Judging Amy

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Judging Amy
Judging Amy.jpg
The cast
Created by Amy Brenneman
Bill D'Elia
John Tinker
Connie Tavel
Developed by Barbara Hall
Starring Amy Brenneman
Dan Futterman
Richard T. Jones
Kevin Rahm
Marcus Giamatti
Jessica Tuck
Karle Warren
Jillian Armenante
Timothy Omundson
Tyne Daly
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 138
Producer(s) Joseph Stern
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Barbara Hall/Joseph Stern Productions
CBS Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original channel CBS
Original run September 19, 1999 (1999-09-19) – May 3, 2005 (2005-05-03)

Judging Amy is an American television drama that was telecast from September 19, 1999, through May 3, 2005, on CBS-TV. This TV series starred Amy Brenneman and Tyne Daly. Its main character (Brenneman) is a judge who serves in a family court; in addition to the family-related cases that she adjudicates, many episodes focus on her experiences as a divorced mother and on the experiences of her mother, a social worker in the field of child welfare. This series was based on the life experiences of Brenneman's mother.

After six seasons, Judging Amy was canceled by CBS on May 18, 2005. In the United States, re-runs were telecast on the Turner Network Television cable TV channel for about four years, but this series was replaced by others in the schedule for the fall of 2007. Its final telecast was on August 31, 2007. Starting July 17, 2011 Gospel Music Channel (now Up TV) began telecasting the show, starting with the pilot episode. GMC aired the show with edits to some of the language, out of order, and some episodes missing.


Amy Gray (Brenneman), a New York attorney, separates from her husband and returns with her young daughter to her childhood home in Hartford, Connecticut. She becomes a judge on Connecticut's family court at age 34 and gets a divorce. Her mother, Maxine Gray (Daly), with whom Amy lives, is a caseworker for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. In the de facto series finale (the series was canceled after the conclusion of the season), Amy quits the judiciary to run for the U.S. Senate.

Critical reception[edit]

Several reviewers have suggested the show took inspiration from the formula established by Providence.[1] Reviewers also cite the relationship between Brenneman and Daly's characters as the selling point of the show.[2]

Amy Gray makes reference to Providence in episode 3.18, "The Justice League of America". In this episode, Amy is attending her Harvard Law School class' tenth reunion, and her old friends cannot seem to remember Amy has moved to Hartford. They think she resides in Providence. Finally, Amy is pushed to state, "It's Hartford, David. Providence is a whole other universe."

The characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Judge Amy Madison Gray, played by Amy Brenneman: After separating from her husband, Amy Gray returns to her childhood home with her daughter, becomes a judge on Connecticut's family court, gets a divorce, and tries to get on with her life. Balancing her new job, her family, and trying to rebuild her love life is not easy, but she keeps trying. She makes a name for herself in family court for her unusual methods and sentences and her stubbornness, which sometimes gets her in trouble. She dates several men. Her longest and more serious relationships are with lawyer Stuart Collins and David McClaren. Amy and Stuart dislike each other at first, but when she asks him to be Eric Black's lawyer, they get closer and eventually get engaged. However, Amy leaves him at the altar on their wedding day, saying he has a way of always convincing her to do things she does not want to do, calling him "a bully". She meets David McClaren during her short stint in the criminal court, and things are rocky from the start. Amy becomes pregnant by him and they plan to marry, but things fall apart when she miscarries and they part ways soon thereafter. In the last episode of the series, she quits the judiciary to run for Senate, to try to prevent the passage of a law that will effectively end the juvenile justice system by allowing the State's Attorney's office to try teenagers as adults at their own discretion. Amy's often complicated and ever changing definition of a relationship with her Court Services Officer, Bruce Van Exel, whom she calls her "best friend" and with whom she's shared intimate moments - despite his refusal to date white women, ends with him coming to be with her in Washington as she testifies at a Senate Hearing.
  • Maxine McCarty Gray, played by Tyne Daly, is Amy's widowed mother. A social worker for the Department of Children and Families, she had retired, but she returns to the job at the start of the series. She is willing to do whatever it takes to help the children in her care, even bending the law. She is an opinionated, strong-willed woman, very set in her ways, and capable of holding long grudges (she has not spoken to her brother in over 12 years), but loving to her family. Her relationship with daughter Amy is often not easy, since they are so much alike. After a troubled courtship, she becomes engaged to a wealthy businessman, Jared Duff, but he dies 48 hours before their wedding (a storyline twist necessitated by the unexpected death of the actor Richard Crenna, who played the character). She later becomes involved in a very complicated, on again off again relationship to her landscape designer Ignacio Messina. She has two heart attacks in the last season and has to undergo open heart surgery, but makes certain lifestyle changes and recovers well. At the end of the series she accepts Ignacio's marriage proposal and is set to retire again, becoming a foster parent to the last child she helped.
  • Vincent Gray (episodes 1–51, 68, 100, 116–138), played by Dan Futterman, is Amy's gifted[3] younger brother, with whom she has always been closest. Vincent is the winner of a Pushcart Prize during college, but then went on a backpack tour of Europe because he was overwhelmed with the expectations for success. He later writes a novel titled A Fortunate Son, about a Rabbi and his son. He sells the rights to this book to a movie company, who he says are going to turn the Rabbi and other characters into Walkens. He's torn about giving up his characters and turns to his sister Amy, who advises him to "take the money and run", given that he is about to move to San Francisco with his new wife. He later gets a deal for a collection of short stories, but is unable to meet the deadline after the emotional stress of his divorce and he had to give back the considerable advance ($15,000) that he was paid. At the beginning of the series, he is roommates with a man whom he owns a dog washing business with. When his roommate gets married, he becomes roommates with Donna, with whom later he becomes best friends. As he attempts to continue his writing career, he holds a number of jobs: dogwasher, reporter, and free-lancer. He eventually marries his girlfriend, Carole Tobey (Sara Mornell), who has breast cancer, and leaves with her for San Francisco. The impending move causes Amy to become angry with Vincent, but when Amy finds out about Carole's breast cancer, she makes amends with him, gives him legal advice on his movie deal - even giving him the family's good luck talisman "the Surfing Monkey" at the airport. He comes home briefly when his mother calls and asks him to come home and help Maxine and Amy patch things up - as a fight has resulted in Amy moving out with extreme tension existing between mother and daughter. Because of Vincent's visit, Amy buys the family home, Maxine becomes a renter, and the family is put back together. Some time later, his cousin Kyle arranges for him to arrive as a surprise to Amy's wedding to Stuart Collins. The wedding never happens. He returns home permanately soon after, explaining that Carole has left him for her oncologist. He later explains that this was because he couldn't "be there" for her in the way that she needed him to be while her doctor could. Stuck after his book deal is cancelled and he is in debt to the publishing company, he starts driving for the Department of Social Services, then gets a job at a teen center. When a teen is shot in front of him, his boss goes on a bender and realizes she's "addicted" to Vincent and gets him a job teaching writing at a Maximum Security Detention Center. Vincent seems to attract back luck - he gets shot while helping a woman being mugged in a grocery store parking lot, then later gets blown up and loses his ability to walk and read.
