Raising the Bar

Watch Raising the Bar

  • 2008
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.3  (1,878)

Raising the Bar was a legal drama television series that aired on TNT from 2008 to 2009. Created by Steven Bochco, the series followed the lives and cases of young lawyers who were trying to make a name for themselves in the legal world. With an ensemble cast that featured Melissa Sagemiller, Currie Graham, Gloria Reuben, Jane Kaczmarek, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, J. August Richards, Natalia Cigliuti, Teddy Sears, Jonathan Scarfe, Stacy Hall, and Autumn Reeser, the show was hailed for its strong performances, compelling storylines, and realistic portrayal of the legal profession.

The series revolved around the lives and work of the public defenders and district attorneys who were part of the New York City legal system. Sagemiller played the lead character of Michelle Ernhardt, a public defender who was highly dedicated to her job and committed to defending her clients, no matter how difficult their cases may be. Her colleagues included Graham as the idealistic but ambitious district attorney, Reuben as the calm and collected supervisor of the public defender's office, and Kaczmarek as the no-nonsense judge who presided over their cases.

Gosselaar portrayed the role of Jerry Kellerman, a defense attorney who was known for taking on cases that others would not. His unpredictable nature and unconventional methods often put him at odds with his colleagues, but also made him a valuable asset to his clients. Richards played Marcus McGrath, a public defender who struggled with a troubled past but remained committed to fighting for justice. Natalia Cigliuti played the role of Roberta "Bobbi" Gilardi, another public defender who often clashed with Michelle over their approaches to cases.

The show also explored the personal lives of its characters, with Teddy Sears playing the role of Charlie Sagansky, Michelle's on-again-off-again love interest. Jonathan Scarfe played the role of district attorney Nick Balco, who had a complicated history with Michelle. Stacy Hall played the role of assistant district attorney Julius Cain, who was introduced in the second season of the show, and Autumn Reeser played the role of attorney Samantha "Addy" Adderley, who joined the series in the second season as well.

Throughout the series, the characters tackled a wide range of cases, from murder and assault to identity theft and drug trafficking. They also faced personal challenges, such as romantic relationships, family conflicts, and career setbacks. The show was praised for its realistic portrayal of the legal system, with attention paid to the details of courtroom procedure and legal strategy. The series also tackled social issues such as racial inequality, police misconduct, and the death penalty.

Raising the Bar was well-received by critics and audiences alike, with many praising the strong performances of its cast and the quality of its writing. However, despite its critical success, the show was cancelled after just two seasons. Fans of the series were disappointed by the cancellation, but the show remains a beloved part of the TNT lineup and a testament to the talent of its cast and creators.

In conclusion, Raising the Bar was a compelling legal drama series that tackled complex issues and featured a talented cast. While it may have been short-lived, the show left a lasting impact on its viewers and is remembered as a standout entry in the genre.

Raising the Bar is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (25 episodes). The series first aired on September 1, 2008.

Raising the Bar
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Happy Ending
15. Happy Ending
December 24, 2009
In the series finale, Jerry tries to uphold justice for a male massage therapist charged with inappropriately touching a female client, but a snafu involving the jury threatens to derail the case. Meanwhile, Kessler's boyfriend asks her a legal favor; Jerry and Bobbi search for an apartment; and Roz---who continues to care for a baby---is extorted by the infant's father.
O! Say Can You Pee
14. O! Say Can You Pee
December 24, 2009
Richard defends a law student accused of pouring beer on a cop at a sporting event. Marcus takes legal action against a father who stole food to feed his family, however, a videotape surfaces to tell another story. Bobbie and Jerry face an important personal
Maybe, Baby
13. Maybe, Baby
December 24, 2009
Jerry questions his client's deal to testify against a rapist and a series of events leave Roz with a baby.
Beating a Dead Horse
12. Beating a Dead Horse
August 24, 2009
Jerry faces off against Michelle when he defends a heroin-addled pregnant woman and Michelle wants her in jail so that her unborn baby stands a chance. Elsewhere, Roz takes a case for a carriage driver accused of abusing a horse and attacking a cop, but surprising details surface in the case.
Bobbi Ba-Bing
11. Bobbi Ba-Bing
August 17, 2009
Jerry defends a convict accused of killing a fellow inmate. The case takes a different turn when it turns out that Jerry's client was wrongly imprisoned. A new staffer works hard for a homeless man and finds a way to sue the city.
Making Up Is Hard to Do
10. Making Up Is Hard to Do
August 10, 2009
Bobbi takes the case of a woman charged with smuggling drugs that involves Michelle's cop boyfriend. Elsewhere, Jerry tries to obtain a better deal for his client and goes against Marcus over the issue.
Trout Fishing
9. Trout Fishing
August 3, 2009
Kessler and Farnsworth clash over a case in which a mother is set to go to prison. Elsewhere, Balco hands a case to Michelle, but she'll only have 48 hours to prepare before it goes to trial.
Trust Me
8. Trust Me
July 27, 2009
Bobbi advocates for a confidential informant who fears his powerful codefendant could have him killed. Jerry tries to assist Bobbi in the case, but his meddling backfires. Elsewhere, Richard tries to help a client by using his own family name as leverage in negotiations.
Fine and Dandy
7. Fine and Dandy
July 20, 2009
Jerry and Richard both fight for clients who received unfair verdicts. Richard has to go up against Judge Kessler who is preoccupied with a blind date. Meanwhile, Bobbi struggles to adjust to a life-shattering situation involving her ex-husband
I'll Be Down to Get You a Taxi, Honey
6. I'll Be Down to Get You a Taxi, Honey
July 13, 2009
Jerry relies on the sympathy of the jury instead of the facts when he holds court for a man charged with running over a corrupt lawyer. Elsewhere, Richard makes a judicial fumble when he rushes through his cases. Also, Bobbi's divorce proceedings advance.
Is There a Doctor in the House?
5. Is There a Doctor in the House?
July 6, 2009
Jerry advocates for a woman charged with drug possession, but the case stirs up a conflict between Jerry and Michelle's new cop boyfriend. In addition, Bobbi defends a client battling larceny charges; and Charlie and Judge Farnsworth (John Michael Higgins) spend a most interesting dinner together.
No Child's Left Behind
4. No Child's Left Behind
June 29, 2009
Jerry goes up against Balco in a child-pornography case. Bobbi's divorce proceedings go downhill when Gavin exploits a legal loophole which produces life-changing consequences.
The Curious Case of Kellerman's Button
3. The Curious Case of Kellerman's Button
June 22, 2009
Fiery friction erupts between Jerry and rigid Judge Farnsworth over Jerry's tardiness. Elsewhere, Roz and Richard join forces on a hate-crime case. And Marcus' well-connected girlfriend puts him in a tight spot with Balco.
Rules of Engagement
2. Rules of Engagement
June 15, 2009
Jerry and Michelle go before an extremely strict new judge and the case only gets worse when Michelle realizes that she may have feelings for a witness. Meanwhile, a case revolves around two older twins accused of falsifying a welfare check.
Hair Apparent
1. Hair Apparent
June 8, 2009
Jerry defends a man charged with permitting a relative to sell drugs out of his barbershop. Roz begins working on active cases again and Bobbi's divorce proceedings begin.
Where to Watch Raising the Bar
Raising the Bar is available for streaming on the TNT website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Raising the Bar on demand at Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 1, 2008
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (1,878)