Judging Amy

Judging Amy

Infobox Television
show_name = Judging Amy

caption = The Cast of Judging Amy
rating = TV-PG
format = Serial drama
runtime = 60 minutes
creator = Amy Brenneman
Bill D'Elia
John Tinker
starring = Amy Brenneman
Dan Futterman
Richard T. Jones
Kevin Rahm
Marcus Giamatti
Jessica Tuck
Karle Warren
Jillian Armenante
Timothy Omundson
And Tyne Daly
country = USA
network = CBS
first_aired = September 19, 1999
last_aired = May 3, 2005
num_seasons = 6
num_episodes = 138
imdb_id = 0209069
tv_com_id = 159

"Judging Amy" is an American television drama that aired from September 19, 1999 until May 3, 2005 on CBS. The show stars Amy Brenneman ("NYPD Blue") and Tyne Daly ("Cagney & Lacey"). Its main character is a judge who serves in a family court, and in addition to the family-related cases that she adjudicates, many episodes of the show focus on her own experiences as a divorced parent and on the experiences of her mother, a social worker concerned with child welfare. The show is based on Amy Brenneman's mother's actual life.

After six seasons, "Judging Amy" was cancelled by CBS on May 18, 2005. In the US, reruns aired on the TNT cable channel but was removed for their 2007 Fall lineup. The final broadcast was on August 31, 2007, with the airing of the fifth-season episode "The Long Good-Bye". In Canada, it airs on the W Network owned by Corus Entertainment.


Brenneman played Amy Gray, a young New York attorney who, after separating from her husband, returns with her young daughter to her childhood home in Hartford, Connecticut. She becomes a judge on that city's family court at age thirty-four and eventually gets a divorce. Her mother (with whom she lives), played by Daly, is a caseworker for the Department of Children and Family Services. In what turned out to be the series finale, Amy quits the judiciary to run for the U.S. Senate.

Critical reception

Several reviewers have suggested that the show took inspiration from the formula established by "Providence". [ [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,271497,00.html Entertainment Weekly Tv Review for Judging Amy] ] Reviewers also cite the relationship between Brenneman and Daly's characters as the selling point of the show. [http://www.popmatters.com/tv/reviews/j/judging-amy.html PopMatters.com Judging Amy] ]

Amy Gray makes reference to "Providence" in episode 3.18, "The Justice League of America." In this episode, Amy is attending her 10 year Harvard Law reunion and her old friends can't seem to remember that Amy now lives in Hartford; they continually believe she's living in Providence. Finally, Amy says "It's Hartford, David. Providence is a whole other universe."

However, the show has been criticised for "an abundance of clichés in the show's structure", "shallow examinations of moral issues" , and "little substance" [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/tv-reviews/judging-amy/2006/01/17/1137466973703.html The Sydney Morning Herald, January17, 2006] ] . Philip Michaels, writing for TeeVee.org, criticises the show's formula, stating "The emotional tenor of the legal cases that carry most of the narrative load run the gamut from maudlin to preachy and back to maudlin again by way of manipulative." However, he acknowledges "Judging Amy" isn't watershed television, but then, it doesn't purport to be."Fact|date=September 2008



Main characters

*Amy Madison Gray, played by Amy Brenneman: After separating from her husband, Amy Gray returns to her childhood home with her daughter, becomes a judge on Hartford's family court, gets a divorce and tries to get on with her life. Balancing her new job, her family and trying to rebuild her love life isn't easy, but she keeps trying. She makes a name for herself in family court for her unusual methods and sentences and her stubbornness, which sometimes gets her in trouble. She dates several men, but her two longest and more serious relationships are with lawyer Stuart Collins and ADA David McClaren. With Stuart, they dislike each other at first, but when she asks him to be Eric Black's lawyer, they get closer and finally get engaged. However, Amy leaves him at the altar on their wedding day, saying he has a way to always convince her to do things she doesn't want to do. She meets ADA David McClaren during her short stint in the criminal court, and things are rocky from the start. Eventually, Amy becomes pregnant by him and they plan to marry, but things fall apart when she miscarries and they part ways soon thereafter. In the last episode of the series, she quits the judiciary to run for Senate, to try to prevent the passing of some laws that will effectively end the juvenile justice system by allowing the State's Attorney's office to try teenagers as adults at their own discretion.

