NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For a decade and a half, “Judge Judy” has been 4 p.m. appointment television here on CBS2. While she remains a staple before our broadcast, she is now venturing into streaming entertainment.
“Judy Justice” debuted Monday. On the show you will notice significant changes: a new look, new cast, and new format. But as for Judge Judy, herself? Well, she remains as sharp and witty as ever.
“Do you remember when we met?” CBS2 anchor Kristine Johnson asked Judy Sheindlin recently.
“It was a long time ago,” she responded.
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Almost 15 years, to be exact. Pregnant and newly hired at CBS2, Johnson flew to Los Angeles to interview Sheindlin on the set of “Judge Judy.” Fast forward, they recently met again, this time at her Connecticut home to learn more about “Judy Justice.”
“Were you nervous about a new venture?” Johnson asked.
“No, I wasn’t nervous. If somebody said to me, ‘We’re going to write a sitcom. We have a perfect part for you.’ I would be stepping out of my lane and I know I would have failed,” Sheindlin said.
“So ‘Judy Justice’ is still in my lane, only we’ve decorated the house differently,” she added.
“I notice the robe is a different color,” Johnson said.
“First of all, I look better in high color, and I said, ‘Where is it written in the Torah that it has to be a black robe?'” Sheindlin said. “I changed the color into something a little more modern, and I brought in my granddaughter with me who’s finishing up law school.”
She was referring to Sarah Rose, who joins her grandmother serving as her law clerk.
Rounding out the new cast is court stenographer Whitney Kumar and bailiff Kevin Rasco. Each will have interactive roles, resembling a real-life family court setting, which Judge Judy used to preside in New York City.
“I think these cases are terrific. I think the addition of these people in front of the camera are terrific. I think people are going to enjoy it,” Sheindlin said.
Judge Judy attracts fans from across the world with her wit, which she says stems from her intolerance of people who lack respect and responsibility.
“I know there are a lot of snowflakes out there who say ‘Oh no. That’s not the way you should be talking to people.’ Well, that’s true. I mean, if you think that I could get away with this judicial demeanor if I was sitting on the Supreme Court in New York state, I probably couldn’t,” she said.
One similarity you’ll notice Judge Judy carried over is her new hairstyle, which caused a stir on social media with fans when she made the change.
“With COVID, I’m not really good at being face to face with people. I’m uncomfortable with it, because we’re older and more vulnerable. So I said I’ll do my own hair and makeup,” Sheindlin said.
“Are we going to be okay? This has been a rough year and a half,” Johnson said.
“I think we can’t get caught up in the idea that either you’re for us, or you’re against us. This is the greatest country in the world. If we weaken that country with a we-them mentality, we become a weak country,” Sheindlin said.
“Judy Justice” is streaming on Prime Video, and you can still watch Judge Judy on CBS2 at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.