For nearly three decades, Judy Sheindlin has held sway as the most popular TV judge in the world. This is thanks to her courtroom show, Judge Judy, which debuted in 1996. Since its launch, Judge Judy has grown to become the most-watched daytime show in the world with an average of nine million viewers each day. The show has also garnered several awards including three daytime Emmys for outstanding legal/courtroom program. On a personal level, Sheindlin has received several accolades for her work including an Emmy Lifetime Achievement award. She has also been well-remunerated and is now one of the highest-paid TV personalities in the world.
The jurist is set to continue her domination in the foreseeable future, albeit on a new platform, but there is a new sheriff in town and he is none other than infamous TV host, Jerry Springer. A former politician-turned-journalist, Springer rose to fame thanks to his sensational eponymous talk show. The show, which covered everything from cheating spouses to incestuous siblings, was happily gobbled up by millions of viewers. Jerry was thus well rewarded for his efforts and accomplished a handsome net worth in the process. The Jerry Springer Show sadly wrapped up in 2018 but Springer is not giving up yet. The iconic host has now launched his own courtroom series and fans are salivating over the prospect of him challenging Judge Judy’s domination of that territory.
Judge Judy Net Worth and How She Made Her Wealth
Judge Judy Sheindlin has a net worth estimated at $445 million, making her one of the wealthiest self-made women in the United States of America. Her fortune comes from several sources including her work on her iconic TV show.
She Hosted the Courtroom Show for 25 Years
Judy Sheindlin owes a major portion of her net worth to her illustrious work on the Judge Judy Show. The Brooklyn native began hosting the show in 1996 and it quickly caught on with audiences, thanks to her acerbic wit and fast-talking manner, as well as the intriguing legal disputes. The show would dethrone Oprah as the most-watched daytime show in 2009 and retained that position till 2019, averaging about nine million viewers each day. Such numbers mean that Sheindlin has received juicy contract extensions.
Her paycheck stood at $25 million per annum in 2005 and five years later, it rose to about $45 million. The amount would then increase to $47 million in 2012 and would remain the standard until the show wrapped up in 2019. Judge Judy Sheindlin is now set to take her show to Amazon streaming service under the title Judy Justice. There is no official word on what she would earn but it would depend on the number of streams and digital downloads her show can garner.
Congratulations Your Honor – @JudgeJudy sets TV career record http://t.co/wf7fbCPrAV pic.twitter.com/e94HTSA2bk
— Guinness World Records (@GWR) September 19, 2015
She Sold the Rights to Her Extensive Judge Judy Library for $100 Million
In 2017, Judy Sheindlin reached an agreement to sell her extensive library of Judge Judy episodes to CBS. The contract covered about 5,200 episodes in the vault already, as well as the extra hundreds of episodes that she produced between 2017 and 2019.
The deal saw the Brooklyn native walk away with a cool $100 million, though some sources put it at $95 million. Whichever it is, there is no doubt that this was a huge payday for our favorite TV judge and it helped her to top the list of Forbes highest-paid TV stars the following year.
Judy Created the Panel-Based Court Show, Hot Bench
Sheindlin is the brains behind the CBS courtroom drama, Hot Bench. Hot Bench is much similar to her show in the sense that they arbitrate small claims. The major difference however is that each claim is adjudicated by a panel of three judges rather than just one judge.
Judy was inspired to conceive the show after she visited Ireland and observed their judicial system. She believed that the panel-based format would give way to some interesting dynamic and so pitched the idea to the CBS executives.
Her predictions came true. Since its launch in 2014, Hot Bench has grown from strength to strength and has aired more than 1000 episodes to date. Judge Judy meanwhile receives about $2 million per annum as the series creator.
Judge Jerry Net Worth and the Sources of His Fortune
Jerry Springer may still be a newbie in the courtroom drama genre but he had enjoyed a successful TV career spanning about four decades and has been able to build up a net worth estimated at $60 million. The iconic TV host earned his fortune from several sources and they include his daytime show.
The Jerry Springer Show Ran for about 28 Years
Jerry Springer owes his fame and fortune to his signature daytime talk show, The Jerry Springer Show. The show debuted in 1991 as a political discussion show. This failed to garner viewers and so the producers repackaged it and brought it back as a talk show exploring sensational topics such as cheating spouses and incestuous relatives.
This reformation was an instant hit with fans and the show soon started averaging six million viewers daily, making it one of the most-watched daytime shows ever. The show admittedly received tons of criticisms for its debasing of humanity but it was able to survive for about 28 years and Springer was paid as much as $8 million per annum as its host.
7 minutes edited down to 24 seconds. Enjoy this SPRINGER SHORT! #jerryspringer #judgejerry #realitytv #Xbox pic.twitter.com/FYhMfXcR7k
— Jerry Springer Show (@SpringerTV) October 23, 2020
Springer Has Featured in Several Movies and Hosted Several Talent Shows
Springer’s career on TV has not just been limited to his show. He has been tapped to appear in several movies and TV series including Roseanne, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Gary & Mike, Ringmaster, The Defender, and Citizen Verdict.
He has also hosted two seasons of America’s Got Talent and served as the emcee of the 2000 and 2001 editions of the Miss World Pageant. Springer additionally deployed his trademark savviness in hosting the 2008 edition of the Miss Universe Pageant. All these have paid him salaries in the six and seven-figure region.
Who Has a Higher Net Worth: Judge Judy or Judge Jerry?
Given the foregoing, it is obvious that Judge Judy is about six times wealthier than Judge Jerry. The disparity in wealth can be attributed to the gap in their salaries which is a result of the disparity in the popularity of their shows.
