Raising the Bar
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 1
Airs: Mondays at 10 p.m.
Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Melissa Sagemiller, Jane Kaczmarek, Gloria Reuben
What's It All About? If Meredith Grey had studied law instead of medicine, it seems she would have fit in quite nicely in the New York justice system. This Steven Bochco-produced procedural follows a group of former law school classmates who find themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom. Mark-Paul Gosselaar ("NYPD Blue") stars as an idealistic public defender who won't hesitate to tell off a judge if he thinks his client is getting a raw deal, and Melissa Sagemiller ("Sleeper Cell") is his rival at the DA's office who struggles to balance the need to win with seeing actual justice carried out. Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") relishes her showy role as a strict judge.
Speaking of his appreciation for public defenders, Gosselaar says, "The public perception is that these people aren't good enough to be high-powered attorneys. The truth is they want to be there and they want to make a difference. It takes a real special individual to want to be tortured day in and day out, because they're not winning. ... The whole show will really test your beliefs."