EXCLUSIVE: There will be a new judge presiding over Divorce Court. Former Judge Faith star Faith Jenkins will headline the long-running syndicated program effective July 2020. She will succeed Judge Lynn Toler who has departed after 13 years on the show.
On Divorce Court, produced by Lincolnwood Productions and distributed by Fox First Run, Jenkins will provide judgement for all the cases brought to mediation on the program, ranging from divorce court proceedings to other domestic disputes. She is only the third arbitrator on the program since its 1999 relaunch, following Mablean Ephriam (1999-2006) and Lynn Toler (2006-2019).
Jenkins has a syndicated court show experience as the star of Judge Faith, which ran for four years, from 2014-2018.
“We are confident that Judge Faith’s energy and passion for each case will build on the legacy of this program created by the exceptional talents of Judge Mablean and Judge Lynn Toler,” said Stephen Brown, EVP of Programming for Fox Television Stations.
Along with the host transition, Divorce Court, the longest-running court show on television, also is changing its filming location. The program moved from its long-time Los Angeles home to Atlanta in 2018 and had been based at the Tyler Perry Studios there. Now in its 21st season, Divorce Court has relocated its production to midtown Atlanta, at the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios.
After 13 seasons on the TV bench, Toler quietly exited Divorce Court several months ago, sources said. Her departure set off a talent search which led to the appointment of Faith Jenkins.
Judge Faith has served as a barred attorney in New York for fourteen years. She began her career as a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and with a position at prominent law firm Sidley Austin. During this time, Judge Faith served on an externship representing women in New York family court on custody, child support, child visitation and divorce proceedings.
Judge Faith has provided legal commentary for Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC on high profile cases, including the George Zimmerman trial in Florida. This led to hosting her court show Judge Faith, which was nationally syndicated for four years. A graduate of Southern University Law School, she ranked first in her class. Additionally, Judge Faith is a former Miss Louisiana and was first runner up in the Miss America pageant.
“I started watching Divorce Court in law school, so to be now joining the show is quite surreal,” Jenkins said. “My legal expertise combined with my personal life experience – including years of dating in the world of social media and technology – provides me a unique perspective that will inform my empathy and judgment for many of the issues couples raise on the show.”
In video on Twitter Thursday, Toler reflected on her Divorce Court tenure and praised Jenkins. “I had 13 great years, it was time to move on,” she said. They found a replacement, Judge Faith. She is good looking, she is smart, she is capable, and I think she will take Divorce Court to another level.” (watch the full video below)
Daytime staple Divorce Court has aired from 1957 to 1969, from 1985 to 1992 and currently, since 1999. Sonja Solomun serves as Executive in Charge.
Jenkins is repped by UTA.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.