Raising The Bar is the newest television series from Steven Bochco. It is a powerful new legal drama with a great cast of characters including Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue, Saved by the bell),
RAISING THE BAR not only looks at courtroom battles but also the relationships among people on different sides. “The primary characters are a group of young public defenders and prosecutors who go up against each other during the day, but they’re friends and hang out with each other at night,” Bochco says. “They argue and negotiate with each other. They are dedicated players within what we feel is a broken criminal justice system.”
Bochco points out that the series strives to provide a balanced view of the system and those who work within it. “RAISING THE BAR is not geared specifically toward the public defenders or the prosecutors,” he says. “We try to give equal time to both points of view, with an eye toward revealing the extent to which the system doesn’t work very well. It certainly doesn’t have all that much to do with justice. It has more to do with keeping the conveyor belt turning, the idea that if every case in the system goes to trial, the system grinds to a halt.”
In RAISING THE BAR, Gosselaar plays Jerry Kellerman, an idealistic public defender who will stop at nothing to help those who cannot help themselves. Reuben plays Rosalind Whitman, Jerry’s passionate and protective boss. Teddy Sears (Ugly Betty) is Richard Patrick Woolsley, who foregoes a cushy job in his father’s firm to work for the public defender’s office. Natalia Cigliuti (All My Children) is Roberta “Bobbi” Gilardi, a new member of the team who quickly proves she can hold her own against even the toughest courtroom opponent.
On the opposite side, Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell) plays Michelle Ernhardt, an attorney in the DA’s office who struggles with balancing the need to win cases with the desire to see justice done. She works for assistant DA Nick Balco, played by Currie Graham (Boston Legal), whose razor-sharp knowledge of the law is countered by his easy manipulation of it. They are joined by J. August Richards (Conviction) as Marcus McGrath, who is relentless in putting criminals behind bars.
The courtroom arena where they face off belongs to Judge Trudy Kessler, played by Kaczmarek. She is imperious, treating the courtroom as her own private fiefdom as she prepares to make a political run to become the next district attorney. Working for her is law clerk Charlie Sagansky, played by Jonathan Scarfe (Into the West), a man with a wealth of secrets.
RAISING THE BAR comes to TNT from ABC Studios and Bochco Media, with Bochco serving as executive producer. Bochco and Feige wrote the story for the pilot episode, while Feige, who also serves as supervising producer, wrote the script. The pilot was directed by series co-executive producer Jesse Bochco (The Closer).
ABC Studios is a leader in the development, production and strategic distribution of entertainment content across television and emerging digital platforms. As a key content driver for the Disney-ABC Television Group, the studio will produce 22 productions for broadcast and cable television in the 2008-09 season.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television’s destination for drama and one of cable’s top-rated networks, offers original series, including the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; Raising the Bar, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Truth in Advertising, with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Bones, Cold Case, Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER and Charmed; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
My only complaint at this moment is Mark Paul's hair, get a haircut! I loved him in Saved the Bell, lol. I'm really excited he has a new show, after NYPD Blue ended. I just wish he had shorter hair.
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