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The Best Courtroom Shows

Updated May 12, 2020 3.5k votes 798 voters 26.7k 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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  • 1
    Judge Judy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Judge Judy

    Judy Sheindlin, Petri Hawkins-Byrd

    Premiered1996

    Judge Judy is an American arbitration-based reality court show presided over by retired... moreamazon buy button

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    The People's Court is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    The People's Court

    Davy Jones, Ed Koch

    Premiered1981

    The People's Court is an American arbitration-based reality court show currently presided over... moreamazon buy button
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  • 3
    Judge Mathis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Judge Mathis

    Greg Mathis

    Premiered1999

    Judge Mathis is a long-running syndicated arbitration-based reality court show presided over... moreamazon buy button
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  • 4
    Judge Faith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    74

    Judge Faith

    Faith Jenkins

    Premiered2014

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  • 5
    Divorce Court is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    120
    64

    Divorce Court

    Susan Olsen, Lynn Toler

    Premiered1957

    Divorce Court is an American nontraditional court show that revolves around settling the... moreamazon buy button
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  • 6
    Hot Bench is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    110
    64

    Hot Bench

    Sonia Montejano, Tanya Acker

    Premiered2014

    Hot Bench is a nontraditional panel-based court show that made its debut in first-run... moreamazon buy button
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  • 7
    Judge Hatchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    61

    Judge Hatchett

    Glenda Hatchett

    Premiered2000

    Judge Hatchett is an American arbitration-based reality court show, produced and distributed... moreamazon buy button
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  • 8
    Lauren Lake's Paternity Court is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    Lauren Lake's Paternity Court is a syndicated nontraditional court show/tabloid talk show... moreamazon buy button
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  • 9
    Judge Alex is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    75
    54

    Judge Alex

    Alex Ferrer

    Premiered2005

    Judge Alex is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by retired... moreamazon buy button
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  • 10
    Judge Joe Brown is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    80
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    Judge Joe Brown

    Joe Brown, Holly Evans

    Premiered1998

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  • 11
    Judge Karen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    55
    53

    Judge Karen

    Karen Mills-Francis

    Premiered2008

    Judge Karen is an American arbitration-based reality court show that aired in first-run... moreamazon buy button
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  • 12
    America's Court With Judge is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    57
    60

    America's Court With Judge Ross

    Kevin A. Ross

    Premiered2010

    America's Court with Judge Ross is a nationally syndicated, nontraditional/dramatized court... moreamazon buy button
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  • 13
    Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    18
    12

    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... moreamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Sex Court is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Sex Court

    Julie Strain, Alexandra Silk

    Premiered1998

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  • 15
    Judge Maria Lopez is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Judge Maria Lopez

    Maria Lopez

    Premiered2006

    Judge Maria Lopez is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by Maria... moreamazon buy button
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  • 16
    Night Court is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Night Court

    Harry Anderson, John Larroquette

    Premiered1984

    Night Court is an American television situation comedy that aired on NBC from January 4, 1984,... moreamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Judge Jeanine Pirro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Judge Jeanine Pirro

    Jeanine Pirro

    Premiered2008

    Judge Jeanine Pirro is an American arbitration-based reality court show, presided over by... moreamazon buy button
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  • 18
    Street Court is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    18
    25

    Street Court

    Michael Mazzariello

    Premiered2009

    Street Court is a nontraditional court show syndicated for one season by Mt. Pleasant, South... moreamazon buy button
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  • 19
    Science Court is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    Science Court

    Paula Poundstone, H. Jon Benjamin

    Premiered1997

    Science Court, is an edutainment, animation/nontraditional court show from Tom Snyder... moreamazon buy button

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  • 20
    The Blame Game is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
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    The Blame Game

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  • 21
    The Law Firm is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    9
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    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... moreamazon buy button

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  • 22
    Power of Attorney is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    10
    15

    Power of Attorney

    Andrew Napolitano, Lynn Toler

    Premiered2001

    Power of Attorney is an American-syndicated nontraditional court show that differed from other... moreamazon buy button
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  • 23
    Judge David Young is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    12
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    Judge David Young

    David Young, Tawya Young

    Premiered2007

    Judge David Young is an American arbitration-based reality court show. The series, which aired... moreamazon buy button
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  • 24
    Public Atorni: Asunto o Areglo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    9
    15

    Public Atorni: Asunto o Areglo

    Persida Rueda-Acosta

    Premiered2010

    Public Atorni: Asunto o Areglo is an Philippine television court show broadcast by TV5 in the... moreamazon buy button
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  • 25
    Crime & Punishment is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Courtroom Shows
    1
    1

    Crime & Punishment

    John Philpott

    Premiered2002

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