‘Hot Bench' Sold to Stations in 75% of the Country Including Stations in the CBS Television Stations, Tribune Broadcasting Company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Media Group, Meredith Corp., LIN Television Corp., Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Journal Broadcast Group, Gray Television and Cowles Publishing Company
LOS ANGELES – January 23, 2014 – CBS Television Distribution (CTD) has sold the new syndicated court strip HOT BENCH in 75% of the country for a Fall 2014 launch, it was announced today by Armando Nuñez, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CBS Global Distribution Group.
Created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, who headlines the #1 show in syndication JUDGE JUDY, HOT BENCH was sold to stations in the following station groups: CBS Television Stations, Tribune Broadcasting Company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Media Group, Meredith Corp., LIN Television Corp., Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Journal Broadcast Group, Gray Television and Cowles Publishing Company. The strip will air mostly in afternoon and early-fringe time periods.
"Judy Sheindlin has been a very important part of the CBS family for many years, and everyone at our company is excited to launch this new show and bring Judy's creative vision to the air," Nuñez said. "Court has traditionally been a strong performer for stations, and we're sure this unique take on the genre will be a great addition to the lineups of our station partners."
HOT BENCH adds a new dimension to the court genre, with a panel of three judges hearing court cases, arguing the merits of the case amongst themselves and rendering a verdict.
"When my husband Jerry and I were in Ireland recently, we visited the courts and watched a three judge bench, which I found both fascinating and compelling," Sheindlin said. "I immediately thought what a terrific and unique idea for a television program that brings the court genre to the next level. We have assembled three individuals with extremely varied backgrounds to serve as the judges. They are smart and talented, with terrific instincts and great chemistry, and are sure to create a ‘hot bench.' "
‘Hot Bench' is a term used to describe a court where the judge or judges frequently interrupt lawyers' presentations with questions, often leading to lively exchanges.
HOT BENCH's trio of judges are Judge Patricia DiMango and attorneys Tanya Acker and Larry Bakman.
DiMango is a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Brooklyn. According to a recent New York Times front page story, she is known for her "brash style and forceful personality," as well as her efficiency in closing old cases. She was appointed to the bench by Mayor Rudolph W. Guiliani in 1995. She graduated from St. John's University School of Law and received her master's degree in developmental psychology from Teacher's College at Columbia University while teaching third grade at Public School 164 in Brooklyn.
Acker is a Los Angeles-based practicing attorney and political, social and legal commentator. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and earned her undergraduate degree at Howard University in Washington DC. Her television appearances include "Good Morning America," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Anderson Cooper 360," "CNBC Reports," "Larry King Live" and "Issues With Jane Velez Mitchell." She has also appeared on Sky News in Great Britain and has been a contributor to the "Huffington Post."
Bakman, a member of the State Bar in California and New York, has had a private legal practice in Los Angeles since 1983. His practice focuses on defending clients charged with complex federal and state criminal violations, such as conspiracy, fraud, assaults and narcotic possession and distribution. Bakman is a graduate of Southwestern Law School and earned his undergraduate degree at UCLA.
HOT BENCH is created by Judge Judy Sheindlin and executive produced by Randy Douthit, who currently serves as Executive Producer and Director of JUDGE JUDY. The half-hour strip will be produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution.
CBS Television Distribution is the preeminent company in television syndication. CTD produces or distributes 11 first-run series and holds the largest distributed television library at 70,000 hours strong. Among CTD's critically-acclaimed programs are the #1 syndicated series Judge Judy; talk leader Dr. Phil; the #1 and #2 rated game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!; the Emmy Award-winning talk shows Rachael Ray and The Doctors; the #1 and #2 newsmagazines Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition, along with The Insider; the late-night talk show The Arsenio Hall Show; the freshman talk show The Test; and popular off-network product, including the CSI and Star Trek franchises, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, NCIS, Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, Hot in Cleveland and Undercover Boss. In addition, CTD handles the domestic television distribution of CBS News, CBS Films and Showtime. CTD is a unit of CBS Corp.