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Reality TV Show 'You the Jury' Proves Juries Are Not Entertained

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 24, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While you can't sleep in the weeks leading up to your big trial because you're so excited to deliver your best zingers to your all new jury and make your money to keep your coffers good and fat, you're all alone in your excitement. Okay, maybe other trial lawyers might get excited too, but that's it.

Unfortunately for the makers of the recently cancelled reality TV show 'You the Jury,' trial attorneys do not make up a significant percentage of the TV watching public. In fact, the one thing that 'You the Jury' seemed to do as good as any other competent trial lawyer: belabor the obvious fact that regular people don't want to be on a jury and want nothing to do with real court.

Real Cases Matter

The show sought to pit real life attorneys against each other in arguing fake "real" cases with the live TV viewing audience serving as a jury and voting via smart phone or app. (with the west coast viewing audience serving as a sort of appellate panel). Not surprisingly, the show was cancelled after its second episode aired with dismal ratings.

If you are shocked that the show did not take off, comparing it to the successful reality legal TV, it seems one of the biggest differences was the lack of "real people" and "real cases." Although 'You the Jury' tried to mirror the facts of real cases, shows like Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown capture the imaginations of people due to the real life drama that gets broadcast. Also, the decisions the audience make just didn't matter, whereas the decisions rendered by The People's Court are "final."

Real Litigation is Even More Boring

In the end, whether it was a lack of real cases, or the whole format of the show just didn't appeal to the public, all that can really be gleaned from the cancellation is that the public was not entertained. However, as an attorney, you should be thrilled and thankful that the public is not entertained by real life litigation.

If the public were entertained by real life litigation, there'd be longer security lines at the courthouse, you wouldn't be able to space out as much in the gallery while waiting your turn to argue a motion, and, worst of all, just imagine the lines at the cafeteria or coffee cart!

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