The final episode of 25-year-old TV show Judge Judy aired on Tuesday. But 78-year-old Judy Sheindlin, who oversaw “roughly 12,750” cases over the course of the series (per the Wall Street Journal), isn’t hanging up her robe. Instead, she’s headed to Amazon’s IMDB TV. That’s right, like all the other cool kids, Judge Judy is cutting the cord.
A factor in her decision to depart old-fashioned television was apparently Drew Barrymore…or, more precisely, her talk show. From the WSJ:
Her exit was also tinged by something she perceived as a slight. Last fall, when CBS introduced a syndicated talk show hosted by Drew Barrymore, some CBS stations in major markets made room for it by moving the court show “Hot Bench” to their secondary channels. Ms. Sheindlin is the creator of “Hot Bench,” which features a panel of three judges and launched in 2014. This season so far, “Hot Bench” has averaged 2.3 million viewers, compared with 719,000 for “The Drew Barrymore Show.”
“You disrespected my creation,” Ms. Sheindlin says of the handling of “Hot Bench” by CBS. “And you were wrong. Not only in disrespecting my creation, but your gamble in what you put in its place.”
“We had a nice marriage,” she adds with a laugh. “It’s going to be a Bill and Melinda Gates divorce.”
My god, I can hear her saying that, can’t you?
The Amazon show won’t stray too far from the good old Judge Judy format, but a higher budget means the content of the cases might change. Sheindlin says that in the past, the show’s smaller bank account meant they were confined to small-claims-type stuff, but with the new show, she’s hoping for matters from courts that deal with issues like estates and wills.
The Amazon/IMDB series doesn’t have a name yet, but she’s locked in for at least one, 120-episode season, which will be taped over five months. (Again, Sheindlin is 78 years old. I am only 50 and am exhausted just driving to my local courthouse.) And if it tanks, well, she’s OK with that. If Amazon doesn’t sign her for another year, then she’ll know it didn’t perform, but no big whoop, she says. “At this point, I don’t need that validation of my footprint.” — EB
New game Overboard! isn’t true crime (I HOPE), but it’s relevant to our interests. Best Evidence bestie Tara Ariano pointed us toward the freshly-launched game, which is available for iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. Described by review site Rock Paper Shotgun as “part Agatha Christie-esque farce, part intricate 2D puzzle game,” its idea is this: You’re a golden-age-of-Hollywood starlet named Veronica Villensey, and you just pushed your husband overboard (hence the name) during a luxury transatlantic cruise. Your job, as the player, is to successfully implicate someone else or otherwise avoid detention or arrest.
Polygon’s brief take is positive, saying, “We need more games about husband murder, if you ask me.” And the Guardian just loves it, writing that “as a Switch or smartphone game, it feels like carrying a little detective paperback around with you, except here you are the lead character, author and reader.”
So, anyway, I want to reaffirm that Best Evidence is about true crime, not detective novels or fictional thrillers or any of that other wonderful stuff. But I suspect that Tara thought the game would really hit a lot of our sweet spots, and I suspect she must be right. And aren’t you sick of Animal Crossing yet? — EB
Buzzfeed Unsolved: True Crime is approaching the end of the line. The five-year-old YouTube series has clocked in 16.6 billion minutes watched and 1.3 billion cumulative views, Buzzfeed says in a press release, and that’s apparently enough: Season 8, which kicks off on June 18, will be its last.
This is one of those shows that YouTube is always “suggesting” to me, and when something I’m watching rolls into it, it’s…fine? But the release suggests that the series (which is hosted by Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej) has its serious fans, which I am willing to believe. Are you one of them?
This season, they’re tackling subjects like Princess Diana and George “Superman” Reeves, both of whom died under circumstances that have been debated ever since. Will they crack the cases? Probably not: as Madej said in the press release, “I can’t believe we’ve made it this far without solving a single crime.” I think it’s safe to assume that they won’t be breaking their streak now. — EB
If you had told me that one day I’d be listening to a podcast from Harvard Business Review, I’d ask you precisely how I’d sold out and if this future me was rich or what. But here I am, future Eve, and not only have I only sold out in the way we all must in a capitalist society, I’m here listening to HBR. But it’s HBR that changes, not me: like any smart publication, they’ve hopped on the true-crime trend.
The audio content I’m talking about is part of HBR IdeaCast, which has episodes titled things like “The Career Rules You Didn't Learn at School” and zzzzzzzahhkejhew oh what sorry, dozed off there. So you’ll kind of have to pick and choose if you subscribe, as buried within is an ongoing series called The Rise and Fall of Carlos Ghosn, a show about the auto magnate who was arrested on corruption allegations, then jumped bail by stowing away in a box on a private plane headed to Lebanon. (Here’s a recap of the affair, which I assume will be adapted into three competing TV/movie projects shortly.)
It’s “inspired and informed” by an upcoming book on the scandal called Collision Course: Carlos Ghosn and the Culture Wars That Upended an Auto Empire. The podcast will run in four parts (the first episode is out and can be listened to above), and so far, it’s really interesting — it’s got a process-focused narrative that I think a lot of you will also like. After you listen, you might never look at Nissan the same way again. Here it is on Apple, Google, and Spotify if you’re intrigued. — EB
Friday on Best Evidence: Burnt authors.