People's Court, The


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The People's Court is an American arbitration-based reality court show currently presided over by retired Florida State Circuit Court Judge Marilyn Milian. Milian, the show's longest-reigning arbiter, handles small claims disputes in a simulated courtroom set.

The People's Court is the first court show to use binding arbitration, introducing the format into the genre in 1981. The system has been duplicated by most of the show's successors in the judicial genre. Moreover, The People's Court is the first popular, long-running reality in the judicial genre. It was preceded only by a few short-lived realities in the genre; these short-lived predecessors were only loosely related to judicial proceedings, except for one: Parole (1959) took footage from real-life courtrooms holding legal proceedings. Prior to The People's Court, the vast majority of TV courtroom shows used actors, and recreated or fictional cases (as did radio before that). Among examples of these types of court shows include Famous Jury Trials and Your Witness.

The People's Court has had two incarnations. The show's first life was presided over solely by former Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Wapner. His tenure lasted from the show's debut on September 14, 1981, until May 21, 1993, when the show was cancelled due to low ratings. This left the show with a total of 2,484 ½-hour episodes and 12 seasons. The show was taped in Los Angeles during its first life. After being cancelled, reruns aired until September 9, 1994.

On September 8, 1997, after being out of production for four years, The People's Court was revived for a second life in first-run syndication as a 60-minute program. Former lawyer and Mayor of New York Ed Koch was chosen as arbiter, which he maintained for 2 seasons. By the 1999–00 season, former New York State Supreme Court Judge Jerry Sheindlin succeeded Koch. Sheindlin only lasted one and a half seasons and was replaced towards the end of the 2000–01 season. In spring 2001, Milian took over The People's Court and has presided over the show ever since.

With 29 seasons in total as of 2013–14, The People's Court ranks as the 2nd longest-running courtroom series in history (behind Divorce Court).

 

Highlights
Joseph Wapner on shooting the pilot for The People's Court
01:28
Joseph Wapner on the ethical and legal considerations behind the The People's Court
01:23
Joseph Wapner on wanting to educate people on The People's Court
00:47
Joseph Wapner on awarding money on The People's Court
02:28
Joseph Wapner on what people learned from The People's Court
00:28
Who talked about this show

Ralph Edwards

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Ralph Edwards on producing The People's Court
01:53

Ruth Engelhardt

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Ruth Engelhardt on syndicating The People's Court
04:38

Joseph A. Wapner

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Joseph Wapner on shooting the pilot for The People's Court
01:28
Joseph Wapner on the ethical and legal considerations behind the The People's Court
01:23
Joseph Wapner on wanting to educate people on The People's Court
00:47
Joseph Wapner on awarding money on The People's Court
02:28
Joseph Wapner on what people learned from The People's Court
00:28
Joseph Wapner on Ralph Edwards and Stu Billett approaching him about doing a television show (The People's Court)
03:19
Joseph Wapner on The People's Court being featured in the film "Rain Man"
01:14
Joseph Wapner on the networks wanting an actor to play the judge on The People's Court
00:30
Joseph Wapner on how The People's Court was originally described to him and how the show was filmed
01:23
Joseph Wapner on the appeal of being on The People's Court
00:56
Joseph Wapner on memorable cases on The People's Court
03:26
Joseph Wapner on not being concerned with the music and drama of The People's Court
01:19
Joseph Wapner on delivering his decisions on The People's Court
03:30
Joseph Wapner on his process for making his decisions on The People's Court
00:51
Joseph Wapner on cases with pets on The People's Court and being the judge on Animal Court
01:06
Joseph Wapner on bad services that were judged on The People's Court
01:44
Joseph Wapner on a typical work week on The People's Court
01:03
Joseph Wapner on shooting The People's Court
00:57
Joseph Wapner on spontaneous moments on The People's Court
01:33
Joseph Wapner on the studio audience on The People's Court
00:16
Joseph Wapner on cases involving contracts on The People's Court
00:32
Joseph Wapner on what people say to him when they recognize him from The People's Court
01:05
Joseph Wapner on becoming famous from being on The People's Court
01:22
Joseph Wapner on his persona and the popularity of The People's Court
00:24
Joseph Wapner on the main function of a judge and of The People's Court: to get at the truth
01:30
Joseph Wapner on the set of The People's Court
00:50
Joseph Wapner on staying impartial on The People's Court
00:38
Joseph Wapner on suing based on principle on The People's Court
00:28
Joseph Wapner on his experiences with children on The People's Court
00:41
Joseph Wapner on the legacy of The People's Court
00:49
Joseph Wapner on why The People's Court ended and how the producers never told him he would no longer preside over the program
03:14
Joseph Wapner on the international reach of The People's Court
01:21
Joseph Wapner on Ed Koch taking over The People's Court and television judges after him
01:25
Joseph Wapner on returning for the 3000th episode of The People's Court
02:18
Joseph Wapner on the catchphrase on The People's Court - "Don't take the law into your own hands"
00:28
Joseph Wapner on timing and editing on The People's Court
01:12
Joseph Wapner on interacting with litigants on The People's Court
00:53
Joseph Wapner on the reactions of lawyers and judges on The People's Court
00:22
Joseph Wapner on his demeanor on The People's Court
01:04

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