The Tanya Acker Show

The Tanya Acker Show

You may know Tanya Acker as one of three judges on CBS Television Distribution's Emmy-nominated HOT BENCH.

But long before HOT BENCH, Tanya was delving into problems in the corridors of the public and private sectors with some of the country's top minds. Look a problem in the eye and figure out how to fix it - social media dislikes and cathartic rants can only get us so far.

All Episodes

Tanya talks to the author of Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, about the significance of musical genres; our fandom and our tastes; and some of music’s most powerful moments.

Nov 29

39 min 24 sec

Happy holidays! This week we're re-releasing Tanya's talk with the legendary songwriters and music producers about their new album, Volume One.

Nov 24

29 min 32 sec

Tanya talks to her Hot Bench co-host about his 28-years on the New York bench, his successful efforts to create systems for rehabilitating juvenile offenders, and how his own upbringing inspired a passion for justice and fairness.

Nov 17

1 hr 1 min

Tanya talks to the author of The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth about how the fear of Black children creates racial disparities in the criminal justice system; how we can (and must) do better; and why everyone should care. 

Nov 15

42 min 13 sec

Tanya talks to Jamila Glass. Tanya talks to the series choreographer of Dear White People and artistic director of the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company about communicating through the art of dance, following passions, and kicking imposter syndrome to the curb as often as possible.

Nov 10

32 min 16 sec

Tanya talks to the New York Times bestselling author and self-trained chef about how her approach to food laid the groundwork for her journey to wellness, and why healthy/delicious cuisine is the new black. 

Nov 3

31 min 12 sec

Tanya talks to author, educator and wealth justice activist Chloe McKenzie about money and our relationship to it.

Oct 27

37 min 6 sec

This week, we present a rerelease of Tanya's talk with Dr. Sherril Rieux (an actual physician as opposed to the Facebook variety). They discuss the basis for vaccine hesitancy in certain communities and why people should get vaccinated now. Come back next Wednesday for new episodes of The Tanya Acker Show!

Oct 20

27 min 8 sec

Tanya talks to the 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist about Olympic tragedy and triumph; the 2021 Games; and mental and physical wellness.

Aug 5

40 min 19 sec

Tanya talks to Washington Post reporter DeNeen L. Brown about her film, Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten; her reporting about the Black Wall Street massacre that led to the film; and why telling true stories still matters.

Jul 30

35 min 26 sec

Tanya talks to the legendary songwriters and music producers about their new album, Volume One.

Jul 15

26 min 55 sec

Tanya talks to Seth David Radwell, author of American Schism: How the Two Enlightenments Hold the Secret to Healing Our Nation, about the disunity that is a part of the nation’s DNA and how to keep the breach from breaking us apart. 

Jul 8

34 min 21 sec

Tanya talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, Jon Meacham, about the rise of misinformation in the American political mainstream and his new podcast, Fate of Fact.

Jun 3

39 min 20 sec

Tanya talks to Moe Vela about prospects for bipartisanship; how to move forward when times are dark; and growing American Dreams on his new show, "Unicorn Hunters."

May 24

33 min 48 sec

Tanya talks to Dr. Sherril Rieux (an actual physician as opposed to the Facebook variety) about the basis for vaccine hesitancy in certain communities and why people should get vaccinated now

May 13

27 min 1 sec

Tanya talks to Linda and George Meyers about turning their passion for fun and travel into their business, Cook in Tuscany. 

May 7

32 min 9 sec

Tanya talks to the 25-yr Judge Judy veteran and Hot Bench veteran about grilling litigants when the grilling is over, and how Texans pay it forward.

Apr 29

30 min 49 sec

Tanya talks Cancel Culture with Robby Soave, a senior editor at Reason. Who gets cancelled and when do we care? Do they deserve it and who gets forgiven? Is forgiveness even possible in the age of the Internet?

Mar 26

42 min 50 sec

Yoruba Richen, whose movie “How It Feels To Be Free” (PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel) tells the story of six African-American icons: Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier, all of whom insisted on owning their artistic spaces on their own terms, and who are the forerunners for the opportunities that so many of us have today.

Feb 18

33 min 5 sec

Tanya talks to Dr. Nzinga Harrison, host of the In Recovery podcast and Co-Founder of Eleanor Health, about staying mentally healthy when the world seems to be going nuts. 

Feb 10

36 min 15 sec

Freedom is about the ability to move. In this episode, Tanya talks to Dr. Gretchen Sorin about how African-Americans dismantled barriers to their freedom of movement, and created their own pathways to realizing the American Dream. 

Feb 3

30 min 44 sec

Tanya interviews the Emmy-winning director of the Netflix documentary, Crack: Cocaine, Corruption and Conspiracy, about his compelling reexamination of the 1980’s epidemic. 

