Why Amazon Is in Business With Judge Judy


IMDb TV is expected to be rebranded, although Amazon has given no date. (Asked if she had complained to Amazon about the awkward name and pressed the company to change it, Judge Sheindlin said, “I have, and they are.” An IMDb TV spokeswoman declined to comment.) At the moment, only 33 percent of entertainment consumers are aware of IMDb TV, ranking the service near the back of the ad-supported pack, according to Screen Engine/ASI. Most competitors are in the 40s.

Last year, IMDb TV rolled out its first original drama, “Alex Rider,” based on the popular spy novels for teenagers. A second season is on the way, along with other originals, including a half-hour drama from Dick Wolf, the king of law enforcement TV; a spinoff of “Bosch,” the long-running Prime Video series; a comedy starring Martha Plimpton; and a drama adapted from the 1999 erotic thriller “Cruel Intentions.” Under a new agreement between Amazon and Universal Pictures, Prime Video and IMDb TV will share certain streaming rights to Universal’s theatrical films.

In recent months, the IMDb TV app has become available on a wide variety of devices, including iPhones. This fall, Amazon will begin selling its own smart TVs with IMDb TV automatically installed.

“Judy Justice” is not without risk. Old “Judge Judy” episodes (there are more than 5,000) continue to run in syndication on local stations, and viewers don’t seem to mind the recycling. About seven million have been tuning in, a decline of only 11 percent from May, when new episodes were airing, according to Nielsen data.

How much Judge Sheindlin does one planet need? “You can never have enough of someone who is as smart and as funny and as entertaining as she is,” said Lauren Anderson, IMDb TV’s co-head of programming.

The core daytime audience is decidedly senior. Will Judge Sheindlin’s older fans be able to find IMDb TV’s corner of the internet? (Access to IMDb TV programming, including “Judy Justice,” is easiest through Prime Video.)



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