If you happen to enjoy seeing that justice is served TV style, I certainly don’t have to tell you who Joe Brown is. His daily half-hour court strip, “Judge Joe Brown,” was a staple in daytime syndication from 1998 to 2013, and for each of the 15 seasons it was the second-highest rated court show (behind “Judge Judy”). The password here is consistency!
At the time, Judge Joe was the longest serving African American television arbitrator. His no-nonsense approach, according to the traditional Nielsen ratings, was a “must see” in daytime. And he was the first African American male to preside over a courtroom television show, which, coupled with “Judge Judy,” paved the way for countless other court show-themed series.
“When you think of successful entries in court, foremost is ‘Judge Judy,’ of course,” noted media analyst Bill Carroll. “But you must also include ‘Judge Joe Brown.’ While being paired with ‘Judy’ in many markets was beneficial from a scheduling perspective, you don’t find success for all those years without the ability to stand on your own.”
“Joe Brown’s return, now in a different category, will capitalize on his experience of tackling a variety of issues and his proven on-air presence,” added Carroll.
Five years after his long running show concluded, Joe Brown is back, but this time the format is ensemble talk in “Hot Topics with Judge Joe.” The availability is one half-hour per week, which can be cleared both during the week and on the weekend. The producer and distributor is Pacific Lake Entertainment. And the goal is a topical show that will not shy away from any relevant issues.
“This is an intriguing format for me because this time I get to talk with a qualified panel of other individuals about various topics, everything from breaking news to issues in pop culture, lifestyle, sex and health,” said Joe Brown. “Any and all issues will be debated.”
“In today’s tumultuous political climate, I think the timing is just right,” he added. “And we will feature a subjective group of panelists, each with their own opinions and viewpoints.”
With such a long tenure in daytime court, nothing is out of boundaries for Joe Brown.
“From A to Z, and back, that experience prepared me for anything,” noted Brown, who became the first African-American prosecutor in the city of Memphis and would ultimately open his own law firm before becoming a judge in the State Criminal Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. After the producers of “Judge Judy” took notice when he presided over James Earl Ray’s last appeal of Ray’s conviction for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along came his newfound success in daytime court.
“That was then, this is now, and talk seems like a natural progression for me,” said Brown. “My experience in court I think was a great launching pad.”
“Judge Joe belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of daytime syndication,” noted Ernest Cartwright, CEO of Pacific Lake Entertainment. “As a role model for male viewers and a champion for women viewers, Judge Joe continues his heroic quest for responsible and prudent behavior that compels all of us to search for those qualities within ourselves. His new show, ‘Hot Topics with Judge Joe,’ is empowering and rewards viewers with a feeling that their lives are somehow better for having spent time with him.”
Debuting on February 9 across the country, “Hot Topics with Judge Joe” enters the marketplace cleared in over 76 percent of U.S. Television households in broadcast syndication and cable platforms (including CBS, Tribune, Nexstar, Sinclair and Meredith stations; WGN America and Impact Network cable networks). In addition, the program’s broadcast network clearance on LATV Network which alone reaches 82% of Hispanic households .
Pacific Lake Entertainment, meanwhile, is working with E&Z Sales Marketing to engage Burrell Communications and other specialty market agencies to connect with today’s multicultural consumers with the understanding that the experiences of Black consumers are increasingly shaping and influencing the marketplace.
“After two decades of making history in the television industry, Joe Brown remains relevant in all viewer categories. His new show, ‘Hot Topics,’ connects with demographics that include African American, Hispanic and Asian millennials,” explained Cartwright. “And there the endless loyal fans that he previously won with his authentic, courageous character as an advocate for justice, fairness and accountability.”
First out of the gate among the newbies pitched at the annual NAPTE Miami Marketplace and Conference, there will be no shortage of subjects to tackle in “Hot Topics with Judge Joe.” Check your local listings for air-times.
For more information on “Hot Topics with Judge Joe,” visit the website, www.hottopicswithjudgejoe.com