The People's Court is currently a 60 minute (since September 8, 1997) reality series that airs in syndication. In its original version it ran from September 14, 1981 to May 21, 1993 for a whopping 2,484 - 30 minute episodes. It highlights small claims court cases that cover everything from dog fights to disagreements over how assets should be split up after a divorce. The cases are often quite interesting and offer a legal education to the viewer.
The People's Court Cast
Joseph Wapner (1980 Pilot + 1981-1993)
Ed Koch (1997-1999)
Jerry Sheindlin (1999-2001)
Marilyn Milian (2001-Present)
Rusty Burrell (1980 Pilot + 1981-1993)
Josephine Ann Longobardi (1997-2001)
Davy Jones (2001)
Douglas McIntosh (2001-Present)
Jack Harrell (1980 Pilot + 1981-1993)
Curt Chaplin (1997-)
Doug Llewelyn (1980 Pilot + 1981-1993)
Carol Martin (1997-1998)
Harvey Levin (1997-Present)
The People's Court Opening Narrative
What you are about to witness is real.
The participants are not actors.
They are actual litigants with a case pending in civil court.
Both parties have agreed to drop their claims and have their cases settled here before Judge Marilyn Milian, in our forum:
The People's Court.
The People's Court Closing Narrative
If you're involved in a dispute with another party and you just can't work it out, don't take the law into your own hands ... you take 'em to court.
The People's Court Trivia
Reruns of the original version of the People's Court aired until September 9, 1994 and later aired on the USA Network from October 16, 1995 to June 6, 1997.
The People's Court is a bi-coastal series. The original version was taped in Los Angeles, California and the latter version is taped in New York City.
The court cases on The People's Court are not sanctioned by any government agency so the verdicts are handed down via binding arbitration. That's a legal term that simply means that the litigants have legally sworn to obey the Judge's decision.
You might be thinking that Judge Jerry Sheindlin's last name sounds familiar even if you never saw The People's Court when he presided over it. That's because he's the husband of Judge Judith Sheindlin, better known as "Judge Judy".
There were other courtroom shows on television prior to The People's Court including "Traffic Court" in 1957 and "People's Court of Small Claims" in 1959 but they were either fictional or recreated cases with actors. Even before that there were radio shows including "Mr. District Attorney" and "Perry Mason". The People's court was the first courtroom series however that showed real-life people pleading real-life cases.
The creator of The People's Court, "John Masterson" first pitched the idea to "Monty Hall", best known as the host of the game show, "Let's Make a Deal". Hall was also a producer and tried to sell the idea to the networks but they all turned it down. It eventually became a huge success in syndication and the network executives are now crying themselves to sleep!
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