LOS ANGELES- Television’s “Judge Judy” is keeping her hand firmly on the gavel through 2015.

Judy Sheindlin signed a new multiyear deal to stay with the long-running syndicated program that last season ranked No. 1 in daytime, CBS Television Distribution said Monday.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to continue this exciting second career,” she said.

A former judge in New York, the tart-tongued Sheindlin, 68, presides over small-claims cases on her program that’s in its 15th season.

“Judge Judy” had been renewed until 2013 before the new agreement was reached. The deal comes as Oprah Winfrey prepares to wrap up her talk show after 25 years, leaving daytime stars to jockey for position. Her OWN network launched in January.

Sheindlin had publicly toyed with the idea of ending her show in 2013, but “Judge Judy” remains a strong draw. In the 2009-10 season, it ranked No. 1 among daytime series and became the first program in a decade to outdraw “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Sheindlin is “at the top of her game,” said John Nogawski, president of CBS Television Distribution, the show’s syndicator. She’s been the most-watched TV judge since her show’s 1996 debut.

She was hospitalized overnight in Los Angeles in late March for undisclosed reasons but said “all is well” after she was released.

Swift will join lineup on festival’s last night

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Swift will bring the curtain down on this year’s CMA Music Fest.

Swift has been added to the Sunday lineup of the Nightly Concerts at LP Field for the June 9-12 festival in Nashville.

Fans in Swift’s hometown will get to see a bit of the live show the 2009 Country Music Association entertainer of the year has been spreading around the globe on tour this spring. Swift has been involved in some way with the festival every year since 2006.

Sunday will be a blockbuster night, with Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Darius Rucker among the performers on the schedule.

Court rejects Spector’s bid

LOS ANGELES – A California appeals court has rejected music producer Phil Spector’s bid to have his second-degree murder conviction thrown out in the 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson.

A three-member panel of the state 2nd District Court of Appeal on Monday issued a thorough 81-page decision explaining why it rejected claims the judge in the trial committed reversible error.

They found there was neither judicial nor prosecutorial misconduct in the trial, and that the testimony of five women who claimed Spector threatened them with guns in past years was properly admitted.