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Warner Bros. Just Cancelled Two Shows That Have Been on for Twenty Years

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Two staples of daytime television are coming to an end. On Friday, a report from Variety confirmed that Judge Mathis and The People’s Court will be ending after their current seasons. Both series have been productions of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television for quite some time, with Mathis now airing for 24 seasons, and The People’s Court airing for 26 seasons. While these are just the latest of several shows cancelled or scrapped altogether by Warner Bros. in the past year, the report indicates that this particular decision was due to “the declining nature of the daytime syndication landscape.”

Judge Mathis followed court cases presided over by Judge Greg Mathis, who — over the show’s run and 13,000 cases — became the second-longest-running arbitrator in the history of court television, behind only Judge Judy. The People’s Court has the honor of being the second-longest-running court show in history, with Judge Marilyn Milian taking over the show since 2001.

These patterns began with the cancellation of Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt back in August, both of which were already completed and were set to debut on HBO Max. In the months since, Warner Bros. Discovery removed a number of HBO Max-exclusive movies from their streaming platform, a number of fan-favorite animated series. , and even existing HBO originals like Westworld and The Nevers. Anonymous sources alleged in August of last year that no existing show is safe from potentially being cancelled or written off, with Warner Bros. Discovery now making decisions on a case-by-case basis.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t categorize it really as for tax reasons,” Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery’s U.S. Networks Group, said during a keynote address earlier this year. “The challenges when you bring two companies together, you assess what you have. Then you see if what you have fits with your ongoing strategy. So that had a lot to do with what we had to do. They were painful decisions. I know what it what it must feel like to be a content creator, and then have your work [pulled]. None of this was taken lightly at all. These were really, really painful decisions and whenever possible, we’re working really closely with the creators to finding homes for a lot of the content.”

“I’ve had some long heart to hearts with people, explaining what happened, why it happened, all the decisions that went into it,” Finch added. “I totally get why people would be nervous. I hope they won’t be because that that was a moment in time, that had nothing to do with how we intend to run this company. It’s happening in the industry in other places. It’s not how we do business, it’s not a strategy. I’m happy to talk personally with anybody who wants to have a conversation about it, because it was really painful and not the way that we tend to move forward.”

What do you think of Warner Bros. cancelling Judge Mathis and The People’s Court? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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