Judge Cristina Perez
This year, the Daytime Emmys added a new category for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Programs, a first in the history of the genre. Newcomer series Cristina's Court is one of the five nominees, which also include Judge Judy, Judge David Young, the Judge Hatchett Show and The People's Court. TVGuide.com spoke with Judge Cristina Perez to hear more about the nomination, how she sizes up the competition and what the Daytime Emmys will have in store. - Anna Dimond

TVGuide.com: What did you think when you heard the news?
Cristina:
I was thrilled, it was, for me, it was really exciting because I know everyone says, 'Oh, I'm just so excited to be nominated,' but I'd be lying to you if I told you I don't want to win. But truly, for us, for me, doing court shows in Spanish language, and crossing over to English language, for me it was just such a testament to the people who watch court shows, and for the fans who have followed me, and for my new fans, who got us. So the trophy was the nomination. What we achieved in two years is evidence of our team's hard work. We have the most incredible producers that I've [ever] worked with.

TVGuide.com: What separates your shows from the others?
Cristina:
All of these shows are defined by the personality that runs it, which ends up being the judge. For us, it's not about me. These cases are not about me. This show is about people, it's about problems, it's about cases that matter to people. It's about taking accountability, and that's what it's about. These are issues that matter, and from these issues, we can learn.

TVGuide.com: Accountability seems to be a big theme for you on the show. Has our cultural attitude toward that changed?
Cristina:
I think that we're losing that really old-school values. It's easier for us to learn to abuse others. We live in such a media type, fast-paced world, it's easier for us to use the law to manipulate rather than protect us. Life is happening so fast, we're forgetting to take a breather. That's the difference.

TVGuide.com: After lavishing praise on the other court shows nominated, how would you size up the Daytime Emmy competition for your own show?
Cristina:
It's hard to say. There's five of us, we have a 20 percent chance of winning. Let's be blunt. The nominees are so diverse, I think it's up for grabs, you just don't know. We're all going to push for Judy, because she's been around forever, right? But look at David Young, and he's the most recent and he gets nominated. Look at Judge Hatchett, she's done so much work for her community. People's Court, in and of itself, they're the ones who started it all. Then there's Cristina's Court, and we do really interesting cases like the show that was nominated for the Emmy, "Requiem for a Pit Bull." That was huge, heavy issues.

TVGuide.com: What are you looking forward to most at the Emmys?
Cristina:
I am a nervous wreck,. I am just looking to have a good time, I am looking to make sure that my dress fits properly. I just want to have a really good time and really savor the moment. Like, who would've ever thought I would go to the Daytime Emmys?

TVGuide.com What are you wearing to the Awards?
Cristina:
I'm wearing a beautiful dress, a vintage old-school dress. I'm wearing my mother's beautiful jewelry, which is fabulous. I've got my nice shoes and my cute little purse, and I'm ready.

TVGuide.com: Is your [5-year-old] daughter going to be watching?
Cristina:
She better!