Ironside (2013 TV series)

Ironside is an American police drama television series created by Collier Young, that aired on NBC from October 2 to October 23, 2013 during the 2013–14 television season.[2] It was a remake of the original television series Ironside, which ran from 1967 to 1975. It starred Blair Underwood as the title character, wheelchair-using cop Robert Ironside, the only character re-created from the original series. The remade Ironside was grittier and considerably more violent than the original, and the setting was changed from San Francisco to New York City.

Ironside NBC.jpg
Created byCollier Young
Developed byMichael Caleo
Theme music composerJames S. Levine
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9 (5 unaired)
Executive producer(s)
Production company(s)
Original networkNBC
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 2 –
October 23, 2013 (2013-10-23)
Preceded byIronside
External links
Official website

Ratings and reviews were unfavorable to the series, and it was canceled on October 18. Only four episodes were aired.[3]


The pilot was written by Michael Caleo, who was also the executive producer, while Universal TV, Davis Entertainment and Yellow Brick Road produced the show.[4]

According to various news outlets, the plot of the show revolved around "a tough, sexy but acerbic police detective using a wheelchair after a shooting" who "is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city."[5][6]

The pilot episode was released for free early on September 10, 2013, via iTunes Store,, and Hulu.

Cast and charactersEdit


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Peter HortonMichael CaleoOctober 2, 2013 (2013-10-02)1016.81[10]
2"Sleeping Dogs"Rod HolcombRobert PortOctober 9, 2013 (2013-10-09)1045.18[11]
3"Action"Stephen GyllenhaalDavid SchulnerOctober 16, 2013 (2013-10-16)1054.80[12]
4"Uptown Murders"Oz ScottMark RosnerOctober 23, 2013 (2013-10-23)1033.85[13]
5"Hell on Wheels"[14]Alex ZakrzewskiMick BetancourtApril 8, 2014 (2014-04-08) (iTunes)TBAN/A
6"Pentimento"David BoydKen SanzelApril 8, 2014 (2014-04-08) (iTunes)TBAN/A
7"Minor Infractions"Martha MitchellJudith McCrearyApril 8, 2014 (2014-04-08) (iTunes)TBAN/A
8"Brothers in Arms"Darnell MartinBrian AnthonyApril 8, 2014 (2014-04-08) (iTunes)TBAN/A
9"Hidden Agenda"Alex ZakrzewskiNicole R. LevyApril 8, 2014 (2014-04-08) (iTunes)TBAN/A


The new Ironside received negative reviews. A summary on Rotten Tomatoes said, "Ironside is an unnecessary, lackluster remake that could be a decent police procedural if it wasn't so mundane and monotonous."[15]

Brian Tallerico of HollywoodChicago called it the "Worst New Drama of 2013" and awarded it 1 star out of 5, saying: "[Ironside is] the most cliched, least believable, least fun, and just awful new drama of the year. It is aggressively bad. Avoid at all costs. Blair Underwood ... deserves better than the horrendous, uninteresting writing here. [Ironside] should be a way to explore how our physical well-being is only one part of our lives and how we approach our work, even crimefighting. It’s not. It’s just manipulative drama that hopes to make you stand up and cheer by reminding you over and over again how tough its title character remains."[16]

Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times called the title character "an unpleasant combination of macho and brusque" and the handling of his disability "thuddingly didactic" and "one that is not doing real people with disabilities any favors". He called the storylines "bland", the reason for Ironside's disability "predictable" and the writing "plodding".[17] (The backstory of Ironside's disabling wound was different in the remake than in the original series.)

Robert Bianco of USA Today gave the show 1.5 stars out of 4. He called it an "atrociously clunky" remake that "jettison[ed] whatever wit and intelligence the original possessed".[18]


Controversy arose over the decision to cast non-disabled actor Blair Underwood in the role of paraplegic Robert Ironside. Sons of Anarchy actor Kurt Yaeger, himself an amputee, compared the act to blackface, and said disabled characters should be played by disabled actors.[19] Auti Angel, a paralyzed actress who appears in the Sundance Channel’s reality series Push Girls was quoted as saying "What are they afraid of? There are so many extremely talented individuals who are performing artists with a different ability."[20] Larry Sapp, a disabled independent filmmaker, went as far as to boycott the show by starting a Facebook page called Don't Shoot Ironside.[21] However, fellow Push Girls star Angela Rockwood says she is not opposed to Ironside because the drama, like her show, challenges perceptions of how those in wheelchairs should look and act.[21]

Teri Weinberg, executive producer of Ironside, stated that the role was cast with a non-disabled actor because the show features flashbacks to Ironside's life before he became a paraplegic, which "required an actor to be on their feet in their previous life".[22]


  1. ^ a b c d "'Ironside' Remake Starring Blair Underwood Gets NBC Pilot And More News". The Huffington Post. February 5, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Kondology, Amanda (June 21, 2013). "NBC Announces Fall Premiere Dates for New Season Including 'The Voice', 'The Blacklist', 'The Michael J Fox Show', 'Grimm', 'Revolution' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  3. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 18, 2013). "'Ironside' & 'Welcome to the Family' Canceled by NBC; 'Community' to Premiere January 2, 'Chicago P.D.' January 8". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  4. ^ Gennis, Sadie (February 5, 2013). "Pilot Season: NBC Picks Up Ironside Remake with Blair Underwood". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  5. ^ Rice, Lynette (February 4, 2013). "NBC orders 'Ironside' pilot with Blair Underwood". InsideTV. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  6. ^ O'Neal, Sean (February 5, 2013). "Blair Underwood is the new Ironside in NBC's new Ironside". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Lyons, Margaret (February 5, 2013). "Blair Underwood Joins Ironside Remake". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Ironside | New York Detective Robert Ironside takes on NY crime". Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 25, 2013). "Kenneth Choi Joins NBC Pilot 'Ironside', Erin Pineda Added To Fox's 'Dads'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 3, 2013). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Revolution', 'Survivor', 'The Middle', & 'Back In The Game' Adjusted Up; 'Ironside' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  11. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 10, 2013). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Survivor', 'Back in the Game', 'Modern Family' and 'The Tomorrow People' Adjusted Up; 'Nashville' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 17, 2013). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Modern Family', 'Law & Order:SVU', 'Survivor', 'Toy Story of TERROR!' & 'Back In The Game' Adjusted Up; 'Nashville' & 'Ironside' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 24, 2013). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Survivor', 'The Middle', 'Modern Family' & 'The Tomorrow People' Adjusted Up; 'Super Fun Night' Adjusted Down + Final World Series Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  14. ^ "HELL ON WHEELS". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  15. ^ "Ironside: Season 1 (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  16. ^ "TV Review: NBC's 'Ironside' is Worst New Drama of 2013". HollywoodChicago. October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Disabled, but Still Dangerous". The New York Times. October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "'Ironside' doesn't show much mettle". USA Today. October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  19. ^ "NBC's 'Ironside' Faces Controversy Over Not Casting Disabled People". The Huffington Post. May 22, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  20. ^ "Not Everyone Is Happy With The Guy In NBC's 'Ironside' Reboot". Indie Wire. May 21, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Hollywood's Disabled Actors Protest NBC's 'Ironside' Casting – When Is It Their Turn?". The Wrap. May 20, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  22. ^ Molloy, Tim (July 27, 2013). "TCA: Why 'Ironside' Producers Didn't Cast a Paraplegic Actor". The Wrap. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

External linksEdit