"Judge Hatchett" to end production

Sony Pictures Television’s Judge Hatchett daytime strip will end original production after eight seasons, but instead will pitch “best of” theme weeks to TV stations for next fall.

Hatchett airs locally on Fox-owned WFLD-TV.

Since there are so many episodes produced of Hatchett over the years, Sony says the move makes economical sense – there are well over 1000 episodes in the can.

Sony is actually taking a page from what many syndicators did in the 1990’s did with court shows. Warner Bros. ended production on the original version of People’s Court (with Judge Joesph Wapner) in 1993 after amassing over 1,000 episodes over twelve seasons, and aired repeats in syndication for several years thereafter (People’s Court did resume production in 1997.)

Warner also handled Love Connection (a game show) in the same manner, as did Genesis Entertainment with The Judge and Blair Entertainment with the Judge William Keene version of Divorce Court.

Sony will have a new courtroom this fall with Judge Karen, which has been cleared locally over WCIU-TV.