Raising the Bar is an American drama television series created by Steven Bochco and David Feige which revolves around a group of former law school classmates who find themselves on opposite sides of the criminal law when they take on rival clients.
The series aired in the USA on TNT from 1 September, 2008 to 24 December, 2009. There are 25 hour-long episodes in two seasons. The series was not renewed for a third season.
Raising the Bar premiered in South Africa on M-Net on Tuesday 2 December 2008, at 20h30. Only the first season aired on M-Net. It later premiered on DStv's M-Net Series channel on Wednesday 17 December 2008, at 21h00.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 2 premiered on M-Net Series on Wednesday 3 February 2010, at 21h00. New episodes air weekly. There are 15 episodes in the second and final season.
Thursdays: 03h00, 09h00, 15h00
With a balanced scale in her hand and a cloth covering her eyes, Lady Justice represents the principles of fairness and blind objectivity. Nowhere is this symbol more relevant – and more challenged – than in the courtroom battle between district attorney and public defender.
This is the foundation of Raising the Bar, a legal drama from producer Steven Bochco.
The series stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek and follows the lives of young lawyers who work on opposite sides – the public defender’s office and the district attorney’s office – as well as those who sit in judgment on their cases.
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.
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 is Richard Patrick Woolsley, who foregoes a cushy job in his father’s firm to work for the public defender’s office.
Natalia Cigliuti 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 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, whose razor-sharp knowledge of the law is countered by his easy manipulation of it.
They are joined by J. August Richards 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, a man with a wealth of secrets.
In the second season premiere: Jerry defends a barber charged with allowing his nephew to sell crack out of his barbershop, a crime for which the barber is now being tried.
Marcus, under orders from Balco to "take the hard line" in prosecuting cases, refuses to give any leeway.
Roz decides to start handling cases again, but her first one hits a snag that could ruin a woman's life and the life of her son.
Bobbi's divorce proceedings get underway, but it's not too long before she gets thrown a curveball.
And Jerry gets ribbed about his hair during a party celebrating his 33rd birthday.
Season 1 (10 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 2 Dec 2008 | Finale: 3 Feb 2009 | Tuesdays, 20h30
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 17 Dec 2008 | Finale: 18 Feb 2009 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 2 (15 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 3 Feb 2010 | Finale: 12 May 2010 | Wednesdays, 21h00