We recently posted an article that listed the highest paid TV stars in the world. We publish this list every year, and every year people seem to be surprised by the person who ranks #1. Contrary to what you might assume, the #1 person is not someone like Ashton Kutcher (who earned $16.6 million per year for Two and Half Men), or David Letterman (who earns $20 million per year for his Late Show), or even Matt Lauer (who earns $25 million for The Today Show). The #1 person's show doesn't even air in prime time or on a consistent. For most American TV viewers, her show airs at 4pm, and the actual channel varies from city to city. Of course, we are talking about the one and only Judy Sheindlin. Better known as Judge Judy. And for those of you who love Judy, I have good news! She won't be going anywhere anytime soon…
Late last night, Armando Nunez, the President of CBS Global Distribution, announced that a deal had been reached that will keep Judge Judy under contract through 2020. The deal reportedly also includes a first look production deal with Scheindlin's production company, Queen Bee Productions, for any potential new show concepts. Last year, Queen Bee and CBS successfully launched a new show called "Hot Bench" which has since gone on to become one of the highest-rated daytime shows, with an average of 2.3 million viewers.
"Judge Judy," which Scheindlin has hosted since 1996, is currently the highest-rated show in all of TV syndication. The show averages more than 10 million viewers every day, which leaves other shows like Dr. Phil and Ellen in the dust. By comparison, "Ellen Degeneres" averages around 4 million viewers per day. According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Judge Judy" has been the #1 highest rated judge show for 969 straight weeks.
Show Me The Money
Under her current deal, Judy earns an astonishing $47 million per year. Assuming she did not take a paycut with her new deal (which is probably unlikely), Judy's six year extension would be worth $282 million. If she got just a 10% raise, the deal would be worth $310 million ($51.7 million per year).
Also keep in mind that Judy reportedly only works 52 days a year.
That's pretty sweet when you consider the fact that the median American judge earns $120,000 per year. On the low end, many judges earn roughly $58,000 per year. The top 10% highest-paid judges earn around $170,000 per year.
In 2014, the Supreme Court judges will each earn $255,500 per year, which means Judge Judy earns roughly 180 times what a Supreme Court justice makes.
So in other words: The verdict is in and Judge Judy is loaded!