Judge Judy attracted an average of nine million viewers each day while The Jerry Springer Show attracted about six million at its peak. More viewers of course mean more revenue for the show and so, it is only natural that Judge Judy earned more than Springer.
Is Judge Judy a Real Judge?
The Brooklyn native is indeed a real judge. Judy Sheindlin (Judy Susan Blum) obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University in Washington D.C. before going on to complete her law degree at the New York Law School in 1965. She passed the New York State Bar that same year and delved into legal practice without much ado.
Judge Judy spent a few years in corporate law practice before leaving to take care of the home front. She subsequently resurrected her career upon being hired as a prosecutor in the family courts division in 1972. Judy spent ten years as a prosecutor during which she set herself apart with her no-nonsense attitude.
She was thus appointed as a criminal court judge in 1982. Judy Sheindlin spent four years as a judge before rising to become the supervising judge of the family court division. She would retain that role until she left to do her TV show in 1996. As at the time of retiring from the bench in 1996, Judge Judy had presided over more than 20,000 cases.
@POTUS please please please @JudgeJudy for #SCOTUSnominee pic.twitter.com/8YWqW7o0KS
— 🇺🇲 That James 🍍🐉 (@geek3point0) March 23, 2016
How about Judge Jerry, Is He a Real Judge?
Jerry Springer is indeed a real judge but unlike Judge Judy who spent 14 years as a judge before moving to the TV, Springer only took a qualifying course to be a judge in order to be able to adjudicate the cases that will come his way on the courtroom show that he launched in 2019 titled Judge Jerry. The process of getting certified as a judge was a breeze-through for him and this is because of his previous legal background.
The iconic TV host obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University in 1965 and completed his law degree (J.D.) at Northwestern University in 1968. He qualified as a lawyer that same year and spent the next few years practicing privately before contesting for public office in the early 70s. He would succeed in this quest and was variously elected as a councilman and mayor. Springer however maintained his law practice as a side gig for some time before leaving it entirely to focus on journalism in the 90s.
When Did Judge Judy and Judge Jerry Start Making TV Appearances?
Judge Judy may be wealthier than Judge Jerry but he started his TV show before hers. Jerry Springer got his eponymous TV show in September 1991 while Judy got hers, five years later, in September 1996.
Springer’s show would run until 2018, making for a total of 27 seasons, while Judge Judy’s show would run till 2019, making a total of 25 seasons. It must be pointed out that while Judge Judy’s TV appearances started with her courtroom show, Springer’s dates beyond his popular show. The Tulane alum spent much of the 80s working as a news anchor in Cincinnati and grew to be quite famous. He, therefore, had a decade of broadcasting experience before landing his own show while Judge Judy went straight from the bench to her iconic show.
Today is WORLD TELEVISION DAY! 📺📺📺
Jerry Springer has been on TV since the 1980s, and we couldn't imagine TV without him! #WorldTelevisionDay #JerrySpringer #JudgeJerry pic.twitter.com/TGY3xzRQex
— Judge Jerry (@JudgeJerryTV) November 21, 2020
How Much Does Judge Judy Earn in Salary Compared to Judge Jerry?
Judge Judy earns an annual paycheck that is five times more than that of Judge Jerry. In the course of her 25-years long show, the Brooklyn native constantly received raises and her salary eventually peaked at $47 million per annum.
This is in stark contrast to Jerry Springer whose highest salary at the Jerry Springer Show is pegged at $8 million.
Both personalities have since moved on from their signature shows to new ventures and the exact worth of their new deals is not known. It is reasonable to assume though that they would still earn something close to what they commanded previously.
Who Spends More Money Between The Two TV Judges?
Given that both Judge Judy and Judge Jerry are advanced in age, one would not expect them to live the typical extravagant lifestyle of the young, rich, and famous. They rather spend their wealth in an understated but classic manner.
For instance, Judge Jerry owns homes in cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago, and Florida. His Florida mansion is his primary residence and costs about $1.3 million. It has four bedrooms and five bathrooms and covers over 6,000 square feet.
It is from this Florida home that Judge Jerry commutes to meet all of his work obligations in distant places such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He, therefore, requires an efficient means of transportation, and his needs are met by his private jet, a Bombardier Learjet 35. The jet carries about eight passengers and has an amazing low fuel consumption. Its price is pegged at $14 million.
On her own part, Judge Judy is living quite the life with several properties to her name. The Emmy award winner has an estate portfolio worth $50 million. It comprises a penthouse in Naples which has four bedrooms and an enclosed lagoon (worth $11 million); an extended family-friendly mansion in Naples (worth $8.6 million); and a five-bedroom condo in Beverly Hills (worth $10.7 million). Others are a four-bedroom duplex in Upper East Side New York (worth $8.5 million); a six-bedroom mansion in Newport (worth $9 million); and a manor in Greenwich, Connecticut (worth $13.2 million). The Connecticut home serves as her primary residence. It sits on 12.5 acres of land and has nine bedrooms.
For getting around, Judge Judy owns a collection of cars, including a Bentley Convertible and a Lexus, as well as a Cessna 750 Citation X private jet which price is put at $20 – $21 million.
The jurist previously owned a yacht christened the Triumphant. The vessel is 152 feet long and has about five rooms for 14 guests. There is also a glass-bottom pool spa as well as other fine facilities. Judge Judy reportedly bought the yacht for about $16 million in the early 2010s. Recent reports however have it that she has offloaded the vessel.