Judge Judy is back on the air, though the show has the new title as Judy Justice. Judy Sheindlin is back on the bench, this time for IMDB TV and while fans are happy to see her return, there is a rather notable absence for those most dedicated to the program.
During the entire run of the previous version of the program, Petri Hawkins Byrd served as Sheindlin’s bailiff, so many expected him to return. Instead, there’s a new bailiff in Kevin Rasco.
Showrunners haven’t commented publicly about the change to the lineup. However, Byrd is finally willing to give his side of the story. In particular, he took issue with that he was told as far as why he wasn’t brought back. The long-time on-screen pal of Sheindlin said he was told his contract would cost too much. However, he added he was never approached and never asked. That has made him skeptical, considering the producers would never know whether he was too expensive at all.
Strife Behind The Scenes Of ‘Judy Justice’
Byrd said he was completely left out of discussions for Judy Justice, which will debut on IMDb TV on November 1. He claimed did not even know about Sheindlin’s plans to start a new courtroom show until she announced it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March 2020. When filming started on the final season of Judge Judy, Byrd said never had a chance to bring up the show with Sheindlin because she filmed remotely from New York while he and everyone else worked in Los Angeles.
“My assumption is if you were going on to do something else,” he said in a recent interview. “That you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role.”
Things became more difficult once shooting for the previous show. Byrd had to focus on his wife, who developed a brain tumor. While she’s recovering and on the mend, he said it wasn’t until July that he had the time to call and ask her if he was included in the Justice Judy project.
Salary The Issue Somehow?
When Sheindlen told him he wasn’t being offered a job he didn’t push her as to why. She blamed the budget.
“I didn’t inquire as to why, that’s her choice,” he said. “But she did inform me that fundamentally, I was priced out as the new bailiff on her new show.”
He was also confused by that answer.
“How would she know?” he added. “She didn’t ask me. She didn’t give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary.”
For her part, Sheindlen said Judy Justice is supposed to have a different feel from her previous show. In the end, she may have just decided to go in another direction.
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