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Fans of Judge Judy will notice someone missing when Judge Judy Sheindlin makes her return to TV in November on the new IMDB show Judy Justice.
Petri Hawkins-Byrd, who served as bailiff throughout the show’s entire 25-year run, opened up to Entertainment Weekly about his absence from the forthcoming series.
“My assumption is if you were going on to do something else, that you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role,” Byrd said.
Shortly after CBS wrapped production on Judge Judy’s final season in April 2020, Byrd reached out to the judge about his role: “It wasn’t until July that I called the judge and asked, ‘Hey, should I look for something else or am I included in the Judy Justice project?’” he explained.
Byrd continued, “She informed me I was not being asked to come along on the project. I didn’t inquire as to why, that’s her choice. But she did inform me that fundamentally, I was priced out as the new bailiff on her new show. My salary would have been too much. I was curious: How would she know? She didn’t ask me. She didn’t give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary.”
The news arrives more than a year after Sheindlin announced Judy Justice during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March of 2020.
“I’ve had a 25-year-long marriage with CBS, and it’s been successful,” she explained to Ellen. “Next year will be our 25th season, silver anniversary, and CBS sort of felt, I think, they wanted to optimally utilize the repeats of my program,” she said. “Because now they have 25 years of reruns. So what they decided to do was to sell a couple of years’ worth of reruns. But I’m not tired, so Judy Justice will be coming out a year later.”