Judge Judy isn’t taking her generous salary for granted. To celebrate the start of her eponymous courtroom show's 19th season Monday, she is offering her latest book free of charge. "What Would Judy Say: Be the Hero of Your Own Story," is available to download from Judge Judy’s website for free, as an e-book or PDF. Told through stories from her time as a New York Family Court judge, the book gives women advice on how to achieve happiness.
"You should want to give something back," Scheindlin told the Associated Press. "If you can share with the people who've been good to you ... do it. Not everything has to be a money-making operation. You do things sometimes because it makes you feel good."
Judge Sheindlin, 71, earns $47 million a year from her syndicated show, “Judge Judy.” Roughly 10 million viewers watch each episode of the daytime show where the New York judge presides over real-life small claims disputes in a courtroom setting. The latest season of “Judge Judy” ended Aug. 31 with a season-to-date average of 7.2 household rating, up 7 percent from last year -- meaning of all the households in the U.S. with a television, an average of 7.2 percent of them tuned in to “Judge Judy” last season.
In 2013, Sheindlin received a $2 million raise and the show was extended for two more seasons until 2017. A 2010 profile in USA Today revealed Sheindlin makes her millions by working just 52 days a year -- roughly one day a week. The show is relatively cheap to produce -- about $10 million a year -- and rakes in $200 million in advertising revenue, TV Guide reported. The fact the show is syndicated in 100 foreign markets doesn’t hurt either.
"Am I tired? No," she told the Associated Press. "Do I still get a kick out of what I do? Absolutely. I always say that when I see that needle start to go in the other direction, when people have had enough of me, I'm going to be smart enough to say goodbye. It's such a joyous ride to be on top, and it takes away from that ride if you sort of ride it down."
Sheindlin’s hefty salary is more than Ashton Kutcher’s. According to Business Insider, Sheindlin earns $903,846 per work day compared to Kutcher, who makes a reported $750,000 per episode for his lead role on CBS' "Two and a Half Men."