EXCLUSIVE: Judith Sheindlin is expanding her footprint at Amazon Freevee (fka IMDb TV) with a second court program to join Judy Justice. Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service has given a series order to Tribunal, a panel-based show starring Patricia DiMango and Tanya Acker – two of the judges on Sheindlin’s CBS Media Ventures panel court program Hot Bench – as well as Sheindlin’s son, former District Attorney Adam Levy.
They will be joined by fan-favorite former Judge Judy bailiff Petri Hawkins-Byrd who will be the new show’s bailiff. Like Judy Justice, Tribunal is distributed by Scott Koondel’s Sox Entertainment. Former CBS executive Koondel and Sheindlin, who have worked together for 22 years, are executive producing the new program.
Created by Sheindlin, Tribunal will feature a panel of three judges collectively adjudicating real cases. Adding a unique twist to the court genre, Tribunal will include a video element, allowing viewers to follow scenes surrounding the events of each case.
“Tribunal is an exciting new format which combines traditional court with a video-enhanced presentation, ”said Judge Judy Sheindlin. “The panel of judges offers a dynamic combination of different backgrounds, experiences, and opinions that are unique, unparalleled, and compelling.”
Sheindlin and Koondel snagged DiMango and Acker when they recently became available after their most recent contracts for Hot Bench, which Sheindlin created and executive produces, expired. Hot Bench will be back next season with two new judges joining the show’s third panelist, Judge Michael Corriero, who is set to return.
Byrd’s hire will be welcome news for Judge Judy fans. He received wide support when he revealed last fall that he had not been invited to reprise his duties on Judy Justice.
“With the strong support our customers have shown for Judy Justice, we’re excited to add another Judge Sheindlin program to our slate, ”said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming at Freevee. “Judge Sheindlin has been a pioneer in creating premium courtroom content for more than 25 years and Tribunal reinforces our vision of a modern television network that embraces day-part agnostic programming. ”
The order for Tribunal follows the breakout success of Judge Sheindlin’s first streaming series, Judy Justice, which, in its first season, was Freevee’s number one original program in first streams and hours watched, with customers viewing more than 40 million hours to date. Recently renewed for a second season, the program broke streaming industry ground as the first series with a daily episodic release.
“We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Amazon Freevee. Over the past year we’ve worked closely with the team to bring Judy Justice to customers, and have been thrilled with the reception, ”said Koondel. “Freevee has made a home for Judy Justice, and we’re elated to have the opportunity to continue to develop Judge Sheindlin’s signature courtroom format. “
Judge Patricia DiMango is a former New York State Supreme Court Justice and Administrative Judge of the New York State Supreme Court, Criminal Term, Kings County..Judge Tanya Acker is a Yale Law School graduate, experienced civil litigator, former Judge Pro Tem in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Adam Levy, former Putnam County, New York District Attorney, and an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the New York Prosecutors Training Institute. In addition to Levy, his daughter, Sarah Rose, is also following in her grandmother Judge Sheindlin’s footsteps with a TV legal career; she is the law clerk on Judy Justice.