The Most Popular Judge Show: A Ranking of Viewer Favorites

Choose the judge show you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Nov 24, 2023 08:21)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! We've gathered the gavel-swinging, justice-serving courtroom dramas that have captivated millions of viewers worldwide, and now it's your turn to cast your vote for the most popular judge show of all time! Will the iconic "Judge Judy" take the throne, or will the fierce competition from "The People's Court" or "Judge Mathis" steal the spotlight? Dive into our thrilling ranking and let your voice be heard. Don't see your favorite legal eagle on our list? Fear not! You can suggest a missing option and join the debate. So, what are you waiting for? Cast your vote on StrawPoll now and let the quest for the ultimate courtroom champion begin!

What Is the Most Popular Judge Show?

  1. 1

    Judge Judy

    Judge Judy Sheindlin
    This show has been on the air since 1996 and is widely considered the most popular judge show. Judge Judy Sheindlin is known for her tough but fair approach to cases.
    Judge Judy is a highly popular American court show that features Judge Judith Sheindlin presiding over real small claim cases. The show has a no-nonsense approach and focuses on quick resolution of disputes between litigants.
    • Genre: Reality courtroom
    • Original release: September 16, 1996
    • Running time: Approximately 22 minutes
    • Number of seasons: 25
    • Number of episodes: Over 10,000
  2. 2

    The People's Court

    Ralph Edwards
    Another long-running and popular judge show, The People's Court has been on the air since 1981. It features a rotating cast of judges presiding over small claims cases.
    The People's Court is a highly popular judge show that features real small claims court cases being presided over by a judge. The show follows typical courtroom drama format, with plaintiffs and defendants presenting their cases and providing evidence. The judge listens to both sides and makes a final binding decision on the outcome of each case.
    • First aired: 1981
    • Genre: Reality television, Legal
    • Running time: 30 minutes
    • Presented by: Multiple judges over the years
    • Country of origin: United States
  3. 3

    Judge Mathis

    Byron Allen
    Judge Greg Mathis is known for his tough but compassionate approach to cases, and his show has been on the air since 1999.
    Judge Mathis is a popular American courtroom television program. The show features retired Michigan District Court judge Greg Mathis presiding over small claims cases. Judge Mathis hears real disputes between plaintiffs and defendants and delivers legally binding decisions.
    • Premiere Date: September 13, 1999
    • Show Duration: Approximately 60 minutes
    • Judge: Judge Greg Mathis
    • Location: Chicago, Illinois
    • Courtroom: Simulated courtroom setting
  4. 4

    Judge Joe Brown

    John Terenzio
    Judge Joe Brown presided over his own court show from 1998 to 2013, and was known for his no-nonsense approach to cases.
    Judge Joe Brown is a popular American arbitration-based reality court show. The show features real-life small claims and legal disputes that are presided over by Judge Joe Brown.
    • First episode date: September 14, 1998
    • Last episode date: September 6, 2013
    • Number of seasons: 15
    • Number of episodes: 2,500
    • Running time: 30 minutes
    Judge Joe Brown in other rankings
  5. 5

    Divorce Court

    Voltaire Perkins
    This long-running show focuses on cases of couples going through divorce or separation, and has been on the air since 1957.
    Divorce Court is a popular judge show that showcases real-life couples going through the process of divorce. It provides a platform for individuals to present their grievances and disputes in front of a judge who then makes a final decision on the divorce settlement.
    • First Aired: April 2, 1957
    • Genre: Reality, Legal
    • Running Time: 30 minutes
    • Judge(s): Multiple judges over the years
    • Number of Seasons: 24
  6. 6

    Hot Bench

    Judge Judy Sheindlin
    This show features a panel of three judges who preside over cases and debate the verdicts among themselves. It has been on the air since 2014.
    Hot Bench is a popular judge show that follows a distinct three-judge panel format, where all three judges hear and debate the cases together. It offers a unique perspective on the legal proceedings and allows for an in-depth analysis of the disputes. The cases featured on the show are diverse, ranging from small claims to family issues and neighbor disputes. The judges' lively discussions and differing opinions make it an engaging and entertaining courtroom show.
    • Format: Courtroom television show
    • Premiere Date: September 15, 2014
    • Genre: Legal, Reality
    • Language: English
    • Running Time: Approximately 22 minutes
  7. 7

