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Judge Judy is an American court show featuring former family court judge Judith Sheindlin arbitrating over small claims cases. The series is in first-run syndication and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, the successor company to its previous distributors Worldvision Enterprises, Paramount Domestic Television, and CBS Paramount Domestic Television. Since premiering on September 16, 1996, the show has been the ratings leader in courtroom-themed reality-based shows. As of 2010, the Judge Judy program has been nominated 13 times for Daytime Emmy Awards. In January 2008, Judge Judy was extended through the 2012-13 season (the show's 17th). It was announced on May 2, 2011 that once again the show has been extended with Judy renewing her contract until 2015 which will be the show's 19th Season. The program earned Sheindlin a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which she was awarded in February 2006. Two DVDs have been released; the first in 2007 and the second the following year. The show's creation stemmed from Judith Sheindlin's reputation as one of the most outspoken family court judges in the country, becoming the topic of a Los Angeles Times article in February 1993. The piece caught the attention of 60 Minutes, leading to a segment about Sheindlin on the show, which brought her national recognition. This led to her being approached by television producers, who asked her to "preside" over her own courtroom reality show. The title of her show was originally going to be "Hot Bench" or "Her Honor". Unhappy with that title, however, Sheindlin convinced her television producer, Big Ticket, to change it. Although Judge Judy is the title of the show, it has also become a nickname for Judith Sheindlin. While the cases on Judge Judy are actual small claims court cases, it is not a public court of law (like all court TV shows) but rather a private arbitration court, and all parties must sign contracts agreeing to arbitration under Sheindlin. Even this status has been disputed: in Doo Wop Shoppe Ltd. v. Ralph Edwards, syndi-court justice was determined not to be an actual form of arbitration because a third party pays part of the cost of the judgment. This decision was subsequently overturned. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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