  • Kyle McCarty (episodes 53–118), played by Kevin Rahm, is Amy's cousin, the son of Maxine's estranged brother Richard (William Devane). He is a former medical student who was expelled because he was addicted to morphine. Shunning his father, he comes to his aunt Maxine for help. She gives him a home and gets him a job as a counselor at a facility for runaway teens. He later moves in to share a flat with Donna after Vincent leaves and finds a hospital willing to give him a new chance to finish his medical residency, and gets into a complicated on/off relationship with fellow doctor Heather Labonte, as well as fighting an attraction to his supervisor, Dr. Lily Reddicker. After his father dies, he quits his job and finds a new path in life as a medic with the SWAT unit. He finally decides to accompany his ex-girlfriend Heather to Minnesota and take care of their son while she is in rehabilitation.
  • Peter Gray, played by Marcus Giamatti, is Amy's older brother. He inherited the family business from his father and he is good at it, even if he wasn't given a choice. He is a good man who sometimes surprises people with some outbursts. He is married to Gillian and they have been trying to have children for a long time. They agree to adopt the son of a pregnant girl called Evie, and he turns out to be half African-American. Some time after adopting Ned, Gillian gets pregnant and gives birth to Walt. Things get rocky after Walt's birth and they separate for a while, even dating other people. Peter goes through a "rebellion" phase, trying to recall his teenage dreams, until he finds out his business is almost bankrupt. Soon after, he reconciles with his wife.
  • Gillian Gray, played by Jessica Tuck, is Peter's wife. A high strung controlling woman with a good heart, she completely loves her husband. She is usually well-meaning, but also often obsessive and nerve-wracking. After being unable to get pregnant, they adopt baby Ned. Some time later, however, she gets pregnant, but things go wrong during the delivery of Walt, and she falls into a coma for a while. She and Peter have problems soon after (and she dates another man) but they reconcile.
  • Lauren Cassidy, played by Karle Warren, is Amy's daughter, six years old at the start of the series. A mostly well-adjusted girl, she is going through the pains of childhood and preadolescence with divorced parents, but a loving family. She struggles over her father's relationship with Leesha, whom she likes at first. When Lauren is 12, her uncle Peter takes her for her haircut and she returns home with her long straight hair cut into a hipper, shoulder-length cut. Her boyfriend Victor turns out to be the son of her mother's boyfriend, David McClaren, which causes Lauren to feel awkward and disgusted. When Amy becomes pregnant with David's child, Lauren reveals what a total blow to her social life this will be and is furious. She later becomes accepting and supporting of her mother after she miscarries. Toward the end of the series, Lauren begins to hang out with a group of friends who embrace the straight edge culture, which puts her at odds with her mother.
  • Bruce Calvin van Exel, played by Richard T. Jones, is Amy's court services officer, who becomes her friend. The series addresses a number of issues of their cross-racial friendship and how each feels about it. Bruce is a stubborn man with strong convictions, whose advice Amy comes to find invaluable. He has a daughter, Rebecca, whose mother breaks up with him after he gives her an ultimatum to get married after they've lived together for years. At one point, Bruce is suspended from work for punching a man. He performs community service in a soup kitchen before returning to work with Amy. He is a fairly devout Catholic and not thrilled when his sister Winnie takes Rebecca to her more traditional black church with 'more interesting prayers'. Rebecca and Lauren attend the same middle school. In the second-to-last episode, he quits his job to complete his master's degree in family counselling, something he always wanted to do. The attraction between Amy and him is sometimes acknowledged, but never really explored until he comes to be by her side at the end of the series. "You came" "you called" and they hold hands.
  • Donna Kozlowski, played by Jillian Armenante, is Amy's clerk. An eccentric woman, she is from a wealthy family, but estranged from them. Donna is a genius (she finishes her law degree in one and a half years) and socially awkward. She is married to a convicted murderer, Oscar Ray Pant, and becomes roommates with Amy's brother Vincent. While living with him, she has a daughter by Oscar, Ariadne Gray Pant, to whom she gives birth in a plastic pool in Amy's living room. Her mother arrives while Donna is in the pool, but is unable to offer her support and leaves. Maxine ends up getting in the pool with Donna. Later, Oscar confesses to Donna that he is really guilty and she divorces him. Upon passing the bar examination, Amy fires her so she would go to work as a lawyer; she becomes a court-appointed minor counsel for the Hartford Youth Advocates, whose office is across the hall from Amy's.
  • Sean Potter, played by Timothy Omundson, is Maxine's boss and later friend, who has his hands full dealing with Maxine's unorthodox methods. Initially a bit green in his supervisory role, he loosens up over time after his exposure to and friendship with Maxine. Sean and Bruce become friends and work together to establish alternative treatment programs for youthful offenders (such as "Gun 101"), and Sean is revealed in one episode as an avid karaoke singer, which comes in handy for entertaining the guests at Amy's and Stuart's wedding (which does not quite come off). Sean is also revealed to have come from a rich family, had attended expensive private school, and one time attempts to establish a scholarship fund in honor of his grandfather but the fundraiser doesn't work. Sean also dates Courtney Messina, the daughter of Maxine's beau, Ignacio, for a while, entertaining her elderly grandmother with a rendition of "Vaya con Dios".

