Judy Sheindlin and CBS Television Distribution said Monday that the feisty former New York state judge has signed on for two more years of "Judge Judy." It's one of the top daytime TV shows, seen by roughly 10 million people each episode.
Her current contract runs through 2015, and the new deal extends her through 2017. That would give her 21 years on the air, which she compared Monday to a winning hand in blackjack. Sheindlin, who is 70, gave no indication that she has plans to retire.
A spokesman had no comment on whether Sheindlin will be getting a raise from her reported $45 million annual salary, which had made her the highest paid person on television. She reportedly works just 52 days a year, NPR reports.
While much has been written about the staggering salaries of late night hosts, such as Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien, day-time hosts actually can bring in much bigger bucks. According to various reports, Judge Joe Brown, for instance, was earning $20 million a year, more than Jon Stewart and only a few million less than late-night king Jay Leno. (Brown later disputed those reports, claiming that he quit the show because CBS "only" paid him $5 million a year.)
In any event, Sheindlin's show has a huge audience, 9 million viewers, versus the 3.5 million that Leno typically gets. As NPR's entertainment blogger Linda Holmes notes, "Late night is a huge thing because we've decided it's a huge thing. We've decided that guys in suits in front of curtains are important and women in lace collars behind benches are not so important, even if the lace collars are bringing in two or three times the eyeballs and making twice the money. ..."
AOL Jobs contributed to this report.
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