TNT’s RAISING THE BAR Set Visit

Raising the Bar Set

Recently, Daemon’s TV and other press outlets were invited on the set of TNT’s new original series, RAISING THE BAR, which airs on Mondays at 10pm.

While there, we were able to speak with the creators and cast of the show about what we can expect to see on Raising the Bar and how different it is from other shows about the justice system.

The first people we got to speak to were creators Steven Bochco and David Feige as well as Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Jerry Kellerman). Here are the highlights from our conversation:

– Steven Bochco didn’t want to do a series about public defenders because he thought that people didn’t identify with criminals, and David Feige was willing to come up with a show that shows both sides of the law.

Raising the Bar is specifically about justice. It takes a more realistic view and they are able to craft cases in a way that there is no clear resolution, which makes it quite interesting.

– At first Mark-Paul Gosselaar didn’t want to do the show, but then he read David Feige’s book, on which the show is based, and he changed his mind.

– Mark-Paul Gosselaar had been working on NYPD Blue for four years playing a detective, which is quite different from his character on Raising the Bar. He mentioned how we, as a society, are obsessed with the “cop” side and we think they are good, but we don’t see the gray areas.

– Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s character, Jerry Kellerman, is based on David Feige’s experience and book. He is passionate and fearless. He feels that he is the only hope for the people he defends.

The second group of the cast we got to speak to included Gloria Reuben (Rosalind “Roz” Whitman), Natalia Cigliuti (Roberta “Bobbi” Gilardi), Teddy Sears (Richard Patrick Woolsley), and Melissa Sagemiller (Michelle Ernhardt). Here are the highlights from our conversation:

– In Raising the Bar, DAs are presented in a different light. They are not always very ethical and they push the limits. It shows the complexity of the justice system.

– All the characters in the show are good friends who went to college together.

– Gloria Ruben mentioned how she used to watch Law & Order and thought that’s the way things were, but then she read David Feige’s book and it changed her mind.

– For the show, David Feige wanted to portray lower level felonies.

Raising the Bar is more character driven. They are not always in the courtroom, it changes every episode, but they do end up at the bar at the end of each episode.

Raising the Bar Set

The third group we talked to included Jane Kaczmarek (Judge Trudy Kessler) and Jonathan Scarfe (Charlie Sagansky). Here are the highlights from our conversation:

– Turns out judges pretty much never hit the gavel.

– Jane Kaczmarek was pretty beat after Malcolm in the Middle. She was offered leads on comedies but she didn’t want to do them. Raising the Bar offers her more leeway and she loves being on TNT.

– Judge Trudy Kessler is a powerful woman who has a relationship with a younger man. It is an enticing but very secretive relationship.

– Charlie Sagansky has a big secret life aside from his relationship with Judge Trudy Kessler, which we learn about as the season progresses.

The final group we got to talk to included Currie Graham (Nick Balco) and J. August Richards (Marcus McGrath). Here are the highlights from our conversation:

– In Raising the Bar, you don’t see the victims come to the prosecutor, J. August Richards said that as an actor he has to dream up those scenes so that he can relate.

– Nick Balco is more pragmatic, he believes in winning, putting people in jail, money, and getting ahead. He makes sure that the prosecutors are strong so they can win.

– Nick Balco is also a misogynist because he is harder on Melissa Sagemiller’s character, Michelle Ernhardt, than he is on the men. For him law is a boys club and there is no room to be emotional.

– Nick Balco is hard on women because he believes you need to be twice as good in order to get the same recognition. He is trying to help them in his own way.

– Nick Balco also believes in public opinion. For example, if they need to trial a child molester, they don’t give him a deal because they want to show the public they care.

So there you have it. Now all that’s left for you to do is tune in on Mondays at 10pm and watch Raising the Bar on TNT.