Let’s Remember Blind Justice

Let’s Remember is an opportunity for those who watched relatively recent short-lived TV shows, as well as those who didn’t, to share their thoughts and memories, to help ensure that these shows aren’t forgotten. This month’s column examines Blind Justice (ABC, 2005).

The Basics

Title: Blind Justice
Network: ABC
Cast: Ron Eldard as Detective Jim Dunbar; Marisol Nichols as Detective Karen Bettancourt; Reno Wilson as Detective Tom Selway; Frank Grillo as Detective Marty Russo; Michael Gaston as Lieutenant Gary Fisk; Rena Sofer as Christie Dunbar
Air dates: March 8th, 2005 – March 31st, 2005; June 21st, 2005
Time slot: Tuesdays at 10PM ET
Episodes: 13

Official Synopsis

From the official ABC website for Blind Justice (via the Wayback Machine):

From Steven Bochco Productions comes an innovative take on the modern police drama. The lead character, New York Detective Jim Dunbar, was blinded in a shootout when his partner failed to cover him. He could have retired with a full pension after his injury, but instead fought to remain on the job, determined to prove he still has what it takes and be an asset. Now, following his reinstatement, he is assigned to a new precinct where he intends to take on cases with the help of his guide dog, Hank.

On his first day back on the job, he meets Detectives Tom Selway (Reno Wilson) and Marty Russo (Frank Grillo), both hardboiled New York cops. Russo is especially skeptical at the outset, bent on humiliating Dunbar and seeing him fail. In addition, there’s Karen Bettancourt (Marisol Nichols), a Homicide detective who’s been working with Selway and Russo for eight months on a serial murder case.

Though all the detectives are impressed by Dunbar’s heroism, demonstrated during the events that led to his being blinded, they are angry he has returned and incredulous at his belief that he can still work the streets and carry a loaded gun. Bettancourt in particular has reservations, which are compounded by the knowledge of Dunbar’s past affair with her friend. As a result, when Lieutenant Fisk (Michael Gaston) – who reluctantly agreed to give Dunbar a chance to prove himself – partners him with Bettancourt, she is furious.

Dunbar’s wife, Christie (Rena Sofer) has stuck by him throughout his debilitating ordeal and supports him in his moment of need. However she has doubts about their marriage based on Dunbar’s past infidelities, and begins to question why she stays, noting his tendency to take her for granted.

The series is created by Steven Bochco, Nicholas Wootton and Matt Olmstead who, with Bill Clark and John Badham, also serve as executive producers. Blind Justice is produced by Steven Bochco Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for ABC.

Program Notes

-Saul Rubinek had a recurring role as Dr. Allan Galloway, Jim Dunbar’s psychiatrist.

-The 13th and final episode of only aired on the West Coast, following Game 6 of the 2005 NBA Finals. Because it didn’t air nationally, Nielsen didn’t rate it.

-Repeats aired on cable channel Sleuth in 2009 or 2010.

-According to the Internet Movie Database, ABC broadcast Blind Justice with video description for visually impaired viewers, making it the first scripted ABC series to feature that service.

TV Guide’s Take

As a mid-season replacement, TV Guide never reviewed Blind Justice for a Fall Preview issue.


Variety – Brian Lowry (3/7/2005)
USA Today – Robert Bianco (3/7/2005)
Boston Globe – Matthew Gilbert (3/8/2005)
Los Angeles Times – Robert Lloyd (3/8/2005)
New York Times – Alessandra Stanley (3/8/2005)

Opening Credits

My Thoughts

I know I watched all 13 episodes of Blind Justice. That includes the 13th and final episode, even though it didn’t air outside the West Coast. I think the series aired before the networks began putting episode online, which means I likely “acquired” a copy somehow. I remember literally nothing about the series aside from certain members of the cast. Before writing this column, I couldn’t name a single character.

Likewise, I don’t recall any of the episodes and a quick look at episode summaries didn’t spark any memories. Actually, I may almost remember Detective Dunbar losing his gun during a fight in one episode. Only after watching a few clips on YouTube did I remember the gimmick of Dunbar “seeing” crime scenes in his mind.

The one thing I do know is how much I loved the opening theme song.

As the ABC summary makes clear, the series balanced Dunbar’s police life with his home life. Prior to being blinded, he cheated on his wife. Did his wife have an affair during the brief run? I want to say yes but, again, I can’t remember. Ultimately, I doubt the premise had enough juice to keep the series on the air for long.

Where to Watch

Nowhere. Blind Justice is not available on DVD or digital download nor is it streaming anywhere.

Hit the comments with your thoughts and memories to ensure Blind Justice doesn’t slip into obscurity.

7 Replies to “Let’s Remember Blind Justice”

  1. I don’t have any memory of seeing this series, but I recognize a couple of the actors from other shows. I remember Ron Eldard from the first season of NBC’s MEN BEHAVING BADLY, and Reno Wilson played a police officer in a much longer-running show, playing Mike Biggs’ partner, Carl McMillan, on MIKE & MOLLY. I also found it interesting that, going by your linked episode list, there was an episode titled “Leap of Faith”, which was another series that you highlighted in a previous “Let’s Remember” column.

  2. Actually, I’m fairly certain all 13 episodes, including the series finale, aired outside the West Coast because I remember in the series finale, Dunbar gets into a fight with another guy at a restaurant after the guy calls Christi a bitch; during this fight, his gym bag is taken and the bag happens to have his gun in it. Shortly there after, someone is shot and killed and the bullet is the same caliber as the ones he uses. The episode ends with his gun being returned to him in a paper bag.

    Personally, I was a huge fan of this show. My grandma and I would watch it every week and discuss the episodes afterwards. Shame it never really got a chance although being blind myself, I concede that the idea of A blind police officer may be a bit far-fetched right now.

    By the way, may I suggest you do a column on “Third Watch”? Although it ran for six seasons on NBC (September 23, 1999 to May 6, 2005,) it seems not a lot of people know about it and by all accounts, NBC certainly never gave it the respect and recognition it deserved.

    1. Hi Dorvell, I too loved that show. Likewise I am blind too. Do you have any idea how to get the audio described versions of the episodes?

  3. ABC promoted this show quite heavily in 2005. IIRC, it replaced “NYPD Blue” following its cancellation. I watched the premiere, and was intrigued, but didn’t feel compelled to watch any further.

    I remember Ron Eldard appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, and fellow guest Adam Carolla mocked the show’s concept, and showed a gag clip from his new “show” about a blind firefighter.

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