'Paternity Court' Clearances Hit 92%
Lawyer and TV personality Lauren Lake will be wearing a judge’s robe on Paternity Court when it premieres on Sept. 23. Orion TV Productions has sold the show to stations owned by CBS, Tribune, Sinclair, Hearst and others reaching 92% of TV homes, including in all top-50 DMAs.
But Lake will also tap into her experience as a relationship expert on talk shows such as CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil and NBCUniversal’s Maury.
“We want to dig into these stories much deeper than any other court show does,” says David Armour, executive producer of Paternity Court. “We’re dealing with substantial issues. On this show, we’re dealing with resolutions about how families can move forward now that they have [paternity test] results.”
On most episodes of the half-hour show, there will be one case, as opposed to two on other court shows. Lake will take time before and after each episode’s test results to speak with her guests.
“Steve Harvey has reinvigorated game shows and talk shows,” says John Bryan, president of domestic television distribution at MGM Television. “We’re hoping to do the same thing with court. The show is a fresh idea in a proven genre.”
Still, the set has a familiar court show feel. Two guests stand at podiums with a studio audience behind them. Lake oversees the case from her desk.
Paternity Court is taping at the Sunset Bronson studios in Hollywood on a set right next door to CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy. It is produced by 79th & York Entertainment and is distributed by MGM Television’s Orion TV Productions.
Orion TV Productions is selling Paternity Court on an all-barter basis in mostly one-year deals. The show will air on many stations as back-to-back half-hours, including on CBS Television Stations’ WLNY New York, Ellis Communications’ KDOC Los Angeles and Weigel Broadcasting’s WCUU Chicago.