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Randy Douthit Shares a Sneak Peek at Judy Justice’s Second Season

© by Michael Becker for Amazon Freevee.

Randy Douthit and Judith Sheindlin are ready to pound the gavel in a second season of Judy Justice, available for anytime streaming on Amazon and its Freevee extension on Monday, November 7.

And if you think you’ve seen all of Douthit and Judge Judith Sheindlin’s court TV tricks during 25 seasons of the broadcast hit Judge Judy, think again.

“We’ll have some big cases,” shares director and executive producer Douthit. “Some are pretty heavy. As always, [Judy] handles them very, very well. So you’ll want to tune in.”

Part of the show’s enticement is the hope of the average wronged citizen — like grumbling tenants, landlords, and victims of small-business injustices — of gaining victory and vindication as viewers enjoy the entertainment.

Randy Douthit on Judge Judy: ‘She’s Amazing’

The second season of the arbitration-based reality show builds on the wildly successful debut of Judy Justice. Since the program launched on the service in November 2021, Freevee customers in the U.S. and UK have streamed over 75 million hours of Judy Justice through on-demand episode viewing and the series’ FAST channel.

“She is amazing,” said Douthit, who reprises his role as the show’s executive producer and director, calling the shots from the control room as he joins television’s arbitrator-in-chief Sheindlin, the retired judge and prosecutor who presides over TV’s most popular courtroom show. “I spend a lot of time with Judy talking to her in her dressing room about the cases, about life, everything.”

This marks the 27th year the two have worked together, nearly surpassing Johnny Carson’s record as host of The Tonight Show. (Carson sat at the late-night institution’s desk from 1962-1992.)

Judy Justice is Sheindlin and Douthit’s current venture, which follows the duo’s  25-year run on Judge Judy, one of the highest-rated broadcast daytime shows and a multiple Emmy award winner. And audiences, attracted by her shoot-from-the-hip attitude, agree with the Emmy voters. “Of course, I’m right. I’m always right,” Sheindlin said. “I’m like a truth machine.”

More Behind-The-Scenes Insights From Randy Douthit

The latest version of Sheindlin and Douthit’s program includes a post-trial discussion of the case, set in the judge’s chambers between the judge and her granddaughter, Sarah Rose, who serves as her law clerk. Incidentally, Rose is the third female lawyer in the Sheindlin family.

Judy recently gave the commencement speech at New York Law School (NYLS) and presented Sarah with her degree.  Both Judy and her daughter Nicole also graduated from NYLS.

Sheindlin, who is famed for her barbed wit, move-it-along gestures of impatience, finger-to-her-lips quips (“I talk, you listen”), and quick decisions from the bench, is something of a cult figure in TV history.

Her energetic work ethic is well known within the small-screen industry and, with a reported $47 million salary, she’s one of the highest-paid talents on daytime TV, according to Variety. In 2007 she was 13th on Forbes magazine’s list of the best-compensated figures in television. 

She’s also a generous philanthropist and has garnered a star of her own on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and inclusion in Guinness World Records. She even gave the commencement address at Shiprock High School in New Mexico. 

From Wapner to Judy

The arbitration reality show format is a legacy of The People’s Court, presided over by Judge Joseph Wapner of Los Angeles. That show ran for 12 years (1981-1993), with a revival in 1997. 

The genre is patterned on the actual small claims court format in which ordinary people can present their minor legal disagreements without the need for intervening lawyers, though corporations do generally need to be represented by attorneys. 

The genre has given birth to several judge-named shows, but none has matched the popularity or durability of Judge Judy or its successor, Judy Justice. “I’m not tired. I still feel engaged by what I do, and I still have people who like to watch it,” she has said.

Randy Douthit has been with the show since its inception, and he has nothing but high praise for Sheindlin. At the end of shooting, as Douthit said, “She’s still going strong. She doesn’t stop.”

Randy Douthit’s Road to Justice

Randy Douthit came to the show from a stint at CNN, where he produced and directed Larry King Live, the interview program that showcased many important entertainment, political, and sports figures. In a 1988 episode he asked Frank Sinatra why he didn’t do more interviews.

“Nobody invites me,” the famed singer replied in what turned out to be his last major interview. 

Randy Douthit has named Crossfire as his favorite of the programs he produced and directed at CNN. Crossfire was a political discussion show in which pundits’ opposing points of view were aired, 

Ironically, that show has been superseded by “squawk box” programs in which opponents in electronic windows argue with each other in a format that resembles neighbors in open windows yelling at each other across an alleyway. 

It’s reminiscent of the Paddy Chayefsky-penned 1976 satirical film Network starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, and Peter Finch. Chayefsky was a highly regarded writer in TV’s early days.

In the prescient film, Dunaway plays a ferociously ambitious TV programming exec hired to boost the fictional network’s audience share by bringing rage programming to the network. 

In the meantime, she carries on an adulterous love affair with a “principled” and married Holden, head of the money-losing news division of the network.

Finch gives a bravura performance as Howard Beale — a deranged, messianic newscaster fired when his ratings drop precipitously.

He instructs his audience to throw open their windows and shout out his slogan of outrage into the wind:I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” which made his ratings shoot up.

Finally, his fervor is quashed by Ned Beatty as head of the network’s parent company, who instructs him in the place of capitalism in television. 

One would wish Judy Justice were there to calm the fury of the evangelical Beale. If anyone could, it would be the unbeatable Sheindlin/Douthit duo.

“I’ve seen her operate for 27 years now and she’s just, she really is a go-getter,” Douthit marvels.