Judge Judy is returning to TV with a new court show… and her longtime bailiff has an objection.
After wrapping up a 25-year run with the syndicated Judge Judy, Judith Sheindlin is launching Judy Justice, a new court show that will stream weekdays on IMDb TV starting Monday, Nov. 1. But she’s also switching bailiffs, replacing Petri Hawkins Byrd, who served as Judge Judy‘s bailiff for all 25 years, with a new bailiff named Kevin Rasco. And no, it wasn’t Byrd’s choice not to return.
“She informed me I was not being asked to come along on the project,” Byrd tells EW.com of a conversation he had with Sheindlin when he asked her if he’d be joining her on Judy Justice. Byrd recalls that Sheindlin told him he “was priced out as the new bailiff on her new show. My salary would have been too much.” But “how would she know?” he notes. “She didn’t ask me. She didn’t give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary.”
Byrd assumed that “if you were going on to do something else, that you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role,” he adds. But that didn’t happen, and Byrd still doesn’t understand why he wasn’t asked back. His conversation with Sheindlin ended amicably, though: “That’s just the way it went. I just know that God has something else for me.”
Sheindlin released a statement saying that “Byrd is terrific and we had a great 25 year run.” But, she added, “this is a whole new program with a whole new cast and an exciting energy.”
Judy Justice features Sheindlin judging cases along with a new team of legal helpers including Rasco — who provided personal security for Sheindlin during her days on Judge Judy — along with court stenographer Whitney Kumar and law clerk Sarah Rose, who is also Sheindlin’s granddaughter.