The first episode of "Judge Judy" aired on Sept. 16, 1996. The cast credited for that episode included Judy Sheindlin as Judge Judy, Petri Hawkins-Byrd as the bailiff, Jerry Bishop as the announcer and Kevin Marshall Brady as the guest.
As of 2015, "Judge Judy" is currently still on TV for its 19th season and is contracted to continue until at least 2017. Judy Sheindlin started her career as a prosecutor of juvenile cases in 1972. She later became a judge in New York Family Court in 1982, but retired in 1996 after she was offered an opportunity to preside over cases on TV.