Television: Here Come The Judges

The verdict is in. Real-life court shows are getting meaner, tougher and, as a result, more popular than ever

There are few pleasures greater than watching somebody get yelled at. You loved it when your mom stuck it to your brother, and you love it now, rubbernecking to see a cop pull a car over. One of the best spots for catching good, stern lectures in our authority-free culture is the bench of lower-court judges. These guys can lay into punks and deadbeats like Father Knows Best on a caffeine jag.

And that may explain the success of Judy Sheindlin, a former New York City family-court judge and the resident scourge on Judge Judy, which as of this month is...

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