TNT has given the greenlight to RAISING THE BAR (working title), the latest series from the mastermind of legal dramas, Emmy®-winner Steven Bochco. The series, which stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue), Gloria Reuben (ER) and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), follows the lives and cases of young lawyers who have been friends since law school, but who now work on opposing sides. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of RAISING THE BAR, which was created by Bochco and lawyer/writer David Feige (Indefensible). It 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, and Feige wrote the script. The pilot was directed by Jesse Bochco (The Closer). The series is slated to premiere later this year.
“RAISING THE BAR is the sort of smart, highly charged legal drama for which Steven Bochco is known and an ideal fit for our line-up,” said Michael Wright, senior vice president in charge of the content creation group for TNT, TBS and TCM. “Steven and the exceptional cast and crew he’s assembled have put together an excellent drama, and we’re proud to add another talent-rich, entertaining series to the TNT schedule.”
In RAISING THE BAR, Gosselaar stars as Jerry Kellerman, an idealistic public defender who will stop at nothing to help those who cannot help themselves. Reuben plays Rosalind Whitman, his 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. On the opposite side, Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell) plays Michelle Ernhardt, an attorney in the DA’s office with an unassailable morality and a burning desire to see justice done. She works for assistant DA Nick Balco, played by Currie Graham (Boston Legal), a bit of a lecher who, nevertheless, has a razor-sharp knowledge of the law. They are joined by J. August Richards (Conviction) as Marcus McGrath, who will stop at nothing to put criminals behind bars. The courtroom arena in which they face off belongs to Judge Trudy Kessler, played by Kaczmarek. She is imperious and known throughout legal circles to be a little crazy, treating the courtroom as her own private fiefdom. Working for her is law clerk Charlie Sagansky, played by Jonathan Scarfe (Into the West), a man with a wealth of secrets.