Entertainment

The Best Courtroom Shows  

Ranker TV
2.4k votes 667 voters 19.4k views 49 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.

list ordered by
1
Judge Judy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judy Sheindlin, Petri Hawkins-Byrd, Jerry Bishop
Judge Judy is an American arbitration-based reality court show presided over by retired Manhattan Family Court Judge Judith Sheindlin. The show features Sheindlin adjudicating real-life small ...more
2
Judge Mathis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Greg Mathis
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
3
The People's Court is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Davy Jones, Ed Koch, Harvey Levin
The People's Court is an American arbitration-based reality court show currently presided over by retired Florida State Circuit Court Judge Marilyn Milian. Milian, the show's longest-reigning ...more
4
Judge Faith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judge Faith Faith Jenkins
5
Divorce Court is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Susan Olsen, Lynn Toler, Mablean Ephriam
Divorce Court is an American nontraditional court show that revolves around settling the disputes of couples going through divorces. The current edition of Divorce Court premiered in September ...more
6
Judge Hatchett is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judge Hatchett Glenda Hatchett
Judge Hatchett is an American arbitration-based reality court show, produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. The series premiered on September 4, 2000 and ran for nine seasons until ...more
7
Hot Bench is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Sonia Montejano, Tanya Acker, Larry Bakman
8
Judge Faith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judge Faith
9
Lauren Lake's Paternity Court is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Malak Dbg added Lauren Lake
Lauren Lake's Paternity Court is a syndicated nontraditional court show/tabloid talk show hybrid, bringing family lawyer and legal analyst Lauren Lake as she hears and rules on paternity cases ...more
10
Judge Alex is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Alex Ferrer
Judge Alex is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by retired police officer, lawyer, and Florida Judge Alex Ferrer. The series premiered September 12, 2005, and airs ...more
11
Judge Karen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judge Karen Karen Mills-Francis
Judge Karen is an American arbitration-based reality court show that aired in first-run syndication and debuted on September 8, 2008 in 48 of the top 50 U.S. markets. As with other court shows, ...more
12
Judge Joe Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Joe Brown, Holly Evans, Sonia Montejano
13
America's Court with Judge Ros... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
America's Court with Judge Ross
14
Night Court is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
MattJackson added Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll
Night Court is an American television situation comedy that aired on NBC from January 4, 1984, to May 31, 1992. The setting was the night shift of a Manhattan court, presided over by the young, ...more
15
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
MattJackson added Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jamey Sheridan
This show is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it was also primarily produced. Created and produced by Dick Wolf and René Balcer, the ...more
16
America's Court with Judge Ros... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
America's Court With Judge Ross Kevin A. Ross
America's Court with Judge Ross is a nationally syndicated, nontraditional/dramatized court show that premiered in several major U.S. media markets on September 20, 2010. The Emmy-nominated ...more
17
Judge Maria Lopez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judge Maria Lopez Maria Lopez
Judge Maria Lopez is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by Maria Lopez. On the show, guests themselves presented and argued small claims civil actions before the ...more
18
Judge Jerry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Jerry Springer
Judge Jerry (NBC, 2019) is an American arbitration-based reality court show presided over by Jerry Springer and filmed in front of a live audience.
19
Judge Jeanine Pirro is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Jeanine Pirro
Judge Jeanine Pirro is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by retired Westchester County, New York, District Attorney Jeanine Pirro. The series debuted on The CW on ...more
20
Family Law is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
MattJackson added Tony Danza, Salli Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan
Family Law is a television drama starring Kathleen Quinlan as divorced lawyer Lynn Holt, who attempted to start her own law firm after her husband left both her and their law practice, taking ...more
21
Last Shot with Judge Gunn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Last Shot with Judge Gunn Mary Ann Gunn, Lisa Dennis, Michael McHenry
Last Shot with Judge Gunn is an American reality-based nontraditional court show that debuted in syndication on September 26, 2011. The series is presented by Mary Ann Gunn and distributed by ...more
22
Arrest & Trial is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
MattJackson added Arrest & Trial Brian Dennehy
Arrest & Trial is an American, syndicated nontraditional court show which follows individual criminal cases via a combination of reenactments and real trial footage. Episodes run for 30 ...more
23
Judge David Young is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Judge David Young
24
Sex Court is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
Julie Strain, Alexandra Silk
25
Harry's Law is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
MattJackson added Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry, Christopher McDonald
Harry's Law is an American legal comedy-drama television series created by David E. Kelley, which ran from January 17, 2011, to May 27, 2012. On May 12, 2011, NBC renewed the show for a second ...more