With decades of experience and an impressive track record, producer and director Randy Douthit, best known as the behind-the-scenes captain of the mega-hit courtroom show Judge Judy and his new streaming show, Judy Justice, Douthit shares his perspective on the future of television, painting a picture of an ever-changing landscape in which innovation and creativity reign supreme.
“Intuition is an important aspect of it because you have to be able to read people,” Douthit advises. “You have to be able to see what they want, what they’re looking for, and what’s interesting. What’s interesting to me is quite often interesting to the audience, so we’re running in parallel lines.”
In a recent interview, Douthit delved into his career and shared valuable insights on his experience working with Judge Judy Sheindlin. Alongside his passion for producing, Douthit also revealed his love for racing and cars, as well as his details on his charitable efforts. 
Randy Douthit: ‘It Turned Out That I Became Very Useful’
Randy Douthit began his journey in Portland, Oregon, at the local station KGW. He was only 23 and directed remote broadcasts, newscasts, and public affairs programs, graduating in 1975 to helm the Peabody Award-winning children’s program How Come and executive-producing the Seattle Today morning show.
He then made the leap to a new, little-known cable station: CNN.
“I was fortunate enough to have a news background in local television before I went national at CNN,” Randy Douthit recalls.
“Because at that time, in the beginning of CNN, people had their own specialties. That is, if they were a technical type, if they were a newsroom type, if they were a stage manager, or whoever, they had their own separate aspects to it.
“But what I was able to do is employ all those different aspects because I had experience as a director, I had experience in news, I had experience working with people that only knew one aspect. So it turned out that I became very useful.”
“Very useful” is an understatement. He executive-produced and directed the groundbreaking, Cable Ace award-winning news show Crossfire. He scored another Ace with Capital Gang. He crafted prime-time specials with four U.S. presidents and worked on the granddaddy of all interview programs, Larry King Live.
However, it was his work on Judge Judy that solidified his position in the industry, having joined the show in 1995 and continuing to partner with Sheindlin to this day.

Working with Judge Judy

Throughout his illustrious career, Randy Douthit has had the privilege of working alongside the legendary Judy Sheindlin. “Judy is a beacon of doing one’s best, of not taking shortcuts where quality will suffer, and of being solution-oriented,” he said. “Common sense is the basis and the hallmark of her decision-making and she’s a reminder that truth still matters to people, and that is still refreshing.” 
While Sheindlin is the wisecracking face of Judge Judy and now Judy Justice, which debuted in November 2021 and streams on Freevee, Douthit is behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly. His secret? “Do it right the first time and do it quickly.”

Blowing Off Steam

So how does a producer in the high-pressure world of television relax in his downtime? Douthit does it on a racing oval, putting the pedal to the metal and focusing on life in the fast lane, steering “a race car down a race track at 160, 170 miles per hour,” he says. “That’s relaxing for me. It’s fun because you’re in with a bunch. We don’t do it seriously. We’re not professionals, we’re amateurs, and we’re all friends. It’s a nice weekend to blow off steam and safely have a good time.”
Additionally, in his rare spare time, Douthit supports various philanthropic efforts like the American Heart Association, legal and social services provider Public Counsel, and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

The Future of TV According to Randy Douthit

Looking to the future of television, Randy Douthit believes the industry will continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies and changing viewer preferences. 
“​​Broadcast television may be coming to a conclusion, with the exception of news and sports,” he predicts. “Streaming is the new cable that goes beyond cable. There are so many platforms where consumers can capture content.
“HBO, Showtime, FX, and other channels have joined the streaming club. The future is in streaming and on-demand television. The need for great entertainment will never change, but the manner of delivery will, as will viewers’ expectations for heightened experiences.”


Daria Brown