Secondary characters[edit]

  • Eric Black, played by Blake Bashoff, is a gay teenager who had been so badly abused that he was blind for two years. When all else fails, Maxine reluctantly takes him into her home, where he rapidly bonds with the family; afterwards, Sean becomes his foster father. Eventually, Eric protectively confronts and kills a stalker after Amy and Lauren. He is tried and found not guilty, but does so by outright lying on the witness stand. Maxine is disappointed in him, so he decides to move to Canada with his boyfriend, Mark.
  • Dr. Lily Reddicker, played by Kristin Lehman is the hospital chief of staff who takes a chance by hiring Amy's cousin Kyle. She is a no-nonsense supervisor who recognizes Kyle's superb medical skills and his need to return to medicine, which he tries to hide behind a sarcastic view of the world. She fights an attraction to Kyle because of their professional relationship and her fears that pursuing it create problems for Kyle because of his addiction problems. Kyle soon becomes troubled by his attraction to both Dr. Lily and a fellow resident, Heather Labonte.
  • Heather Labonte, played by Sarah Danielle Madison, is a doctor at Kyle's hospital with a substance abuse problem, who gets busted with a drug test and then gets a job as a bartender, which she says is a better job with better pay. She has an on/off relationship with Kyle, until she gets pregnant. Kyle doesn't believe she was pregnant, and claims he even visited her father who also said there was no baby. When Heather returns and tells Kyle she is going into rehab and the baby would be staying with her sister, he still doesn't believe her - until his Aunt Maxine literally beats on his chest and yells at him "don't you dare abandon your son!" and, after apologizing, reminds him that the best decisions aren't the easy ones. As a result, Kyle decides to accompany Heather to Minnesota and take care of their son while she is in rehabilitation.
  • Louann "Crystal" Turner, played by Jennifer Esposito, is a former meth addict who runs an outreach program for homeless teenagers. She had a relationship with Vincent and worked with him until they witness a young prostitute get murdered. She goes on a bender and tries to seduce Vincent. When she gets sober, she realizes they can't work together and she arranges for him to work at a youth detention center to teach a creative writing class.
  • Graciela Reyes, played by Tara Correa-McMullen, is a gang member Amy counsels. As time passes, she makes progress, though she is arrested one day for murder, as she was in the car with her cousin when she was involved in a drive-by shooting. Graciela is tried and found guilty as an adult because of a cousin's lies on the witness stand, and thus being sent to adult prison. The cousin later recants, but Graciela is murdered in a gang retaliation before Amy can get her out of prison.
  • Rob Holbrook, played by Jim Parsons, is a young clerk hired by Amy to replace Donna after her departure. Innocent and extremely eager to please, he proves his worth when his knowledge of Spanish comes into play in a case. Later, when Amy is banned from Graciela's trial, he goes in her stead and reports back to her all that happens. He enjoys cake and playing ball.
  • Courtney Messina, played by Jossara Jinaro, is Ignacio Messina's (Cheech Marin) daughter and Sean Potter's (Timothy Omundson) girlfriend.

Amy's love interests[edit]

  • Michael Cassidy (John Slattery, Richard Burgi) is Amy's ex-husband. He divorced Amy and married a woman named Leesha, who was younger and blonder than Amy. Michael tried to obtain full custody of Lauren, hoping his daughter would help him to mend his second marriage. He dropped the case when Leesha left him. He told Amy, though he stood by what he said about her in court, she was still a better parent than he.
  • Rob Meltzer (Tom Welling) is Lauren's karate teacher, with whom Amy had a short fling. She dumped him for Tom Gillette, but later went back to Rob.
  • Tom Gillette (Gregory Harrison) lasted only four episodes, as Tom left Amy so he could return to his estranged wife.
  • Barry Krumble (Chris Sarandon) is a fellow judge, whom Amy dated briefly. He "saved" her from embarrassment at her 10-year college reunion, but the relationship fizzled out when she realized they were not meant for each other because he could not "live in the moment" the way she did.
  • Stuart Collins (Reed Diamond) is a lawyer who, after several on/offs, became engaged to Amy. They rekindled their relationship when she asked him to be Eric Black's lawyer, but she ended the relationship by leaving him at the altar. Six months later, she learned he had married a 22-year-old Polynesian woman whom he met on the trip that was supposed to have been their honeymoon.
  • David McClaren (Adrian Pasdar) is a widowed assistant state's attorney and the father of Lauren's boyfriend, Victor. His relationship with Amy was rocky from the beginning, as he was still dealing with his wife's murder. He attended victims' support group meetings, one of which he asked Amy to attend. Amy became pregnant by him, and they planned to buy a house together. Amy had a miscarriage and, in her grief, kept David at a distance. This resulted in him breaking up with her.

