It’s easy to see the appeal of starting up a new court television show. If you’re successful, like, say, Judge Judy, you can become a household name across the country. But for every one Judge Judy there are dozens of others whose shows flopped after just one season.
In order to be successful in a TV genre that many have tried and few have conquered, you need to have a certain charisma about you.
Judge Michael Mazzariello, or Judge Mazz, if you will, has that special something.
Mazzariello tried his hand at court TV once in the past and experienced some success with it. His show Street Court, which was syndicated across the nation from 2009-2010, featured Mazzariello and plaintiffs settling disputes at the scene of where the incidents took place. If someone walked into a pedestrian at a South Side Chicago park and made them drop their laptop, for example, Street Court would be there, on site, trying to resolve the issue.
The show did well in several markets, most notably Mazzariello’s home state of New York, but was ultimately cancelled. Now, after a couple of years away from the screen, Mazzariello is looking to bring his Judge Mazz persona to TV again. This time around he’ll be trading his street appearances for a traditional courtroom setting as America’s Judge.
So just what can audiences expect from the Brooklyn born and raised Mazzariello? For starters, get ready for lots of New York. From his accent to his mannerisms and demeanor, Mazzariello exudes all things Big Apple. This is to be expected since New York isn’t just a home to Mazzariello, but also a place that has played an enormous role in shaping who he is today.
His life in east Brooklyn is a major reason why he decided to practice law. Mazzariello told Opposing Views recently about how the things he witnessed growing up inspired him to use the law to help people.
“I grew up in the greatest neighborhood in the world,” Mazzariello says. “But it was transformed from great to broken in just two years. It was the homicide capital of New York City. We were dealing with 7-9 homicides a night. Seeing a wonderful neighborhood go from great to horrible inspired me to do something about it.”
Mazzariello went on to study law at the City University of New York School of Law. In the years following, Mazzariello booked decades of experience as a district attorney and a high profile criminal defense lawyer. In the 1990’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed him as Chief Prosecutor for the New York City Board of Education.
In addition to his legal work, Mazzariello taught as an instructor at Marist College. Long before he had ambitions of being a TV judge, he wanted nothing more than to be a college professor. His love for education is something he hopes will make America’s Judge stand out from the court TV pack.
“I’m most into the education part,” he says. “They say I’m a natural as an entertainer, but I love education. I want to educate.”
This desire to teach people is why you’ll find Mazzariello on the America’s Judge website giving advice on things like how to protect yourself when lending money to friends or how to deal with having your bag searched by retail security.
America’s Judge will entertain, of course, but Mazzariello wants it to do more than that. He wants to empower people by teaching them how to use the law to protect themselves and better their lives.
“I think the show is about justice, not just entertainment,” he says. “If you have a problem, we want to help you. People want their Supreme Court moment, where justice is served. This show can be that. We want to give people their Supreme Court moment.”
America’s Judge is scheduled to hit airwaves in fall 2015. To see previews of the show and hear Mazzariello’s advice and opinion on a number of issues, visit AmericasJudge.com.