Q: I wonder about all those “judge” shows — Judge Judy, Faith and so on. Are they really judges? What degrees do they have? What qualifies them to make judicial decisions? Or are these just entertainment shows?
A: Sure, courtroom shows want to be entertaining. But they also want to convey a sense that their legal judgments are real, more than some did in years past. “Divorce Court’s” Lynn Toler served on municipal court in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, while the version of the show in the ’50s and ’60s had an actor as the judge.
Websites for other shows note their stars’ courtroom backgrounds. For example: “Judge Judy” Sheindlin was a family court judge in Manhattan. Greg “Judge Mathis” was a district court judge in the Detroit area. Marilyn Milian of “The People’s Court” has served in county and circuit courts in Florida. (Lest we forget, “People’s Court” legend Joseph Wapner was a retired judge in real life.) “America’s Court” jurist Kevin Ross was a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Some have not been judges but have legal training: “Judge Faith” Perkins has experience as a prosecutor, in private practice and as a legal commentator on TV. Similarly, Lauren Lake of “Paternity Court” has been “a member of the New York, New Jersey and Michigan bars with a concentration in family, criminal and entertainment law.”
Look for ‘Salvation’
Q: There was a show on CBS called “Salvation” that had a finale last fall but not a satisfactory wrap-up. Any possibility it will be coming back ?
A: I can’t guarantee it will be satisfying, but CBS is definitely bringing the asteroid-approaching-Earth drama back for a second season. Look for 13 new episodes this summer.
‘Gotham’ returns in March
Q: What can you tell me about the return of “Gotham”? It stopped right before Christmas and I haven’t read anything about its return.
A: New episodes will begin March 1 on Fox.
‘Orville’ on the right track
Q: Is “The Orville” coming back?
A: Fox has ordered a second season, with more details expected when Fox announces its next-season lineup in May. Reports have indicated there will be at least 14 episodes in the new season — 13 new ones plus one held over from the first season — but the network has not confirmed that number. Series creator and star Seth MacFarlane has said he doesn’t want to do a 22-episode season like many broadcast shows. According to TVGuide.com, he said, ‘I’d rather do fewer episodes and have them be better content-wise than do 22 and have them be filler.”