Friday, August 25, 2006

Legally Blonde: Judge Judy's genius has a new star

Here's the next big daytime TV hit, and the next multimillionaire daytime TV judge, brought to you by the man who invented tabloid television, revolutionized morning news shows, created Judge Judy, and then brought Judge Joe Brown to TV riches.

Peter Brennan’s latest brainchild is Cristina’s Court, starring Spanish television star Cristina Perez, familiar to our Latin friends from her show, ‘Corte de Familia’ on Telemundo and soon to be the first Latin legal star to make the crossover to the American mainstream.

September 11th is the debut date for Cristina’s Court (see the sales tape above). The geniuses who do the scheduling probably forgot it’s the fifth anniversary a big event (and the day that 9/11 hero , becomes Father Michael Judge is eligible for sainthood), so there are bound to be pre-emptions, but it will be worth catching up with.

Brennan tells stories like no other, and his team knows the key to a successful court find cases that may not be earth-shattering but are crucially important to the people who are pressing them. They also know to find litigants who don’t look like they were scraped off the floor of Jerry Springer’s waiting room.

Young, blonde and from Colombia (though most viewers assume she's Mexican), Cristina is bound to be the next big TV judge.

Australian-born Brennan’s role in the rise and fall of tabloid television is well-documented in Tabloid Baby. He was at the helm of last year’s ill-fated relaunch of A Current Affair, which was cancelled abruptly when Fox News boss Roger Ailes took over the Fox stations and stuffed his pet Geraldo in the timeslots (Ailes actually copped the Fox News template from the tabloid television formula, taking the basic principles and injecting ugly right-wing warmongering politics into the mix).

Coincidentally, another player from the early days of tabloid television is succeeding behind the scenes with a female TV star. Big Gordon Elliott, famed for his TV “doorknocks” on Brennan's Good Day New York and A Current Affair (and other exploits recounted in Tabloid Baby), in recent years could be found on the Food Network and Campbell’s Soup ads. He discovered a Southern cooking lady named Paula Deen, whose “Paula’s Party” launches September 29, and is said to be the network’s new hope.

The reinvented Gordo has avoided us since Tabloid Baby was published at the end of 1999 (he features in some great stories, but nothing to be ashamed of!), so if you see him, send him Tabloid Baby’s best wishes!

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