Maxine's love interests[edit]

  • Jared Duff (Richard Crenna) is a wealthy businessman who met Maxine at a local diner, which he later purchased for her. Things between them became rocky several times, once because of his son's opposition to the relationship. They became engaged in 2003, but Jared died two days before the wedding.
  • Ignacio Messina (Cheech Marin) is the landscape designer whom Maxine hired to work on her garden. The two became close, but Maxine learned he was not legally divorced from his wife and he had two children: Courtney Messina (Jossara Jinaro) and Raul Messina (Tito Ortiz). Ignacio's mother hated Maxine, which she found extremely funny. Maxine refused to date him when she learned his divorce wasn't final. They continued their friendship bound by a complicated set of rules Maxine established to prove they weren't dating. He remained very supportive during Maxine's health problems. When his divorce became final, they began dating again in a complicated relationship. At one point Maxine thought they were getting too close and she actually gave him away to her friend Patsy. She later regretted it and asked Ignacio to dump Patsy. He refuses to live by Maxine's ever changing rules and confronts her with a marriage proposal as a solution, which she accepts.

Murdered cast member[edit]

On October 21, 2005, 16-year old Tara Correa-McMullen (who played Graciela Reyes in the show) was shot to death outside an apartment complex in Inglewood, California. Suspected gang member Damien Watts, 20, was charged with her murder on March 1, 2006; he was convicted on January 23, 2009.[4] When charged, Watts was in custody for a separate shooting.[5] Watts was sentenced on February 27, 2009 to life imprisonment, with no chance of parole.[6]


Judging Amy takes place in Hartford, Connecticut. Although the show often shows the Hartford Judicial District Court as having the address of 1265 (street unknown), the actual address of the Hartford Judicial District is 95 Washington Street, family matters are heard on 90 Washington Street and the Superior Court Juvenile Matters of Hartford is in 920 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06106.[7]


