Judith “Judge Judy” Sheindlin is shopping around her reruns and they don’t come cheap.
The TV judge makes a cool $47 million annual salary from CBS for top-rated “Judge Judy,” and her most recent negotiation also included the rights to her library of reruns, spanning 21 seasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Insiders told The Hollywood Reporter that Bear Sterns banker Lisbeth R. Barron has been pitching the idea to distributors and studios, using the hook that once the show’s first-run episodes end in 2020, there’s going to be a huge demand for anything “Judy.”
There already is a high demand for Sheindlin’s sharp wit and sass: The show averages 10 million viewers daily, even in its 21st season, and she has three bestselling books under her belt.
Still, some insiders are skeptical about the idea.
“The company didn’t necessarily think [the library] was that valuable,” a source told The Hollywood Reporter. “There had been some tire-kicking over the years with either cable or [subscription video on demand] people to see if anyone wanted her shows, and I don’t think the response was overwhelmingly big.”
Another insider said, “Is it sellable? Yes. Is it sellable for hundreds of millions of dollars? I don’t think so.”
Still the source added, “But I always go back to Ted Turner. Everybody said he’d lost his mind when he paid $1.5 billion or whatever he paid for the MGM library, and then he created two networks out of it and all of a sudden he was a genius.”