Randy Douthit is a winner. He’s earned a bookshelf full of Emmys in his 40-year TV career as a producer and director of award-winning shows as well as acclaim from such personalities as musician/composer Quincy Jones and courtroom star Judith Sheindlin. Sheindlin is better known to American TV audiences as the quick-witted and sharp-tongued Judge Judy.
He was the executive producer and director of her original CBS program for 25 years and he continued in that role on the program Judy Justice, now on IMDb’s streaming service on the Amazon platform since November 2021.
Douthit said, “On the older show we would probably have two cases per episode. I would say the majority of cases we do now, it’s one case for a half-hour. It provides an avenue of going in depth — backing up the story and seeing how we got to this situation and all of the other elements, more details, more focus on what the law is, more explanation of what the law is.”
Meredith Jacobs of TV Insider reported the new show has been renewed for a second season. The arbitration reality TV program is IMDb’s No. 1 show, its debut episodes drawing 25 million viewing hours.
Randy Douthit Talks Producing During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, Douthit and his team shot 120 hours of Judy Justice. “Everyone has to roll up their sleeves and get it done and we got it done,” he says with well-earned satisfaction.
“The 120-episode pickup was the largest ever initial order,“ he adds proudly. And he should know. Executive producer/director Randy Douthit is a TV courtroom veteran, having worked on shows like Hot Bench and Judge Joe Brown. He began his career in local television, first in Portland, Oregon, then in Seattle, where he was successful in turning around its morning show viewership by a factor of 10. “I was very young,” he recalls. “I was still going to school at the time but I was always willing to do whatever it takes to get a show on the air.”
He was an early member of Ted Turner’s fledgling CNN before cable news flourished. There, he produced the political debate programs Crossfire and Capital Gang. These shows were the precursors to the high-decibel argumentativeZoomathonsthat are a staple of cable news today.
Presidents, Movers and Shakers, and Randy Douthit
During his career at CNN, Douthit produced and directed special shows for three American presidents: Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and George H.W. Bush. He also produced and directed the Larry King Live program that featured suspender-snapping interviews with politicians, movie stars, and controversial newsmakers.
On the lighter side of the channel-changer, he was a part of the team that first brought the Oscar-winning actor Will Smith to the fore in NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
A television program, whether as appointment-viewing TV or on the new streaming apps, must run like a perfectly wound clock of content. Everything has to run smoothly. That’s the principal responsibility of the producer. Douthit says, “The biggest challenge is to make sure the production runs smoothly because if you don’t do something correctly it causes all sorts of problems, so be quick about it and get it right the first time. I’m very fast at what I do.”
Off-camera, Douthit supports groups like Public Counsel and the Vera Institute of Justice. He also has supported causes that address the staggering homeless problem in LA and says he intends to do more.
“I’ll make myself go down there and help, roll up my sleeves and make sure that people have something to eat,” he says.Topics #Randy Douthit