Season One: 1999–2000[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "Pilot" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker September 19, 1999 (1999-09-19)
Amy Gray, an attorney, has found herself a single mother after a recent divorce. With Amy's young daughter Lauren in tow, she moves back to Hartford, Connecticut, with her very opinionated mother, a retired social worker. Amy moves back in to her mother's home, where the family issues are plentiful. Amy is selected to become a juvenile court judge, with the new career and family, Amy will be more challenged than she ever dreamed. Amy's first case involves a child abandoned by a drug-addicted mother. Amy quickly finds the politics and shortcomings of the juvenile justice system a bit overwhelming.
2 2 "Short Calendar" Jack Bender Barbara Hall, John Tinker September 21, 1999 (1999-09-21)
Amy is thrown into the dog-eat-dog world of the short calendar, with some 54 cases, and decisions must be made quickly. She is called to an ER, where a doctor wants to terminate medication being given to a critically ill infant. Lauren is having troubles at school, and Amy has a confrontation with Lauren's new teacher. Adding to Amy's troubles, Maxine decides to return to work.
3 3 "Trial by Jury" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker September 28, 1999 (1999-09-28)
Amy agrees to take over a case for a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy — her first jury case. A young girl was murdered and her parents are suing the parents of the boy who killed her. Amy has a run-in with a former law school classmate representing the girl's parents. With an emotionally packed case, Amy instructs the jury not to let the emotion of the case sway their judgment. Both sides are determined to use every trick they can come up with to win. Elsewhere, Maxine decides to buy a new car and seeks Vincent's help. Vincent does not understand why his mother does not take his writing seriously.
4 4 "Victim Soul" James Frawley Barbara Hall, John Tinker October 5, 1999 (1999-10-05)
Amy must determine if a comatose boy who is believed to have healing powers is being abused by his grandmother; Maxine clashes with her supervisor over taking an underfed little girl away from her anorexic mother; Vincent begins a relationship with an older woman.
5 5 "Last Tango in Hartford" James Frawley Barbara Hall, John Tinker October 12, 1999 (1999-10-12)
A death threat, coupled with Maxine's disapproval, puts a crimp in Amy's blossoming relationship with Tracy; Vincent begins to feel like he is Chris's pet project; Maxine rekindles an old friendship; Amy officiates at Donna's wedding to a convict; Maxine helps a second-generation foster teenager keep her infant son out of the system.
6 6 "Witch Hunt" James Frawley Barbara Hall, John Tinker October 19, 1999 (1999-10-19)
A woman fights for custody of her son after the boy's father claims her practice of the Wiccan religion makes her an unfit mother; Vincent gets an agent; in the week before Halloween, Lauren gets spooked by some older boys; Amy confronts narrow-minded attitudes at the PTA meeting; in direct defiance of Susie's orders, Maxine pursues the search for a boy missing from a family with a history of child abuse.
7 7 "Impartial Bias" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker November 2, 1999 (1999-11-02)
Vincent accepts an English writing teaching position for the income, but doubts if it fits his vocation as an author. He wonders what made his dad - whom he lost very young - work in the insurance field, as brother Peter now does enthusiastically, despite their father's acceptance to medical school. Maxine fights a deaf supervisor's claim to end the guardianship of big brother Paul Dexter, who never learned sign language, over young Kevin, who refuses to learn any more after systematic peer abuse at school, neglected by DCS till then. Amy hears a claim by an old black grandmother for custody over her two-year-old grandson Eryk, who is in foster care with the devoted white Chase couple, which adopted his older sister.
8 8 "Near Death Experience" Kevin Dowling Barbara Hall, John Tinker November 9, 1999 (1999-11-09)
Amy presides over the sentencing hearing of an emotionally immature teenager convicted of the murder of a 10-year-old girl during a drive-by shooting; Vincent is shot when he attempts to rescue a woman being assaulted; Maxine investigates a mother who claims she was abducted by aliens; a divorced couple asks Amy to resolve a dispute about the care of their five-day-old son.
9 9 "The Persistence of Tectonics" Joe Ann Fogle Barbara Hall, John Tinker November 23, 1999 (1999-11-23)
Amy juggles preparing Thanksgiving dinner, being on call, and coping with a surprise announcement from Michael; Gillian asks Maxine for help in financing another in vitro procedure; Amy presides over an adoption in which the biological father shows up at the last minute to claim his child; Hillary tries to settle the score with Vincent during a Thanksgiving party at Alan's; Amy sentences two boys convicted of animal cruelty.
10 10 "Crowded House" Martha Mitchell Barbara Hall, John Tinker November 30, 1999 (1999-11-30)
Amy hears the case of an extremely abused, mentally ill teenager who has stabbed a teacher; Vincent's agent finds him a publisher who will sign him only if he completes another short story in the next four days; Maxine tries to help an overstressed young mother who is afraid she will hurt her baby; Lauren strains Amy's patience as she waxes enthusiastically over Michael's girlfriend; Maxine faces a house full of her children for a week as Vincent moves back home to devote all his energies to writing, and Gillian takes a much-needed break from the strain infertility has placed on her marriage; Vincent's short story inspires Gillian to return home to Peter and reconsider adoption.
11 11 "Presumed Innocent" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker December 14, 1999 (1999-12-14)
Amy takes it personally when Stuart appeals her decision to overturn the jury's verdict; Maxine arrives at a creative solution in placing an extremely gifted teenager who chronically runs away from his foster placements; Donna becomes Vincent's new roommate; Amy must decide whether to remove a child from the care of a mother suspected of suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy; after her verdict is upheld, Stuart asks Amy out on a date, and she royally disses him as she turns him down flat.
12 12 "Spoil the Child" Kristoffer Tabori Barbara Hall, John Tinker January 11, 2000 (2000-01-11)
Amy has to consider the line between discipline and child abuse when dealing with a doctor who spanks his son; Maxine fights to obtain care for two mentally ill siblings. Vincent comforts Donna after a disappointing conjugal visit.
13 13 "Zero to Sixty" Anita W. Addison Barbara Hall, John Tinker January 18, 2000 (2000-01-18)
