Despite the long reigns of shows like Sesame Street, Law & Order: SVU and Survivor, nothing lasts forever. Look no further than the once thriving court show genre for this lesson. According to Variety, on Friday, Warner Bros. TV announced the cancellation of daytime staples The People’s Court and Judge Mathis. Running for 24 seasons, Judge Mathis was “the second longest-running court show in continued production with the same host.” However, if you’re a fan of Greg Mathis, there’s no need to be sad, as he has already booked his next TV case. The judge is moving on to a new series, Mathis Court, which is set to premiere on Justice Central in fall 2023.
Per Variety, Mathis joins a court show lineup that includes Justice with Judge Mablean; Supreme Justice with Judge Karen; The Verdict with Judge Hatchett; We the People with Judge Lauren Lake; and upcoming series Equal Justice with Judge Eboni K. Williams. Mathis calls the schedule “the Motown of court programming” because it features “the best of the best.”
Here’s the thing: do we really need another Judge Mathis court show? If we’re being honest, the format has become repetitive. Two people come in with a wildly ridiculous case, Judge Mathis makes a few one-liners as he hears the case, calls someone out on their illegal/unacceptable behavior, then he rules on the case. In recent years, he’s become particularly fond of calling people crackheads. You know how your dad hears a joke and thinks it’s so hilarious he needs to tell it to everyone? That’s Greg Mathis with his crackhead lines. Yes, the show makes for a fun distraction during the day, but if it’s getting stale, perhaps it’s time to try something new?
I understand the show has a loyal audience, but everything ends eventually and that’s OK. Isn’t it better for the series to bow out while people still remember it fondly, rather than continuing on in a new version that doesn’t have the same impact? No matter how close to the original the new show is, it’s still going to feel like a copy that doesn’t quite hit the same as the real version. Don’t believe me? Has American Idol been the same since it returned on ABC? Does House of the Dragon have the same emotional punch as Game of Thrones? Are you as invested in Law & Order: Organized Crime as you are in SVU? I don’t make the rules, that’s just how TV works sometimes.