Judge Joe Brown is not going quietly into the night. He’s telling his side of the story regarding the end of his syndicated court show, which he claims was canceled by CBS Television Distribution over some ol’ “Hollywood trick economics.”
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brown says he was promised an annual salary of $20 million, but never got more than $5 million a year.
As previously reported, “Judge Joe Brown” will end its 15-season run next month because Brown could not reach an agreement with CBS on a new contract. There were reports that the sticking point was a “salary disagreement,” with CBS seeking to cut Brown’s compensation because ratings are down for his show.
But Brown says that there was no salary disagreement because he has not gotten a salary for the last seven years. He says that his deal was for a split of revenues with CBS. The problem, he says, came in defining how the money is to be split and how much in fees the distributor would get. “Hollywood trick economics and accounting will show something a little less,” charges Brown, “because they take a great deal out of it.”
Brown says some of the money his show made was plowed into the development of other CBS shows — including a court show with Nancy Grace — most of which, he says, “flopped.”
“The truth of the matter is they didn’t offer me a reduction in salary,” Brown tells THR. “They actually were offering me [improved terms] of a 50-50 split with them. The issue basically was the adjustments to gross income.” By that, Brown means how CBS accounts for the revenue and the fees it takes to cover its costs, distribution and other fees.
CBS Television Distribution produces and distributes both “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown,” which ranks as No. 2 in the ratings out of more than a dozen legal and court programs.
Brown says his current show grosses about $100 million a year. CBS declines to comment but a syndication source says that $100 million figure seems high.
When Brown signed his last contract in 2010, he says he believed it meant he would be entitled to about $20 million a year. He says he has never received more than about $5 million a year.
“After I signed my contract with them for three years,” says Brown, “the week it was to go into effect they changed the categories and definitions. If you do it the way it was supposed to be done, you get awfully close to $20 million. When you change the categories and definitions, you come out with about $5 million.”
Adding insult to injury, Brown says, at the same time CBS Inc. was reporting record results for the company and for the division that includes its distribution arm, company executives were “telling everyone from camera crews to talent … that money was tight and everybody would have to take a cut and bite the bullet.”
In his negotiations, Brown recalls, “I looked at them and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding. You’re telling me you’re broke, and you want me to take an IOU for what you owe me already. I think you guys have lost it.’”
Brown has other complaints. He says CTD put Judge Judy on top stations and combined multiple airings to come up with its ratings (a common practice). His show, he says, is mostly on lesser stations, gets only a handful of extra runs each day and has not received as much promotion as he believes was required.
Brown says he has formed a new company and he intends to launch both a new court show and a talk show that he will host as early as fall 2014. He’s also launching a daily radio program and says he is developing numerous other shows.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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