*Maxine McCarty Gray, played by Tyne Daly: Amy's widowed mother. A social worker for DCF (the Department of Children and Families), she retired once but returns to the job at the start of the series, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to help the children in her care, even bending the law. She's an opinionated, strong willed woman, very set in her ways and capable of holding long grudges (she hasn't spoken to her brother in over 12 years) but loving to her family. Her relationship with daughter Amy is often not easy, since they're too much alike. After a troubled courtship, she becomes engaged to rich businessman Jared Duff, but he dies 48 hours before the wedding. By the end of the series, she becomes engaged once again to Ignacio Messina. She has two heart attacks in the last season and has to undergo open heart surgery, but eventually makes certain lifestyle changes and recovers well.

*Vincent Gray (episodes 1-51 & 100-138), played by Dan Futterman: Amy's gifted [Season 2 episode 5 "Unnecessary Roughness"] younger brother, with whom she has always been closest. Vincent is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for a collection of short stories titled "A Fortunate Son". Shortly at the beginning of the series, he becomes roommates with Donna, with whom later he becomes best friends. As he attempts to continue his writing career, he holds a number of different jobs: dogwasher, reporter, and free-lancer. He eventually marries his girlfriend, Carole Tobey (Sara Mornell), who has breast cancer, and leaves with her for San Francisco, parting with Amy on very bad terms. Some time later, his cousin Kyle arranges for him to arrive as a surprise to Amy's wedding to Stuart Collins. The wedding never happens, but he patches things up with Amy. He returns home soon after, explaining that Carole has left him for her oncologist. He later explains that this was a lie, and that he left his wife because he could not handle the struggle of taking care of her. Still stuck on his new book, he gets a new job as a social worker.

*Kyle McCarty (episodes 53-118), played by Kevin Rahm: Amy's cousin, the son of Maxine's estranged brother Richard (William Devane). A former medical student who was expelled because of problems related to his addiction to drugs. Shunning his father, he comes to his aunt Maxine for help. She gives him a home and gets him a job as a counselor at a facility for runaway teens. He later moves in to share a flat with Donna after Vincent leaves and finds a hospital willing to give him a new chance to finish his medical residency, and gets into a complicated on/off relationship with fellow doctor Heather Labonte as well as fighting an attraction to his supervisor, Dr. Lily Reddicker. After his father dies, he quits his job and finds a new path in life as a medic with the SWAT unit. He finally decides to accompany his ex-girlfriend Heather to Minnesota and take care of their son while she's in rehabilitation.

*Peter Gray, played by Marcus Giamatti: Amy's older brother. He inherited the family business from his father and he's good at it, even if it wasn't his first choice in life. He's a good but grey man who sometimes surprises people with some outbursts. He's married to Gillian and they have been trying to have children for a long time. They agree to adopt the son of a pregnant girl called Evie, and he turns out to be half African-American. Some time after adopting Ned, Gillian gets pregnant and gives birth to Walt. Things get rocky after Walt's birth and they separate for a while, even as far as dating other people. Peter goes through a "rebellion" phase, trying to recall his teenage dreams, until he finds out his business is almost bankrupt. Soon after, he finally reconciles with his wife.

*Gillian Gray, played by Jessica Tuck: Peter's wife. A controlling woman with a good heart who completely loves her husband. She is usually well-meaning, but also often obsessive and nerve-wracking. After being unable to get pregnant, they adopt baby Ned. Some time later, however, she gets surprisingly pregnant, but things go wrong during the delivery of her son Walt, and she falls into a coma for a while. She and Peter have problems soon after, and she even dates another man, but they finally reconcile.

*Lauren Cassidy, played by Karle Warren: Amy's daughter, 6 years-old at the start of the series. A mostly well-adjusted girl going through the pains of childhood and pre-adolescence with divorced parents but a loving family. As a young girl, she struggles over her father's relationship with Leesha, whom she likes at first. When Lauren is 12, her uncle, Peter, takes her for her haircut and she returns home with her long straight hair cut into a hipper, shoulder-length cut. Her boyfriend Victor turns out to be the son of her mother's boyfriend, David McClaren, which causes Lauren to feel both awkward and disgusted. When Amy becomes pregnant with David's child, Lauren reveals what a total blow to her social life this will be and is furious, but later, becomes accepting and supporting of her mother after she miscarries. Towards the end of the series Lauren begins to hang out with a group of friends who embrace the Straight edge culture, which puts her at odds with her mother.

*Bruce van Exel, played by Richard T. Jones: Amy's Court Services Officer, who eventually becomes her friend. The series addresses a number of issues of their cross-racial friendship and how each feels differently about it. Bruce is a stubborn man with strong convictions, whose advice Amy comes to find invaluable. He has a daughter, Rebecca, whose mother breaks up with him after he gives her an ultimatum to move in together. At one point, Bruce is suspended from work for punching a man. He performs community service in a soup kitchen before returning to work with Amy. He is also a fairly devout Catholic, and not thrilled when his sister Winnie takes Rebecca to her more traditional black church with 'more interesting prayers.' Rebecca and Lauren attend the same middle school. In the second-to-last episode, he quits his job to complete his Master's in Family Counselling, something he always wanted to do. There's an attraction between him and Amy that's sometimes acknowledged, but never really explored.

