From making courtroom decisions to making monetary gains, the iconic TV judge, Judy Sheindlin, became the highest earning television host this year. The TV judge, whose courtroom decisions have been announced in living rooms throughout the U.S. since September of 1996, now claims a position at the top of a list featuring several other prominent TV hosts with shows that dominate ratings.
Judge Judy's on-air deliberations have transformed the New York born, family court judge into a pop culture juggernaut. Having been parodied on shows like The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, while also holding the record for longest career as a TV Judge according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Judge Judy has become a household name. After 23 seasons and with three long-awaited Emmy wins under her belt, Judge Judy decided her salary no longer sufficed.
Found at the very top of a list reported by Forbes, Judge Judy passed up several colleagues to become the highest paid TV host. Those fellow hosts included Steve Harvey (Family Feud), Ryan Seacrest (American Idol and Live with Kelly and Ryan), Dr. Phil McGraw (Dr. Phil), and Ellen Degeneres (Ellen). Judge Judy substantially increased her earnings to $147 million pre-tax this year, due in large part to selling the rights to thousands of reruns of her show. This is not the only Forbes list that Sheindlin's featured on, as her new raise also makes her the 48th wealthiest "self made" American woman.
In September, the notable judge was featured as a guest on Norm MacDonald's new Netflix series – Norm McDonald Has a Show. The show's platform allowed viewers to witness a different side of the generally intimidating judge. The judge and the SNL alum chatted about a variety of topics, as is common on MacDonald's loosely structured show; though, they focused heavily on legal questions on a variety of cases that had peaked MacDonald's interest.
Marking a new turn in a lengthy career, Judge Judy has used her legal know-how to negotiate an appropriate price for her re-runs, resulting in her new pay-grade. Though this means that the judge will be making a rather unimaginable amount of money, she doesn't have plans to retire in the near-future. CBS renewed her contract through the 2019-2020 season, meaning that viewers have at least a few more years with their favorite judge. Hopefully, though, she remains atop Forbes' list for several seasons to come.