Syndication and Distribution

Exclusive : 'Judge Joe Brown' to End After This Season

What stations will air in its place next fall remains undecided 3/26/2013 02:51:22 PM Eastern

After 15 years in syndication, CBS Television Distribution's
Judge Joe Brown is ending its run.

"Judge Joe Brown will not be returning for
another season. We would like to thank Joe for 15 great years, as well as
executive producer John Terenzio and the entire staff for all their hard work
and dedication to the show," said a spokesperson for CBS Television
Distribution in a statement.

Ultimately, CTD and Brown could not come to an agreement on
terms of a new contract. For the past seven years, CTD has agreed to a profit split with Brown, according to Brown.

"It was time to move out on my own since I had some ideas that I had been having to pull teeth with no novocaine to get adopted," said Brown. Brown also said that CTD was "difficult to deal with" and "applied zero public relations and zero advertisement" to his show.

CTD says the profit margins on Judge Joe Brown have been growing slimmer. Indeed, just this week the show finished down 16% from
the prior week to a season-low 2.1 live plus same day national household
rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Ratings for all of the court
shows, except CTD's leader, Judge Judy, are down as much as 20% year to
year, and that is affecting those shows' profit margins.

CTD had been shopping a replacement judge, Judge Geoffrey
Gaither of Marion County, Ind., to TV station groups in recent weeks. However,
several sources said Fox, which licenses Judge Joe Brown in the
country's biggest markets, refused to switch out the judges. A representative
from the Fox Television Stations declined to comment.

That left CTD with a dilemma -- the company had no deal with
the star of the show that it originally sold to stations, and its main client
refused to accept a substitute. As a result, Judge Joe Brown will go off
the air, at least with CTD as a distributor.

Brown and his team have been meeting with other distributors
in recent months, including Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios. Entertainment
Studios also did not return calls for comment.

Brown has big plans in place for himself, launching a production company called Celebritunity. The company already is shopping several ideas to distributors, including a daily three-hour radio show featuring Brown, that may turn into a new TV show also featuring him. There already are plans to air the radio show in 30 markets, Brown said. Brown and his partners also plan to produce a new court show featuring retired California Judge Deann Salcido, and have several other projects in the works.

Brown said that announcements regarding distributors for these projects are forthcoming.

Now the question is what Judge Joe Brown affiliates
will air in the half-hour strip's place. Each station has until next September
to find replacement programming.

Judge Joe Brown premiered in September 1998, and has
been the second-highest rated court show, behind just Judge Judy, since
its premiere. The show is executive produced by John Terenzio and Big Ticket
Television and distributed by CTD.

Updated March 26, 2013, 3:18 pm PT

March