Michael's insistence upon joint custody of Lauren after Amy requests an increase in child support payments dooms the divorce mediation process; Maxine wants nothing to do with any celebration of her 60th birthday; Amy must decide whether a college senior should be charged as an adult for a fatal hit-and-run accident that occurred when he was 15; Michael's attempt to win Vincent over to his side in the custody battle ends badly; Amy hears a father's petition which contests the divorce agreement requiring him to pay for his daughter's college education; Maxine deals with combative divorced parents who cannot seem to manage a peaceful exchange of their three small children.
14 14 "Shaken, Not Stirred" David Semel Barbara Hall, John Tinker February 8, 2000 (2000-02-08)
Amy must decide if a young boy accused of shaking his infant sister to death is guilty of murder; Maxine fights to keep a 10-year-old girl away from her abusive stepfather; Vincent struggles with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; Amy finds herself in a sticky situation when she accepts a date with the father of one of Lauren's classmates, and then learns that he is a child advocacy attorney scheduled to appear in her court; Vincent gets better acquainted with Lisa.
15 15 "Culture Class" Jack Bender Barbara Hall, John Tinker February 15, 2000 (2000-02-15)
The Gray family is excited now Vincent's first book is suddenly in the stores, but he worries about any bad criticism he might get, especially in The New York Times, as the negative comments would break his career rather than launch it. Amy tries a case where a German-descended father's anti-German wife, who calls him a Nazi, drove him to flee with their children to Germany, and a claim by an accused woman to have been asked to satisfy a judge 'orally' in chambers. Meanwhile, Maxine has to put up Peter's rather arrogant prospective adoption child's pregnant mother.
16 16 "The Wee Hours" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker February 22, 2000 (2000-02-22)
Vincent has writer's block, even Donna's poem seems more inspired, so he postulates for another reporter cadetship. Amy loses control emotionally during a custody trial, while unable to discipline Lauren, and even dreams of kissing her clerk. Maxine finds out the root is missing a man and diagnoses a sleepwalking youngest boy in a family of five as victim of torturous tickling.
17 17 "Drawing the Line" Jack Bender Barbara Hall, John Tinker February 29, 2000 (2000-02-29)
Vincent is now a Hartford Examiner reporter, but objects to a sensationalist assignment to cover a case about a house-father killed while committing a crime cross-dressed; Maxine knew him and scolds all modern journalism. Amy cannot handle Lauren making friends with her ex's new partner, who allows the girl to pierce her ears. Amy accepted a class in Yale law school but does not keep her promises in class and rants about family law being the noblest, most demanding branch and court job. Maxine finds reoffending problem boy Joe Broussard is abused by reputable child psychologist Dr. Amanda Kubiak.
18 18 "Human Touch" Martha Mitchell Barbara Hall, John Tinker March 21, 2000 (2000-03-21)
Amy presides over a custody case between a young girl's stepfather and her biological father, whose severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may interfere with his parenting ability; after an unsuccessful experiment with day trading puts holes in her financial situation, Maxine has difficulty fixing the holes in her roof; the court reporter from hell, who is also Donna's nemesis, is assigned to Amy's courtroom; Maxine uncovers systematic fraud at D.C.F. that leads directly to Susie's desk; Amy realizes that she needs to assume more of the financial burden at home after she and Peter quarrel over their mother's monetary predicament; Vincent and Lisa work through their relationship fears; Amy orders DCF to cut through the bureaucracy and the paperwork so Croatian refugees can find a home and be reunited with their son.
19 19 "The Out-of-Towners" Bob McCracken Barbara Hall, John Tinker April 18, 2000 (2000-04-18)
Heeding the request of counsel to deliver one of her "rants" at a sentencing hearing, Amy lectures a young drug dealer whose mother has made tremendous sacrifices to provide him with a better life; much to Peter's dismay, Maxine accepts a date from an attractive man she meets at the diner; Amy travels with Bruce to a small town to hear a case centered on the misdiagnosis and overmedication of its teenage boys; as her abductor's case comes to trial, Lisa and Vincent argue when her fears for the possibility of acquittal, and thus her safety, increase; pending the outcome of an investigation, Susie is back at work after a one-week paid suspension and, over Maxine's objections, sets in motion a chain of events which eventually leads to the death of a young mother; Amy and Bruce have divergent reactions when confronted with intolerance during their trip; Maxine unsuccessfully tries to resign, and ends up being blackmailed into accepting the position of DCF supervisor until a replacement for Susie can be found.
20 20 "The God Thing" Kevin Dowling Barbara Hall, John Tinker May 2, 2000 (2000-05-02)
At the trial, Liz twists the truth to get 'just' revenge and blames honest lover Vincent for 'not supporting' her - they break up. Amy is ruthless on two otherwise upright students from fine homes who claim the rape-drug rohypnol they gave a girl was an ill-considered 'experiment'. Maxine has a millionaire courter, Jared Duff, who made a fortune inventing a search engine, and doubts whether to stay on in charge of child welfare.
21 21 "Gray vs. Gray" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker May 9, 2000 (2000-05-09)
Maxine gets a new supervisor at DCF.; Donna becomes stressed when Oscar's attorneys petition to have his conviction reversed; Amy and Maxine are at odds over having Maxine's terminally ill client testify in a case Amy is hearing; Vincent counsels Donna against telling Oscar about her attraction to other men, and reassures her that her feelings are normal.
22 22 "Not with a Whimper" David Platt Barbara Hall, John Tinker May 16, 2000 (2000-05-16)
After going on the date from hell with a Yale professor, Amy has one last fling with Michael the day their divorce becomes final; Maxine returns a stowaway boy to his mother; when Donna and Vincent persuade a reluctant Evie to deliver her baby in the hospital instead of at home, she insists they, instead of Gillian and Peter, act as her birthing coaches; Amy assigns a unique condition of probation to a bright and feisty teenager; Maxine fears that she has contracted Alzheimer's disease after suffering cognitive lapses, and is relieved to discover that it is only a concussion sustained when she bumped her head on a piece of furniture; Evie's son is born, surprising the family with his interracial heritage.
23 23 "Blast from the Past" James Hayman Barbara Hall, John Tinker May 23, 2000 (2000-05-23)
Vincent is injured in an explosion when he attempts to dissuade an old friend threatening to blow up the courthouse after he loses custody of his sons in Amy's court; Charles accuses Maxine of being a gold-digger; Donna discovers she is pregnant; after Ian files a complaint against Amy and Bruce, alleging they have an improper relationship, Bruce transfers to another courtroom for the duration of the investigation; Maxine's efforts to reunite a mother with her children are sabotaged by her client.