*Donna Kozlowski, played by Jillian Armenante: Amy's clerk. An eccentric woman from a wealthy family, from whom she's estranged. Donna is intellectually a genius (she finishes her law degree in one and a half years) but socially awkward. She is married to a convicted murderer, Oscar Ray Pant, and becomes roommates with Amy's brother Vincent. While living with him, she has a daughter by Oscar, Ariadne Gray Pant, to whom she gives birth in a plastic pool in Amy's living room. Her mother arrives while Donna is in the pool, but is unable to offer her support and leaves. Maxine ends up getting in the pool with Donna. Later Oscar confesses to Donna that he's really guilty and she divorces him. Upon passing the bar, Amy fires her so she would go to work as lawyer, and she becomes a court-appointed minor counsel for the Hartford Youth Advocates, whose office is across the hall from Amy's.

*Sean Potter, played by Timothy Omundson: Maxine's boss and later friend, who has his hands full dealing with Maxine's unorthodox methods. Initially a bit green in his supervisory role (he uses percentages constantly in common conversation), he loosens up over time after his exposure to and friendship with Maxine. Sean and Bruce (Amy's court services officer) become friends and work together to establish alternative treatment programs for youthful offenders (such as "Gun 101"), and Sean is revealed in one episode as an avid karaoke singer...which comes in handy for entertaining the guests at Amy's and Stuart's wedding (which doesn't quite come off). Sean also dates the daughter (Courtney Messina played by Jossara Jinaro) of Maxine's beau (Ignacio) for a while, entertaining her elderly grandmother with a rendition of "Vaya con Dios" (an inappropriate selection for an octogenarian, according to Ignacio).

econdary characters

*Eric Black, played by Blake Bashoff: A gay teenager who has been abused several times. When all else fails, Maxine reluctantly takes him into her own home, where he rapidly bonds with the family, and afterwards Sean becomes his foster father. Eventually, Eric protectively confronts and kills a stalker who's after Amy and Lauren. He is tried and found not guilty, but as Maxine no longer trusts him, he decides to run away to Canada with his boyfriend, Mark.
*Dr. Lily Reddicker, played by Kristin Lehman: Hospital Chief of Staff who takes a chance by hiring Amy's cousin Kyle. She is a no nonsense supervisor who nonetheless recognizes Kyle's superb medical skills and his need to return to medicine which he tries to hide behind a sarcastic view of the world. She fights an attraction to Kyle because of their professional relationship and her fears that pursuing such could create problems for Kyle because of his addiction problems. Kyle soon becomes troubled by his attraction to both Dr. Lily and a fellow resident, Heather Labonte.
*Heather Labonte, played by Sarah Danielle Madison: A doctor at Kyle's hospital with a substance abuse problem who gets busted with a drug test and gets a job as a bartender. She has an on/off relationship with Kyle, until she gets pregnant. Kyle says he'd help economically, but that they shouldn't be together. Finally, Kyle decides to accompany her to Minnesota and take care of their son while she's in rehabilitation.
*Louann 'Crystal' Turner, played by Jennifer Esposito: A former meth addict who runs an outreach program for homeless teenagers. She had a relationship with Vincent and worked with him until she arranged for him to work at a youth detention center to teach a creative writing class.
*Graciela Reyes, played by Tara Correa-McMullen: A gang member Amy counsels. As time passes, she makes progress, though she is arrested one day for criminal facilitation, as she was in the car with her cousin when she was involved in a drive-by shooting. Graciela is tried and found guilty, thus being sent to prison, where she is murdered, sadly mirroring the actual gang-related murder of actress Tara Correa-McMullen.
*Courtney Messina, played by Jossara Jinaro: Ignacio Messina's (Cheech Marin) daughter and Sean Potter's (Timothy Omundson) girlfriend.

