The Best Courtroom Shows

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.

Ranked by
  • The People's Court
    Davy Jones, Ed Koch, Harvey Levin
    381 votes
    • Premiered: 1997
    People resolve grievances in small-claims court.
  • Judge Judy
    Judy Sheindlin, Petri Hawkins-Byrd, Jerry Bishop
    468 votes
    • Premiered: 1996
    Judge Judy Sheindlin hears real cases.
  • Judge Mathis
    Greg Mathis
    350 votes
    • Premiered: 1999
    Judge Mathis is a long-running syndicated arbitration-based reality court show presided over by retired Superior Court Judge of Michigan's 36th District Court, Greg Mathis. The syndicated series ...more
  • Hot Bench
    Sonia Montejano, Tanya Acker, Larry Bakman
    234 votes
    • Premiered: 2014
    Hot Bench is a nontraditional panel-based court show that made its debut in first-run syndication on September 15, 2014. The series is produced by Judge Judy's Judge Judy Sheindlin, who also created ...more