more new stripped shows in contention than we are seen in recent years.”
The category of court, of course, is dominated by that CBS Television Distribution (CTD) blockbuster, “Judge Judy. Season to-date (through Nov. 25), “Judy Judy,” presided over by Judith Sheindlin, is averaging a 7.1 household rating, according to Nielsen. Comparably, that is more than triple the 2.3 household rating for the No. 2 occupant, “Hot Bench” (also from CTD). Next is “People’s Court” from Warner Bros. at a 1.4, followed by “Judge Mathis” from Warner Bros. (1.0), “Divorce Court” from Twentieth Television (0.7), and freshman strip “Caught in Providence” from Debmar-Mercury (0.6).
One former established member of the court category is “Judge Joe Brown,” who enjoyed a 15-season run (1998 to 2013) and was firmly entrenched as the No. 2 rated court show for many years. Never one to mince words, feisty and opinionated Joe Brown is blending his experience as a court show judge into a talk show format, “Hot Topics With
Judge Joe,” where Brown and a panel of guests will focus on the hot topics of the day (not to mention lifestyle, sex, health and pop culture related issues, or anything of interest). The weekly half-hour comes from Pacific Lake Entertainment.
“Just as Joe Brown is morphing into talk, Jerry Springer is heading to court in ‘Judge Jerry’ (from NBCUniversal),” noted Rob Russo, President, RNR Media Consulting. “So, if anything, I do think initial curiosity will prevail. The familiarity of these personalities is certainly a positive.”
Launching next month on broadcast stations, including CBS-owned WLNY in New York, “Hot Topics With Judge Joe” is a half-hour weekly format that can play in any daypart, on any day. WLNY, for example, is clearing the show in the Saturday 5:30 p.m. ET half-hour.
WGN America and Impact Network, the platform designed to inspire, inform and uplift your spirit, body and soul, have also cleared the weekly half-hour, which significantly expands its reach beyond just the station community.
“There is definitely a curiosity factor about Judge Joe in the station community,” noted Ed Baruch, Allied Media Partners, who is clearing the weekly to stations for the upcoming soft launch in January. “But there is also definite interest both in the name of this host and certainly to fill times periods.”
“Once we get the show up and running, I imagine other stations will express interest,” he added. “And the New York clearance is a step in the right direction for us. We are ready to roll.”
For more information on “Hot Topics With Judge Joe,” click here