Judge Judy says her new IMDb TV show Judy Justice will include all the hallmarks of her long-running TV series. But fans are upset because one of the most familiar pieces from that show won’t make the jump to streaming. Officer Byrd, who stood by the acid-tongued judge for more than 4,000 episodes, is out of a job on the new show.
A new trailer for Judy Justice confirmed the change. Kevin Rasco, a retired probation officer and entrepreneur from Los Angeles, will serve as Judge Judy’s new bailiff. He’s one of several new faces joining the new show, which premieres on Nov. 1.
It’s unclear why Officer Byrd, whose real name is Petri Hawkins Byrd, isn’t on the new show. When the judge announced late last year that she was working on a new streaming show, Byrd told the Associated Press that he would be “honored” to join her.
The two have worked together since 1985, when Judge Judy, just Judy Sheindlin at the time, was a family court judge in Manhattan. They’ve worked some 12,500 cases together during their long careers.
Judge Judy did not plan on bringing Byrd along with her to television though. When she landed the job, Byrd wrote her a letter of congratulations, and — as a joke — said he was available for work. And when producers didn’t like the chemistry between the show’s original bailiff and Sheindlin in screen tests, she reached out to him, Byrd told the AP.
That decision made him one of the most recognizable faces on television.
Byrd didn’t speak much on the show, but he was charismatic. He made his presence felt through little gestures and the occasional giggle at one of Judge Judy’s jabs.
Several New Faces Joining Judge Judge on IMDb TV Series
Byrd isn’t the only change that fans can expect on Judy Justice. The show boasts several new cast members.
Along with bailiff Rasco, Whitney Kumar, a licensed stenographer, will appear on Judy Justice. Sarah Rose, Sheindlin’s granddaughter, will serve as her law clerk.
“Sarah is wired like I am,” the 78-year-old said. “She’s a little snarky. I like that.”
The new cast adds another dynamic to the show, the judge says in the trailer.
“Judy Justice is a really exciting venture that allows me to come to streaming while producing a whole different kind of court show,” she said. “I’ve been sort of alone for the past 25 years. Now I have a new team. To have them help me create this new show is really giving me a third act or a fourth act.”
But despite the new cast, Judge Judy says you can expect her to mete out the same tough-talking rulings.
“We are upping the game. I am who I am — sometimes PC, sometimes not but consistent,” she added. “Rules are important. I am going to tell that to the next generation.”