How court shows have adapted productions due to coronavirus

Over on “Judge Mathis,” which is taped in the NBC Tower in Chicago, court cases are being heard both in person and remotely.

When litigants are in studio, they stand facing the bench with large wheeled panels on one side. The panels are positioned on the side facing the other party.

Mathis, meanwhile, sits behind a plastic panel that is wheeled in front of the bench, allowing him to still face the litigants but also cutting down on air exchange from them — which makes sense since they face him directly.

Bailiff Doyle Devereux wears a face mask.

The show has retained a small studio audience, who sit spaced out and wear face shields, presumably so their facial reactions can still be seen.

At the top of his season premiere, Mathis made note of the changes due to coronavirus and said he hopes the show can be an example on practicing social distancing and other safety measures.


Judge Jerry,” starring longtime talk show host Jerry Springer, which is taped at NBCUniversal’s facility in Stamford, Connecticut, has eliminated a studio audience with empty chairs appearing behind the defendant and plaintiff. 

The lecterns have been moved slightly farther apart (as evidenced by the lines on the floor) but no plastic shields have been added as of the season debut. 

Bailiff Najee Hinds also appears to stand a bit farther back than in previous editions.