|Format||Nontraditional court show
Tabloid talk show
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||MGM Domestic Television 79th & York Entertainment|
|Distributor||MGM Domestic Television Distrubution|
|Original channel||First-run syndication|
|Original airing||September 23, 2013|
Paternity Court is an upcoming American tabloid talk/nontraditional court show hybrid, bringing family lawyer and legal analyst Lauren Lake as she hears and rules on paternity cases and renders DNA test results. The show will be produced by MGM Domestic Television Distribution, and 79th and York Entertainment. It will be executive produced by David Armour, whose credits include the original Ricki Lake and Queen Latifah shows.
According to John Bryan, president of MGM Domestic Television Distribution, the series will be MGM's first first-run syndication series to come to the market in years. Reports of the unborn series first emerged in December 2012.
As of December 2012, the court show was already sold in 75% of the country, including stations in the CBS Television Stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Weigel Broadcasting, Cox Media Group, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Meredith Corporation, Local TV, Journal Communications and Fisher Communications station groups. Stations are acquiring the show on an all-barter basis with 3½ minutes of local and 3½ minutes of national advertising time in every episode.
Broadcasting & Cable has reported: It's not too far of a stretch to assume that Maury, the father of televised paternity cases, was the inspiration of this show. According to John Bryan, president of MGM Domestic Television Distribution:
- "Starting in its 2009-10 season, Maury started doing a lot of paternity cases. The show's numbers went up, and today, 90% of his shows involve this in some way. On many occasions, Maury leads all talk shows among women 25-54. We also looked at what the most popular genre is in daytime and that's court. This show hits a sweet spot in daytime. Court has obviously proved itself and shows about paternity have proved themselves."
Said Neal Sabin, president of content and networks for Weigel Broadcasting, which owns WCIU Chicago:
Paternity Court will be a half-hour hybrid of tabloid talk show and court show. It has been reported that Lauren Lake will talk to the show's guests and decide cases based upon the results of DNA tests. There will be different guests for each episode. While the show's title is Paternity Court, it will also look into other situations that use DNA confirmation, such as disputes over wills.
Currently, most court shows use an arbitration-based reality format consisting of a simulated courtroom set up within a studio; however, creators of Paternity Court have stated that the nontraditional series will use an actual court of law. This would make Lake an actual judge by definition as opposed to an arbitrator (which the vast majority of today's court show stars are technically) assuming the court show is a reality legal program as opposed to a legal drama. As MGM Television has yet to report whether or not the program's cases will be real and details confirming legitimacy as to the show's structure, Paternity Court cannot yet be referred to as a "reality" court program.
In late January 2013, creator David Armour revealed several details of the upcoming MGM conflict-resolution strip with Lauren Lake:
- “We’re not talking about someone who broke another person’s sunglasses; these are life-altering decisions. There is a beginning, middle and end to each story. But then there’s what happens after the paternity test results. We don’t take any of this lightly. There is a responsible side to the show where we help families get on the right path.”
- The program "plans to bring something ... interesting but with a truly positive resolution.”
- Most episodes will end with Lake revealing the results of a paternity test, but Armour has said this won’t happen in every episode. He has also said that the show will cover a wide range of cases.
- Armour has stated that he has not yet figured out where the TV series will tape from. He and his team are in the early stages of getting the show’s look and feel together."The set will come together over the next several months. It’s a court show with a twist. But it’s set in a courtroom. It is a court of law and will be respected as such."
Unlike most present-day court shows which typically comprise of two cases for each episode, Paternity Court will focus on one case per episode.
Judge Lauren Lake
- Main article: Lauren Lake
Lauren Laniece Lake was born a Detroit, Michigan native. In 1995, she was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and began her law career as a criminal defense attorney. Since that time, she has also been admitted to the State Bar of New York and the State Bar of New Jersey, where her practice is predominantly devoted to entertainment and family law.
Lake rose to fame through fierce outspokeness and vehement, compelling, and ornate self-expression, serving as a guest host and legal expert/commentator on various talk shows, reality legal programming, and mainstream media news programs. Lake has guest appeared on such TV shows as Dr. Phil, The O'Reilly Factor, The Bill Cunningham Show, The Today Show, The View, as well as on many cable news networks. On various political programming, Lake has not hesitated to express and defend her beliefs with conviction, at times even dressing down others, especially where controversial subjects and opinions are concerned.
Said Lake of her upcoming daytime television series, “We’ve seen these shows about ‘Who’s your baby’s daddy?’ but there’s a nugget missing in current programming that I will bring to the show. My challenge is to bring something just as interesting but with a truly positive resolution.”
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