29 January 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LAS VEGAS -- Court show queen Judge Judy Sheindlin has inked a new multiyear deal with CBS Television Distribution to continue with her strip, Judge Judy, and the CBS Television Stations group has renewed the top-rated court show for another two seasons, taking it through 2012.

The Judge Judy renewal was among a flurry of NATPE-related announcements made Monday, a day before the organization's annual Conference & Exhibition officially kicks off at the Mandalay Bay Resort here. A second-season pickup for game show Crosswords also is a "firm go," while ION Media Networks' acquisition of Baywatch and station clearances for Twentieth Television's Bones also were among Monday's deals.

" 'Judge Judy' is the unsung hero of syndication, consistently delivering fantastic ratings to our station partners, and we're really proud it's the only syndicated show growing year to year," CTD president and COO John Nogawski said.

The show, which launched in 1996, is executive produced by Randy Douthit and Timothy Regler.

There was further syndication news:

-- Program Partners' Crosswords is a "firm go" for Season 2 after having been renewed in 40 of the top 50 markets. The distributor has secured commitments from WNBC New York and other NBC O&Os as well as stations owned by Belo, Four Points, Gannett, Gray, Guardian, Hubbard, McGraw-Hill, New Age, Raycom, Sarkes Tarzian and Sagamorehill.

" 'Crosswords' ' ratings are building continuously and now hitting season-to-date highs," said Ritch Colbert, who heads Program Partners with Josh Raphaelson. "This renewal is a testament to our amazing production team and to the power of Merv Griffin's original vision."

Hosted by Ty Treadway, Crosswords is a half-hour game show in which five players compete against one another and the clock to solve a crossword.

"This vote of confidence from our station affiliates makes a nice start to 2008," said Ron Ward, head of Merv Griffin Entertainment and vice chairman of the Griffin Group.


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