It's no secret that courtroom shows are big business. Just ask Judge Judy and her $440 million net worth. This makes it all the more unsurprising that production companies are looking to capitalize on that sweet courtroom TV dollar with a variety of different premises. Even Gary Busey has his own courtroom TV show where he acts as a ... pet judge. You read that correctly.
Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank fame also has his own themed courtroom series called Money Court, which features Mr. Wonderful as an arbitrator between two individuals who have business-themed grievances with one another. But how many of the cases that come before Kevin are real? Are any of them faked? Because that has happened in courtroom shows in the past.
Is 'Money Court' fake?
If you believe that everything you see on reality TV is indeed real, then I've got some bad news for you. Some shows feature manufactured storylines while others straight up hire actors and fake entire scenarios for the cameras.
But what about courtroom shows? We do know that one Cracked writer, Harmon Leon, was able to fib his way onto a show with an over-the-top scenario to see if production companies from any of the series would bite.
The case ultimately ended up on Judge Joe Brown despite being entirely fabricated. Has the same happened with Judge Judy and other courtroom shows? While they may feature real judges, that doesn't necessarily mean all of the cases are real. It all depends on how thoroughly the production companies decide to vet the claims that individuals have against each other.
But Money Court is themed around financial disputes and Kevin O'Leary isn't pretending to be a judge. At his side are legal experts Katie Phang and Ada Pozo, whose contributions received considerable praise in early reviews of the program.
Kevin, along with Katie and Ada, use a line of questioning over video conference with the two aggrieved individuals to resolve their financial woes.
Are the contestants paid on 'Money Court'?
This is another important question to ask when considering the veracity of the show and its potential for fakeness. There really isn't anything stopping folks from attempting to appear on the program for some nationally broadcast screen time or to help get eyes on a particular business or product they're shilling.
Presumably, production companies would be on the lookout for red flags containing this sort of behavior. However, if two folks are adept at selling a compelling story and are able to make it seem believable, there could be any number of "fakers" on Money Court.
It should be noted that this is unlikely to happen, as the episodes feature businesses that could very easily be looked up to determine whether or not they exist.
It's also unclear as to whether or not the individuals featured on Money Court are being paid for their appearances as guests/plaintiffs/defendants on other courtroom shows are. On shows like Judge Judy, the monetary judgment amounts awarded to disputers are also covered by the budget of the show, so it's a win-win for people who don't mind airing their grievances on-air.
If you're interested in checking Money Court out, the show airs on CNBC on Wednesday nights, beginning August 11, 2021, at 10 p.m. EST.