Judge Joe Brown (Getty Images)

Judge Joe Brown is just behind Judge Judy when it comes to court-show ratings, but a 17 percent decline in his popularity reportedly led CBS to attempt to renegotiate his contract and ultimately cancel his program.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the daytime-television judge was making $20 million a year, so he'll probably be OK while he figures out his next step. Hopefully the 3.4 million viewers who depended on the antics of his courtroom for entertainment will, too:

"We would like to thank Joe for 15 great years," CTD said in a statement, "as well as executive producer John Terenzio and the entire staff for all their hard work and dedication to the show."

The cancellation comes after negotiations on a new contract broke down, apparently over Brown’s salary. He reportedly has been making $20 million a year, but CTD was looking to trim his compensation in line with a decline in his ratings.

In the recent February sweeps, Judge Brown had a 2.5 household rating, down 17 percent from the prior February. He attracted an average of 3.4 million daily viewers, down from an average of 4.1 million last February. In the key demographic for a daytime show, which is women 25-54, Brown had a 1.1 rating, down 15 percent from a year earlier.

Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.

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