Judge Judy is an American arbitration-based reality court show presided over by Judge Judy Sheindlin, a retired Manhattan family court judge. The show features Sheindlin adjudicating real-life small claim disputes within a simulated courtroom set. Prior to the proceedings, all parties involved must sign arbitration contracts agreeing to Sheindlin's ruling, handling and production staff management. The series is in first-run syndication and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Judge Judy, which premiered on September 16, 1996, reportedly revitalized the court show genre. Only two other arbitration-based reality court shows preceded it, The People's Court and Jones & Jury. Sheindlin has been credited with introducing the "tough" adjudicating approach into the judicial genre, which has led to several imitators. The only two court shows that outnumber Judge Judy's seasons, The People's Court and Divorce Court, have both lasted via multiple disunited lives of production and shifting arbiters. Thus Sheindlin's span as a television jurist or arbitrator has lasted longer than any other—a distinction that gave her a place in the Guinness World Records in September 2015.