And if it’s anything like her current role on the iconic daytime courtroom program Judge Judy, it’s looking like a packed few years for the star.
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After she was named Forbes’ highest-grossing television host in 2018 – earning a whopping $203 million for her pithy sayings, quick wit and zero tolerance policy for B.S. – details of Sheindlin’s unusual schedule came to light.
And after telling Ellen DeGeneres in an interview yesterday she’s just “not tired yet” and intends to keep on working – it’s difficult not to marvel over Sheindlin’s work ethic.
Each season of Judge Judy features 260 new episodes, which Sheindlin packs into just 52 days of filming each year, spread over three days a week every other week, USA Today reported in 2018.
On alternating weeks, Sheindlin, who owns one of her many properties in New York, reportedly flies her private out jet to tape Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Appearing as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2011, Sheindlin confirmed that by spreading out the days of filming, and filming multiple cases in one day, she ends up working around five days a month.
Which means she would have earned about $103 million per month of shooting days in 2018.
Sheindlin and all the staff members from the show have two breaks per year.
One, an extra week off in December, with the show only taped one week out of that month due to the holidays, and the other in July, which means there’s only one week of taping that month as well.
For each season, some 650 claims are brought to the set to be “presided” over by Judge Judy.
The year-round taping schedule and long days of shooting clearly pay off, with the savvy business woman selling her entire 10,400 Judge Judy episode archive to US network CBS in 2017 for a whopping $130 million, The New York Post reported.
These re-runs will live long after Judge Judy ends, and while Sheindlin embarks on her new project, Judy Justice, which will reportedly be available to fans on streaming services rather than on a television network.
By the time the 25th season ends, Judge Judy would have won three Emmy awards and had the highest ratings in courtroom programming in the United States.
Judge Judy typically attracts 10 million viewers in its Monday through Friday afternoon timeslot and has been the No. 1 syndicated daytime program for nine years.
Production costs for court shows, in general, are typically low, estimated to be just $550,000 per week compared to entertainment news magazines, Broadcasting and Cable notes, which can run up to $1.37 million per week.
As a result, CBS has had an enormous return on their investment in Judge Judy.
It makes sense that Sheindlin’s production company is called “Queen Bee Productions,” because she drives a hard bargain and is known in the industry as a shrewd business woman.
Sheindlin, 77, who’s worth an estimated $600 million all up, offered these words of career advice in 2018: “In order to negotiate your own worth you have to make yourself indispensable,” she told Megan Kelly.
“Once you’re indispensable you set your own rules.”