Judge Mathis and The People’s Court are ending their long TV runs, both victims of challenging market conditions within the daytime syndication landscape. Judge Mathis has been on the air for 24 seasons, winning a 2018 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program. It was the first court show featuring an African American jurist to win. The People’s Court won four Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program in 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021, which is the most wins for a court show in this category, and received 12 nominations. The People’s Court is the first court show to use binding arbitration, introducing the format into the genre in 1981, and it is the first popular, long-running reality series in the judicial genre.
The People’s Court, on which Wapner decided real small-claims from 1981 to 1993, was one of the granddaddies of the syndicated reality shows of today. His affable, no-nonsense approach attracted many fans, putting The People’s Court in the top five in syndication at its peak.