    Paternity Court

    Lauren Lake
    This show focuses on cases of paternity disputes, and has been on the air since 2013. Judge Lauren Lake presides over the cases and offers DNA testing to determine paternity.
    Paternity Court is a popular judge show that focuses on resolving paternity disputes and related issues. The show features real-life cases involving individuals who are seeking to establish or dispute the paternity of a child. Through a combination of legal analysis, DNA testing, and emotional testimonies, the show aims to determine the biological father of the child and address the resulting legal and emotional consequences.
    • Genre: Reality TV / Legal / Family
    • Original Network: Syndication
    • First Air Date: September 23, 2013
    • Episodes: Over 1,000 (as of 2021)
    • Running Time: Approximately 30 minutes
  8. 8
    Judge Faith Jenkins presides over cases on this show, which has been on the air since 2014. She is known for her straightforward approach to cases.
    Judge Faith is a popular judge show that follows the courtroom proceedings presided over by Judge Faith Jenkins. The show aims to resolve small claims and minor disputes between individuals through legal arbitration. Judge Faith carefully evaluates each case and delivers fair and impartial judgments, often with a touch of humor and relatability.
    • Genre: Reality / Legal
    • Running Time: 30 minutes
    • Original Network: Syndication
    • Original Release: September 22, 2014
    • Number of Seasons: 6
  9. 9

    Judge Alex

    Alex E. Ferrer
    Judge Alex Ferrer presided over this court show from 2005 to 2014, and was known for his no-nonsense approach and sense of humor.
    Judge Alex is a popular judge show that aired from 2005 to 2014. It featured Judge Alex E. Ferrer presiding over small claims court cases and offering his rulings and judgments. The show provided a platform for people to resolve their disputes on television in front of a live audience.
    • First Episode Air Date: September 12, 2005
    • Last Episode Air Date: July 28, 2014
    • Number of Seasons: 9
    • Number of Episodes: 1,935
    • Running Time: Approximately 30 minutes
  10. 10
    This show, which has been on the air since 2012, focuses on cases of everyday people seeking justice. Judge Cristina Perez presides over the cases and offers legal advice.
    Justice for All with Cristina Perez is a popular judge show that focuses on resolving legal disputes in a courtroom setting. The show features cases brought forward by plaintiffs and defendants seeking justice, while Judge Cristina Perez presides over the proceedings and delivers judgment based on the evidence presented.
    • Genre: Reality television
    • Original network: KSTP-TV
    • Country of origin: United States
    • Language: English
    • Running time: 30 minutes

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Ranking factors for popular judge show

  1. Longevity
    Another important factor is the longevity of the show, or how many seasons or episodes the show has aired for. A long-running show is typically indicative of popularity and success.
  2. Social Media Following
    In today's digital age, a show's social media following on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a good indicator of its popularity. A show with a large following and engagement may be more popular than one with a smaller social media presence.
  3. Awards and Nominations
    Awards and nominations, such as the Daytime Emmy Awards or People's Choice Awards, can give an indication of a show's popularity and critical acclaim. Shows that have received multiple awards or nominations are likely to be more well-regarded and popular among viewers.
  4. Host/Judge
    The personality and credibility of the host/judge can greatly affect the popularity of a judge show. A well-known judge with a strong presence and reputation can attract more viewers and contribute to the show's success.
  5. Audience Demographics
    The target audience and demographics of a show can also offer insight into its popularity. A show that appeals to a vast range of age groups and sexes may be more popular than one that caters to a niche audience.
  6. Viewer Reviews
    Online reviews and audience feedback can give an indication of a show's popularity among viewers. Positive reviews and high ratings can suggest that a show is well-received and popular with its audience.
  7. Format and Concept
    The show's format, such as the type of disputes and cases it focuses on, can contribute to its popularity. A unique and engaging concept can hook viewers and set a show apart from its competition.
  8. Guest Judges
    Featuring high-profile guest judges can boost a show's popularity by attracting a wider audience and bringing added credibility to the program.
  9. Syndication
    The syndication of a show, or its availability on various networks and streaming services, can be an indication of its popularity. A widely syndicated show may have a larger audience and be considered more popular among viewers.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular judge show. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or judge show is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 210 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each judge show once every 24 hours. The rank of each judge show is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular judge show

Judge shows have been a staple of daytime television for decades. These shows feature real-life cases that are presided over by a judge who listens to both sides of the argument and delivers a verdict. Viewers love the drama and suspense of these shows, as well as the insight they offer into the legal system. Some of the most popular judge shows include Judge Judy, The People's Court, and Judge Mathis. But which one reigns supreme? Let's take a closer look at the most popular judge shows and find out which one is the fan favorite.

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