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The Best Courtroom Shows

Updated May 12, 2020 3.7k votes 871 voters 30.0k views54 items

It makes sense that television loves the courtroom. It's a natural setting for drama, with real-life stakes and gripping interactions. But which of these shows is the very best is a matter of opinion. Some good courtroom reality shows focus on specific areas of the law, while other popular court TV shows address a variety of subjects. Many of the most entertaining courtroom shows have been airing for decades – perhaps paving the way for the future reality entertainment boom.

What series will you find on this list of the best courtroom shows? When it comes to entertaining courtroom drama, it doesn't get much better than The People's Court. First premiering in 1981 with original judge Joseph Wapner, this hit series handles small claims cases between neighbors, family members, and strangers. Divorce Court is another good courtroom series that airs on television. Presided over by Judy Sheindlin, Judge Judy boasts the longest lasting individual production life of any court show. Other good programs featured on this roundup of the top courtroom shows include Judge Mathis, Kids Court, and Moral Court.

Which court show deserves the top spot on this list? That's up to you to decide. Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and add any notable series that are missing.

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  • Judge Judy1
    301
    122

    Judge Judy

    Judy Sheindlin, Petri Hawkins-Byrd

    Premiered1996

    Judge Judy is an American arbitration-based reality court show presided over by retired...  more
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  • Judge Mathis2
    233
    90

    Judge Mathis

    Greg Mathis

    Premiered1999

    Judge Mathis is a long-running syndicated arbitration-based reality court show presided over...  more
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  • The People's Court3
    236
    94

    The People's Court

    Davy Jones, Ed Koch

    Premiered1981

    The People's Court is an American arbitration-based reality court show currently presided over...  more
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  • Judge Faith4
    181
    78

    Judge Faith

    Faith Jenkins

    Premiered2014

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  • Divorce Court5
    123
    68

    Divorce Court

    Susan Olsen, Lynn Toler

    Premiered1957

    Divorce Court is an American nontraditional court show that revolves around settling the...  more
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  • Lauren Lake's Paternity Court6
    Lauren Lake's Paternity Court is a syndicated nontraditional court show/tabloid talk show...  more
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  • Hot Bench7
    115
    68

    Hot Bench

    Sonia Montejano, Tanya Acker

    Premiered2014

    Hot Bench is a nontraditional panel-based court show that made its debut in first-run...  more
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  • Judge Hatchett8
    108
    65

    Judge Hatchett

    Glenda Hatchett

    Premiered2000

    Judge Hatchett is an American arbitration-based reality court show, produced and distributed...  more
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  • Judge Joe Brown9
    89
    71

    Judge Joe Brown

    Joe Brown, Holly Evans

    Premiered1998

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  • Judge Alex10
    76
    58

    Judge Alex

    Alex Ferrer

    Premiered2005

    Judge Alex is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by retired...  more
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  • America's Court With Judge Ross11
    63
    61

    America's Court With Judge Ross

    Kevin A. Ross

    Premiered2010

    America's Court with Judge Ross is a nationally syndicated, nontraditional/dramatized court...  more
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  • Gary Busey: Pet Judge12
    18
    8

    Gary Busey: Pet Judge

    Gary Busey, Mike E. Winfield

    Premiered2020

    Gary Busey: Pet Judge (Amazon Video, 2020) is a comedy television series hosted by Gary Busey...  more
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  • Judge Karen13
    55
    55

    Judge Karen

    Karen Mills-Francis

    Premiered2008

    Judge Karen is an American arbitration-based reality court show that aired in first-run...  more
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  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent14
    19
    16

    Law & Order: Criminal Intent

    Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Premiered2001

    This show is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where...  more
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  • Night Court15
    22
    22

    Night Court

    Harry Anderson, John Larroquette

    Premiered1984

    Night Court is an American television situation comedy that aired on NBC from January 4, 1984,...  more
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    #26 of 309 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History#5 of 33 20+ 1980s Sitcoms That Will Still Make You Laugh

  • Last Shot with Judge Gunn16
    28
    31

    Last Shot with Judge Gunn

    Mary Ann Gunn, Lisa Dennis

    Premiered2011

    Last Shot with Judge Gunn is an American reality-based nontraditional court show that debuted...  more
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  • Judge Jeanine Pirro17
    39
    50

    Judge Jeanine Pirro

    Jeanine Pirro

    Premiered2008

    Judge Jeanine Pirro is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by...  more
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  • Judge Maria Lopez18
    29
    36

    Judge Maria Lopez

    Maria Lopez

    Premiered2006

    Judge Maria Lopez is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by Maria...  more
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  • Sex Court19
    29
    37

    Sex Court

    Julie Strain, Alexandra Silk

    Premiered1998

    Sex Court (Playboy TV, 1998) is an American talkshow created by Jim English. The show follows...  more
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  • Street Court20
    18
    28

    Street Court

    Michael Mazzariello

    Premiered2009

    Street Court is a nontraditional court show syndicated for one season by Mt. Pleasant, South...  more
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  • Justice w/Judge Jeanine21

    Premiered2011

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  • The High Court with Doug Benson22
    The High Court with Doug Benson (Comedy Central, 2017) is an American comedy and...  more
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  • The Law Firm23
    9
    16

    The Law Firm

    Kelly Chang Rickert, Anika Harvey

    Premiered2005

    The Law Firm is an American Reality competition that aired on NBC from July 28, 2005, until...  more
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    #77 of 91 The Best Legal TV Shows#8 of 21 The Best David E. Kelley Shows and TV Series

  • The Blame Game24
    10
    18

    The Blame Game

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  • Crime & Punishment25
    1
    4

    Crime & Punishment

    John Philpott

    Premiered2002

    Crime & Punishment is a 2002 reality television, nontraditional court show spin-off of the Law...  more
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