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Why Did ‘Divorce Court’ Divorce Judge Lynn Toler After 13 Years?

The daytime courtroom series “Divorce Court,” which is syndicated, has recently been updated with a new version. After serving on the bench for the past 13 years, Judge Lynn Toler has stepped down, and Judge Faith Jenkins has taken her place.

“Divorce Court” needs to attempt anything and everything to divorce itself from its terrible Nielsen ratings, despite the fact that the breakup seems to have been amicable (at least on social media, where very few things are ever seen to be amicable).

According to Nielsen, “Divorce Court” tied for 71st place out of 104 shows in the most recent week of national-syndication ratings, which ended on February 23, 2020. The show’s national household rating was a meager 0.68, placing it in the bottom half of all available programs.

 The weak weekly return is not an anomaly; in fact, “Divorce Court” has been averaging exactly that low amount so far this season, making it clear that the show continues to perform poorly. (“Divorce Court” ranks 68th out of 108 syndicated shows.)

 Alex Karev’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy Goodbye Grows 18% in TV Ratings For a very illustrative comparison, “Judge Judy” got a staggering 6.48 rating in the same week that “Divorce Court” did. Now, in order to be fair to “Divorce Court,” I must say that “Judge Judy” is not only the most popular courtroom show, but it also has the highest ratings of any show that is broadcast in syndication. However, it is still in the same vein as the show “Divorce Court,” hence the split-screen format.

There have been various versions of the show over the years, which first aired in 1957 and 1969, and then again between 1984 and 1992. These seasons did not follow the format that we are familiar with now. They were dramatized rather than being true cases. Each episode was designed to include reenactments of actual divorce cases performed by actors.

Divorce Court' Divorce Judge Lynn Toler

In these seasons, nearly everyone played an actor, while student attorneys argued the cases. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to get experience before going into a real courtroom, but the earlier seasons weren’t as exciting as the show we now know.

The format was altered in 1999, and ‘Divorce Court’ was better than ever. Divorce Court was reinvented with real couples who had filed for divorce in the fall of 1999. Rather than having, student attorneys argue the cases, each individual in the real divorce presented their own case. And the judge was a genuine judge, with Judge Mablean Deloris Ephriam presiding over the cases.

For seven seasons, she would rule in favor of one of the plaintiffs, making decisions on everything from asset partition to alimony, and her choices were legally enforceable. Judge Mablean quit the show in 2006, ostensibly owing to contract concerns, but she also accused the show of racism, alleging she was sacked because FOX had issues with how she arranged her hair.

What Happened To Judge Lynn Toler?

According to Entertainment Weekly, Lynn Toler announced her departure from the reality court program after 13 years on the bench. “I couldn’t wait any longer because the news is coming out and I wanted you to hear it from me,” she said in a video posted to Twitter on March 5, 2020, which has since been deleted. “I’ve left Divorce Court, we parted ways. I had 13 amazing years. It was time to go on.”

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