Blair Underwood to Star in “Ironside” Pilot

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Blair Underwood will play the lead in a new version of “Ironside,” the 1967-1975 drama that starred Raymond Burr as a wheelchair-bound detective, reports.

NBC picked up the pilot for the series, which features, “a tough, sexy, but acerbic police detective” who leads his team to solve tough cases. 

I’m pretty sure that “sexy” was never used to describe Raymond Burr in anything, ever.

But that is a fitting description for Underwood, best known for his for his work on “L.A. Law” and “Sex and the City.” That latter was where his reputation as a charismatic, sexy smoothie was cemented. Just ask your wife or girlfriend. She’ll happily tell you. 

I joke, but Underwood’s casting could go a long way toward painting the paralyzed as desirable people. Usually, they’re portrayed as tortured or self-loathing. Or bland paragons of courage. (That John Hawkes didn’t go either route in “The Sessions” is what made his performance so good.) If “Ironsides” gets picked up, Underwood’s character could become a role model: an attractive man who just happens to be paralyzed. Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

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