From Jail To Judge: ‘Judge Mathis’ Ending After Two Decades

He is the longest-running Black male host on television.

After over 20 seasons on air — 24 to be exact — Judge Mathis has been canceled.

According to PEOPLE, the syndicated legal show which premiered in 1999 will be coming to an end. Gregory Ellis Mathis, who became known as  Greg Mathis, is the longest-running Black male host on television. He’s second to Judge Sheindlin (Judge Judy) in longest-serving judge in courtroom television.

In 2018, Judge Mathis won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding legal/courtroom program, making the series the first court show with a black jurist to win the honor. He was able to turn his life around after serving time in jail on a gun charge as a member of one of Detroit’s most violent street gangs, according to the Judge Mathis website.

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Before his on-camera role, Mathis, 62, served on the bench in Michigan’s 36th District. He’s also a dedicated civil rights activist who is the Chair for the Rainbow Push Coalition’s educational sector Push Excel, designed to increase “ opportunities for our youth by challenging them to strive for excellence in their academic studies and actively teaching them critical thinking skills.”

In November 2022, Mathis shared that production for season 24 was “wrapping up,” as he danced to The Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine.”

During a January interview on The Jennifer Hudson Show, Mathis said,” well I had no intention” of the show lasting 24 seasons. “They told me it was only a 20% chance we’d succeed.”

At the time, Mathis was a sitting judge in Michigan and had to give up his judgeship. He goes on to say he had further aspirations to become the mayor of Detroit, “but they keep putting that [Judge Mathis] contract in my wife and kids’ face.”

Mathis isn’t the only television judge to sound the gavel for the last time. The People’s Court hosted by former Florida prosecutor Marilyn Millian is also ending after 26 seasons.

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