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NBC's 'Ironside' Reboot Starring Blair Underwood Debuts Tonight. Some Early Thoughts...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 2, 2013 at 1:21PM

The new series premieres tonight, Wednesday, October 2; but NBC did make the entire pilot episode available to watch online, and it's embedded for your viewing pleasure below.
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Ironside

The new series premieres tonight, Wednesday, October 2; but NBC did make the entire pilot episode available to watch online, and it's embedded for your viewing pleasure below. 

I did watch it, and, in short, I'll just say that, based on this single episode, this is a new series that I don't think will last more than 1 season. It may not even last through the whole first season, given how anxious networks have become when new shows aren't performing as strongly as hoped for, especially when compared to competition; and how quick they are to cancel said shows.

I know I've only watched one episode, which I want to emphasize. It could be a series that I find more and more appealing with successive episodes. But, based on the pilot that I watched, there's really nothing all-that special about this Ironside reboot that makes it stand out from all the other cop shows on TV currently, and in recent years - other than the fact that the title character is black, as played by Blair Underwood.

But that's not quite enough, when you consider that it seems to be going for something far more gritty, rough and tumble, compared to the 1960s original that starred Raymond Burr, which it doesn't really succeed at, in a cop/detective/crime-solving TV series climate that includes much darker, moodier material in the likes of Law & Order: SVU, the CSI franchise, and others.

It might initially draw an audience for the first episode, because people will be curious. But after that, unless it radically changes, I'm not convinced many will return.

NBC has struck out in the new series department with black leads, over the last 3 or so seasons - remember Undercovers 3 years ago; Deception last season, and now we have Ironside. If I were a black actor courted by NBC in the future to star in a TV series, I don't know if I'd be in a hurry to sign up. 

I'm being facetious of course... 

Blair Underwood's NBC reboot of 1960s/1970s crime drama series Ironside, is described as follows:

In the gritty world of the NYPD, no one's tougher than Detective Robert Ironside. He's a fearless cop who won't stop until the guilty are brought to justice. He and his trusted, handpicked team of specialists will do whatever it takes to solve New York's most difficult and notorious crimes - even if it means breaking the rules. Tough, sexy and acerbic, Ironside's never been afraid to call it like he sees it. As a detective, his instincts are second to none, and those around him have to stay on their toes if they want to keep up... because when his spine was shattered by a bullet two years ago, Ironside swore he'd never let a damn wheelchair slow him down.

The cast includes Spencer GrammerBrent SextonPablo SchreiberNeal Bledsoe, and Kenneth Choi.

The series is written and exec produced by Michael Caleo (Rescue MeThe Sopranos), and exec produced by David Semel, Teri WeinbergJohn Davis, and Jon Fox.

Tune in tonight for the pilot episode, or watch it in full below if you prefer:

This article is related to: TV News, Blair Underwood


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