Judging Amy is broadcast in Australia on channels ELEVEN and 111 Hits and in New Zealand on Prime. In Canada, the show aired on channel Séries+. Ireland's TV3 carried the show, as did UK stations Living TV, Hallmark, Channel 4, and CBS Drama, Israel's YES Base Channel also carries the show.

DVD release[edit]

Judging Amy has been released on DVD in Scandinavia and Australia. All Season One episodes are available from retailers in these countries. All releases contain subtitling in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Season Region 1 Region 2 (Denmark & Norway) Region 2 (Sweden) Region 4 (Australia)
Season 1, Volume 1 N/A February 25, 2010 May 19, 2010 N/A
Season 1, Volume 2 N/A February 25, 2010 May 19, 2010 N/A
Season 1, Complete Season N/A N/A N/A May 5, 2010

Although all discs on the Australian set are encoded to Region 4, the first three discs menu (episodes 1–12) shows Season One Box One, whereas the last three discs menu (episodes 13–23) shows Season One Box Two. This is the same as the split season Scandinavian releases.


  • Season 1: 21st – 14.1 million viewers[8]
  • Season 2: 28th – 13.3 million viewers[9]
  • Season 3: 21st - 13.9 million viewers[10]
  • Season 4: 26th – 13.1 million viewers[11]
  • Season 5: 39th – 10.7 million viewers[12]
  • Season 6: 37th – 10.6 million viewers[13]


  1. ^ Entertainment Weekly TV Review for Judging Amy
  2. ^ PopMatters.com Judging Amy
  3. ^ Season 2 episode 5 "Unnecessary Roughness"
  4. ^ "Gang member convicted of murdering 'Judging Amy' actress". Los Angeles Times. January 23, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Alleged Gang Member Charged in Shooting Death of Teen Actress". Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. March 1, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Gangster gets life for killing 'Judging Amy' teen". MSNBC. February 27, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  7. ^ General Court Information – Hours, holidays, directions and court telephone numbers
  8. ^ Variety http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=chart_pass&charttype=chart_topshows99&dept=TV.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly. June 1, 2001. 
  10. ^ "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. 
  11. ^ "Rank And File". Entertainment Weekly. June 6, 2003. 
  12. ^ ABC Medianet at the Wayback Machine (archived September 30, 2007)
  13. ^ ABC Medianet at the Wayback Machine (archived March 10, 2007)

External links[edit]