Ensuring that daytime TV viewers will never be left without the scathing wit and withering judgment that provides their lives with structure, CBS TV has announced that it’s extending its contract with Judge Judy Sheindlin through 2020. The contract extension will add three more seasons to Sheindlin’s ridiculously lucrative syndicated program, Judge Judy, and earn the televised adjudicator, already one of the world’s highest-paid entertainers, another $150 million. It also grants CBS first-look rights at any new shows from Sheindlin’s Queen Bee Prods., which recently launched Hot Bench, a show that combines the high drama of small claims court with the riveting interplay of an American Idol panel by throwing plaintiffs and defendants in front of three judges at once. (It also dares viewers to take seriously a judge named Larry.)
Given that CBS is willing to plan this far ahead to keep Sheindlin on board, showing the kind of aggressive foresight usually only applied to superhero movies or soccer, it seems inevitable that the network will eventually offer her a contract in perpetuity, allowing Judge Judy’s reign to extend into humanity’s grim future. “Don’t piss up my leg and tell me that it’s raining,” she will declare, from within the blood-drenched cyber-throne that keeps her black heart beating. Her bailiff legions will exchange worried glances with their cold metal eyes. “What is rain?” one will whisper, from a dark future where the only falling waters are the tears of those torn limb from limb in a summary judgment. His fellows will turn away, deaf to his question, and drag another ex-boyfriend who owes his cyber-girlfriend cyber-back rent before the cruel mercies of the court.