Atlanta’s Glenda Hatchett returning to TV judge land in 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Judge Glenda Hatchett signs books at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2013 at Philadelphia Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 01: Judge Glenda Hatchett signs books at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2013 at Philadelphia Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Atlanta’s Glenda Hatchett, who had a successful TV judge show (“Judge Hatchett”) from 2000 to 2009, is planning to don a robe again in syndication land come the fall of 2016.

A Deadline.com story provides no details on what The Verdict” will be like but presumably it will star Hatchett and involve crime cases. “I am enthusiastic and highly confident that we will deliver another first-class television court series,” she said in a release.

In a follow-up interview, Hatchett said she isn’t quite sure how the show will look. She has more than a year to make preparations.

For now, “The Verdict” will shoot in Los Angeles. She said she’d love to do it in Atlanta but financially, it works best for the production company to keep it in L.A.

Hatchett taped 1,130 episodes of her original show, which was nominated for an Emmy twice. She walked away voluntarily seven years ago although her production company wanted her to sign on for six more years.

In 2008, she told me, “People ask me, ‘How could you walk away?’ I see it as evolving to the next stage.”

She started her own production company but couldn’t get a project going that really clicked. The ailing economy at the time, she said, didn’t help matters.

She has been offered many new TV opportunities, but she didn’t feel right about them — until now.

Hatchett said fans over the years ask her constantly when she is going to do a new show. “I could be in an airplane or a soul food restaurant in Macon,” she said. “It always made me feel special. I am at a point where I can take this on. I’m an empty nester. [She has two grown sons.]. I have flexibility to do this. I’ll have a lot of autonomy with this project. I’m really excited.”

She recently started her own law practice and does plenty of motivational speeches.  And she participates in a lot of charity events.

According to her bio, prior to doing TV, “Hatchett, a former chief presiding judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court, was the first African-American chief presiding judge of a state court in Georgia and head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country.”

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