TODAY   |  September 18, 2013

Judge Judy: Society has ‘softened up’

TV judge Judy Sheindlin is returning for an 18th season of her daytime show and has as a new book: “What Would Judy Say?: A Grown-Up Guide to Living Together With Benefits.” She tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie how her show has changed over the years.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back account 8:47. judge judy scheindlin needs no introduction. the next season of her popular show is in it's 18th season. take a look.

>> is that correct. don't give me a but. you don't have a counter claim and so far you're not losing so why don't you keep your mouth shut.

>> and she is out with a book called what would judy say. a grown up guide to living together with benefits. this sounds interesting.

>> 18 seasons. can you believe it.

>> who believes that?

>> has it just flown by?

>> it has just flown by and when you can memorialize 18 years and i look at the bad hair day and the good hair day and -- you look back at 18 years and you say to yourself, that's a lifetime. our crew, who, you know, usually leaves shows after a year or two, things come and go and they ebb and flow. i have seen babies grown. kids getting married and retiring and getting social security . it's amazing.

>> the full circle of life. i was curious, 18 years ago were the litigants that came into your courtroom different or the same? how have things changed?

>> i don't know if behavior has changed. the look has changed. the dress has changed. the piercings have changed. the tattoos have changed. what draws people in has changed. i don't think 20 years ago you would come to court with jeans with holes in them or shorts and flip flops. i think that society sort of softened up over the last 18 years but the problems remain the same.

>> you know, they celebrated your 18 years with a flash mob . i think we can show some video. this is your crew and some people you work with all dressed in judge judy regalia.

>> i looked closely and i didn't see you. care to explain?

>> they didn't invite me.

>> well, there they are. their trademark judge judy robes. have you tried to he solve the show? or is it why mess with what isn't broken?

>> everyone year somebody says to me what's going to change this year and i listen to every other program, try to add something fresh and to keep it alive. there's nothing else i can do. and why would you? you know, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. it seems to be doing fine and we just keep doing what we're doing.

>> you have a long running show and longer running marriage. what's your secret to couples?

>> i don't have a secret, actually. i think if you're lucky enough to have that thing that you can't quite put your finger on, i like to call it a mojo. if you have that good feeling, you can tolerate all the bad stuff. you know, you realize that you're better off as a couple than you are as a single.

>> you have a lot of kids and 12 gra grandkids and you officiated your grandchild's wedding?

>> yes, first grandson got married two weeks ago at our home in connecticut. and asked us to officiate at the wedding. so it was a real kick. they married all of our children, officiated the wedding for all of our children and this was the first grandchild. you talk about 18 years, i remember the moment when he was born. i remember the moment that he was wheeled in front of us at the hospital, looking at him and saying to ourselves, how could you be a grandmother.

>> well, it's amazing and he didn't wear any cutoff jeans and tattoos, right?

>> he didn't and he doesn't. has scruff occasionally.

>> it's the style.

>> it's the style.

>> congratulations on season 18 .

>> thanks. lovely to see you