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Sparks fly and fireworks ignite both inside and outside the courtroom in Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season, the compelling new legal drama from multiple Emmy-winner Steven Bochco. Passionate and idealistic public defender Jerry Kellerman (Mark Paul Gosselaar) learns to navigate the halls of justice and the personal politics of the courthouse as he struggles to get a fair hearing for his clients. Jerry and his associates Rosalind Whitman (Gloria Reuben), Richard Patrick Woolsley (Teddy Sears), and Bobbi Gilardi (Natalia Cigliuti) square off against Michelle Ernhardt (Melissa Sagemiller), a prosecutor trying to balance the desire to get real justice with assistant DA Nick Balco’s (Currie Graham) need to win cases. As they play out their professional rivalry in front of imperious and ambitious Judge Trudy Kessler (Jane Kaczmarek), issues of life, love, and the law are seen from opposite sides of the system.
A group of young defense attorneys and prosecutors learn it’s easier to balance the scales of justice than a lawyer’s personal and private lives in Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season, coming to DVD on June 2 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. The latest sensational courtroom drama from 10-time Emmy Award® winning executive producer Steven Bochco (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law,” “Hill Street Blues”), Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season follows a dedicated group of public defenders and district attorneys as they do battle for justice, while trying to maintain their personal relationships. Featuring all 10 Season One episodes, this three-disc set also includes exclusive-to-DVD bonus features that give fans a special look inside and outside of the courtroom. Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season debuts in time for fans to catch up and enjoy before the critically acclaimed television series begins its second season.
Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season features one of television’s most talented ensemble casts, including Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“NYPD Blue”), Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Gloria Reuben (“ER” ), Currie Graham (“Desperate Housewives”), Melissa Sagemiller (“Sleeper Cell”), Teddy Sears (“Ugly Betty”), Currie Graham (“Boston Legal”), Natalia Cigliuti (“All My Children”), and J. August Richards (“Conviction”).
The Season One premiere of Raising the Bar boasted the highest rated cable debut in history. Critics lavished praise on the series, with Multichannel News giving it “Three & a half stars,” and calling it “a very fast-paced and entertaining show.” “Tightly written,” raves Bloomberg News, praising the series’ “vibrant characters,” and declaring, “this show has addiction potential!”
Raising the Bar is a likeable show that demonstrates promise during its 10 episode season one. The writers get into some quality, if familiar stories and are on their way to figuring out the characters in their show. The concept of exploring lawyers who prosecute and defend clients, then find time to let off some steam together in a bar hangout could have derailed the value of courtroom proceedings, but the show succeeds so far in finding the right balance. The show is still finding its legs, but there is enough promise here to be worth checking out.
• Behind the Bar: An After-Hours Roundtable with the Cast
• Sworn Testimony: True Stories of a Public Defender
• Mistrials: Bloopers from Season One
• Audio Commentaries with the cast and crew