Amy's love interests

*Michael Cassidy, played by #1 John Slattery, #2 Richard Burgi: Amy's ex-husband. Michael remarries to Leesha, a younger and blonder woman than Amy, who at first tries without success to befriend Amy. Later, Michael tries to get full custody of Lauren, the daughter he has with Amy, but after some time he drops the case. It turns out Michael wanted Lauren to help his marriage, but then Leesha left him. He tells Amy that, even though he stands by what he said about her in court, she's still a better parent than him.
*Rob Meltzer, played by Tom Welling (episodes 2.9-2.11, 2.15-2.16, 2.19): Lauren's karate teacher, with whom Amy has a short fling.
*Tom Gillette, played by Gregory Harrison (episodes 1.14, 2.11-2.13): The man Amy chooses over Rob. The relationship only lasted four episodes. He left her to return to his estranged wife.
*Barry Krumble, played by Chris Sarandon (episodes 3.12-3.23): A fellow Judge whom Amy dated briefly. He "saved" her from embarrassment at her 10 year college reunion, but the relationship fizzled out when she realized they weren't meant for each other because he couldn't "live in the moment" the way she did.
*Stuart Collins, played by Reed Diamond (episodes 1.3, 1.11, 2.15, 3.1-3.3, 4.16-5.7): A lawyer who, after several on/offs, gets betrothed to Amy. They rekindle their relationship when she asks him to be Eric Black's lawyer, but she ends by leaving him at the altar. Six months later, she learns that he has married a 22-year-old Polynesian woman whom he met on the trip that was supposed to have been their honeymoon.
*David McClaren, played by Adrian Pasdar (episodes 5.1-6.15): A recently widowed assistant state's attorney and the father of Lauren's boyfriend Victor. His relationship with Amy is rocky from the beginning. At first, he is still dealing with the fact that his wife had been murdered, and he attends victim's support group meetings, one of which he asks Amy to attend. Later, she becomes pregnant by him and they plan to buy a house together. However, Amy miscarries and in her grief she keeps David at a distance, resulting in him breaking up with her.

Maxine's love interests

*Jared Duff, played by Richard Crenna: A wealthy businessman who Maxine meets at a local diner, which he later purchases for her. Things between them become rocky several times, once because of his son's opposition to the relationship, but they do finally get engaged in 2003. He died 2 days before the wedding is set to begin (this was done as a tribute to actor Richard Crenna, who had died in 2003).
*Ignacio Messina, played by Cheech Marin: The landscape designer whom Maxine hired to work on her garden. The two of them become close, but Maxine discovers he is not divorced from his first wife, and has two children Courtney Messina (Jossara Jinaro) and Raul Messina (Tito Ortiz). They stay friends, and he remains very supportive through her health problems. Finally, he divorces his wife and in the final episode he asks her to marry him.

Main crew members

Barbara Hall, Amy Brenneman, Connie Tavel, Carla Kettner, James Hayman, James Frawley, Dawn Prestwich, Bill D'Elia, John Tinker [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0863988/ IMDD] ] , Karen Hall, Hart Hanson, Carol Barbee, Joseph Dougherty [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0234859/ IMDB] ] , Joseph Stern [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0827748/ IMDB] ] , Daniel Sackheim

Hayman is an American producer, director and cinematographer. He is married to Annie Potts. His credits include "Ugly Betty", "Joan of Arcadia", "Kingpin", "The Sopranos", "Any Day Now", "ER", ', ', "Huff", "House", "Murder One", "Northern Exposure", "Moon Over Miami", "Law & Order", "Harts of the West", "One West Waikiki", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and "Class of '96". He has been nominated for two Emmy Awards, and a DGA Award.

Kettner is an American writer and producer on "Pacific Palisades", "Due South", "Vanished", "Cold Squad", "Killer Instinct", "Strong Medicine", and "Early Edition". She won a 2003 Gracie Allen Award (shared with Whoopi Goldberg). [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0450597/ IMDB] ]


"Judging Amy" takes place in Hartford, Connecticut. Although the show often shows the Hartford Judicial District Court as having the address of 1265 (street unknown), the actual address of the Hartford Judicial District is 95 Washington Street, family matters are heard on 90 Washington Street and the Superior Court Juvenile Matters of Hartford is in 920 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06106. [ [http://www.jud.state.ct.us/directory/directory/ctinfo1.htm#JD General Court Information - Hours, holidays, directions and court telephone numbers ] ]


Judging Amy is internationally broadcast by the following stations under the following names:

DVD release

As of June 6, 2007, the series is not yet available on DVD.


Its highest rated episode was in 2001 and garnered 17.6 million viewers. [http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geu5nHDbJH21AA2z5XNyoA?p=%22Judging+Amy%22+%2217.6+million%22&fr=yfp-t-309&ei=UTF-8&fp_ip=CA]


See also

* List of Judging Amy cast members

External links

* [http://www.tv.com/judging-amy/show/159/summary.html "Judging" Amy] at TV.com

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