Jan 28

23 min 50 sec

Tanya talks to Peter Schuck, Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale University and nationally renowned legal scholar, about the many constitutional dramas we’ve just lived.  

Jan 20

35 min 40 sec

Tanya talks to National Security Analyst and former Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem about domestic terrorism, the Biden/Harris Inauguration, and our shared path forward.

Jan 19

38 min 37 sec

Tanya talks to Emily Bazelon, staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest, about the Supreme Court, the Trump Lawsuits and free speech. 

Jan 13

25 min 20 sec

Tanya talks to the hosts of Pod Is A Woman about the attack on the Capitol by domestic terrorists, the atmosphere that led up to it, and where we go from here.

Jan 10

41 min 11 sec

Tanya talks to Alabama Representatives Mike Ball (R) and Anthony Daniels (D) about compromise in the Age of Anger; the Georgia elections; and what they think their respective parties must do.

Dec 2020

49 min 28 sec

Tanya Talks to Sheriff-Elect Charmaine McGuffey, the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ sheriff in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Nov 2020

25 min 28 sec

Tanya talks to Ann Druyan about space, love, facts, and voting. Plus, how to come back when people laugh at you for being smart and curious. And also, VOTE.

Nov 2020

46 min 16 sec

Tanya talks to Josh Mankiewicz about Dateline’s success; respecting the stories of crime victims; and how the news business has changed over the past 45 years.

Oct 2020

34 min 34 sec

In Part 3 of our interview with David Kennerly, Tanya talks to the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer about his experiences with the nation’s political leaders. To watch our video interview, accompanied by David's photography, visit

Oct 2020

48 min 3 sec

In Part 2, Tanya talks to the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer about his experiences as a wartime photographer in Vietnam, a conflict that provoked bitter division among Americans.

Oct 2020

19 min 53 sec

Tanya talks to Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins about justice, holding the system accountable, rejecting false choices, and keeping communities safe. 

Oct 2020

49 min 43 sec

In Part 1, Tanya talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer David Kennerly about some of the key moments in American cultural and political history that he has captured on camera.

Oct 2020

31 min 34 sec

My new book, “Make Your Case: Finding Your Win in Civil Court”, is now available wherever you do your reading! For more visit:

Oct 2020

2 min 57 sec

Tanya talks to Javier Alberto Botero, co-director and lead producer of the new HBO film about Russian interference in the 2016 election and its implications for 2020.

Oct 2020

44 min 21 sec

Tanya talks to Philip Felgner, Ph.D, Director of the Vaccine Research and Development Center at the University of California Irvine.

Oct 2020

21 min 41 sec

Tanya talks to David Smick about his new film Stars and Strife, available on Starz, which explores America’s culture of hate.

Sep 2020

48 min 10 sec

Tanya talks to Nick Turner, President of the Vera Institute of Justice, about public safety and criminal justice reform.

Sep 2020

46 min 40 sec

Tanya talks to Mo’Kelly, host of the 3-time award-winning Mo’Kelly Show (heard on the #1 news/talk station in America, KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles and also on iHeartRadio) about racism, gaslighting, the dangers of a fact-free world and how to carry on and win when someone comes at you sideways. 

Sep 2020

37 min 47 sec

Tanya talks to Heather Gerken, Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, about students making change; what "rule of law" means; and how vampires make for happy families. (via Knit)

Mar 2020

26 min 11 sec

From deceased billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's child support battle, to Roman Polanski's travails with the government, to a knock down, drag out fight over Winnie-the-Pooh, Tanya talks to three power lawyers about how bad court can get and how they responded when the other side didn't play fairly. With Attorneys Paul Derby, Chad Hummel and Michael Trope.

Sep 2019

49 min 15 sec

Tanya talks to Sarah Van Patten, principal dancer with the San Francisco ballet, whose pregnancy didn't keep her from lighting up the stage and living her art.

May 2019

31 min 38 sec

Join Tanya for a conversation with Officer Petri Hawkins Byrd, bailiff on the three-time Emmy Award-winning Judge Judy program. Tanya and Officer Byrd talk about his path to working with Judge Judy; his commitment to working with kids and building stronger relationships between law enforcement and the African-American community; and some little-known historical heroes who can motivate and inspire us all.

Apr 2019

35 min 50 sec

Tanya speaks to Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, the youngest and first African-American House Minority Leader in Alabama history. Representative Daniels discusses the backstory behind some of our political theatrics; why we should spend more money educating kids instead of jailing them; and how to keep American democracy healthy.

Mar 2019

20 min 57 sec

Tanya speaks with her former professor and now Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale University, Peter H. Schuck, regarding President Trump's use of The National Emergency Act of 1976 in an attempt to fund a border wall.

Feb 2019

18 min 35 sec