‘Mathis Family Matters’ – A judge and his family

Judge Mathis returns to TV on E!

Judge Greg Mathis

In his courtroom and on his previous series, Judge Greg Mathis had the final say in all matters. But in his home, not so much — as viewers find out in short order in an unscripted series coming to E!

In “Mathis Family Matters,” premiering Sunday, June 19, cameras go inside the home and life of the former Michigan district court judge and title arbiter on his Daytime Emmy-winning 1999-2012 reality show “Judge Mathis,” to meet his family — which consists of wife Linda and adult offspring Jade, Camara, Greg Jr. and Amir — and show their relationships and at times crazy dynamics as two of their children return to the family nest in Los Angeles where Mom and Dad make their home.

But while the Judge may be the patriarch of this clan, this isn’t a courtroom so what he says often doesn’t go — if it’s listened to at all.

“I’m just the Rodney Dangerfield of the household – I get no respect,” Judge Mathis says. “No one listens to me and that’s the opposite of what happens in my court and I have no authority here to enforce my advice or requests. I have no authority. They’re all grown ups. They all have their own jobs and their own money and everything. You can’t cut them off. … My wife calls me a filibuster, let’s add that in.”

With a quick wit, matriarch Linda tries to keep this family together now that everyone is back under the same roof, though career and relationship challenges and personality clashes make that difficult. Like a lot of moms, she’s clearly the emotional center of the family, so Judge Mathis is content to tolerate jokes at his expense in the interest of showing how a real, successful African American family functions.

“I want viewers to see the dynamics of a professional Black family,” he says, “who all have personal obstacles just like any other family. And we want to give an example of a tight-knit family and to defeat some of the stereotypes about the African American family. So that convinced us that it was worth letting cameras in.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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