Blind Justice (TV Series)
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Blind Justice TV Series
Blind Justice
Created by
Composer(s)Mike Post
Country of originUnited States
Original English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Running time42 minutes
Original networkABC
Picture format(HDTV) 1080i
Original releaseMarch 8 (2005-03-08) -
June 21, 2005 (2005-06-21)

Blind Justice is an American crime drama television series created by Steven Bochco about a blind New York City police detective. It was introduced mid-season on March 8, 2005, to fill the time slot left by Bochco's highly successful NYPD Blue, which had just aired its final episode after a 12-year run. The show ran for only one season, with 13 episodes broadcast.


A New York City police detective named Jim Dunbar and his partner are ambushed by a gunman with an AK-47. Three other officers are out of ammunition, and Dunbar's partner is frozen in fear. Dunbar takes action but also takes a bullet leaving him blind. He sues the police force and is allowed to keep his job despite his blindness. He is partnered with Detective Karen Bettancourt who doubts his ability to effectively do his job. He also must deal with self-doubt and his wife Christie's doubts by seeing a psychiatrist.



Blind Justice is a co-production of Steven Bochco Productions and Paramount Television. In 2003 during early pre-production on the then-untitled series Bochco said of Blind Justice, "it ain't like any cop show you've ever seen before."[1] Bochco said he got the idea for the series from seeing The Blind Boys of Alabama at a concert in Hollywood and noticing how they came on stage in a line, each holding on to the shoulder of the man in front of him.[2] On May 18, 2004 ABC announced that they had ordered Blind Justice as a mid-season replacement to fill the spot in their scheduled left by NYPD Blue which was to end part way through the 2004-05 television season.[3] The start of production on the series in Los Angeles was announced on October 25, 2004.[4]

The main setting of the series is the police precinct in New York City's Chinatown. Exterior shots were filmed at a precinct in Brooklyn. The pilot was filmed in part on location in New York and on the stages of 20th Century Fox and on the streets of Los Angeles.[5] The pilot episode had its first public screening in mid-January, 2005 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota as part of ABC's attempt to promote their mid-season schedule. The other shows premiering were Grey's Anatomy, Eyes, Supernanny, and Jake in Progress.[6]

Kramer Morgenthau was the cinematographer for the pilot and together with director Gary Fleder established the basic visual presentation of Blind Justice. For the series Bochco employed two cinematographers, Jeff Jur and Ric Bota, who worked on alternate episodes to allow for more time to visually develop the individual episodes.[5]Blind Justice was the first scripted series to be broadcast on ABC with video description for the visually impaired, where available (FCC regulations for Descriptive Video Service would not come into force for seven more years).[2][7]


Kevin D. Thompson of Cox News Service said Blind Justice is "worth your attention mostly because of Ron Eldard's standout performance as Dunbar", a character whom he described as "one of TV's most intriguing new characters."[8] Vikki Ortiz of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel watched the premiere with members of the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Milwaukee and found that generally they considered it a realistic portrayal of what it is like to be blind, citing use of proper commands being given to his guide dog and having Detective Bettancourt lead him with her arm. Ortiz mentioned that several people did say that it was unrealistic that he would be allowed to carry a gun.[2] In her review of the pilot Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times found that Blind Justice "is at its best when portraying how people react to the character Jim Dunbar". Stanley goes on to say in her review that "the scenes at the precinct when he first returns to work are intelligently and delicately written. His heroism, and the groundbreaking lawsuit he filed, turned him into a celebrity cop, and his colleagues on the force greet him with graceless courtesy and palpable resentment. Dunbar is blind, but in a previous generation, he could have been black or female and encountered a similar kind of churlishness."[9]

Robert Bianco of USA Today was less receptive to Blind Justice. Bianco wrote a column solely on concepts worse than Blind Justice, of which he said, "As bad ideas go, Blind Justice's gun-toting blind guy isn't even a patch on some of the truly awful concepts that have made it to series."[10] Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe said Detective Dunbar "might as well be wearing a note pinned to his back reading 'I have courage, integrity, and kids really like me.'" Gilbert goes on to say that Blind Justice "settles for the sort of nobler than-thou portrayal that marred the final seasons of Bochco's NYPD Blue." He concludes his review by saying, "In the episodes sent to critics, the murder suspects are straight out of central casting, from the wigged-out serial killer to the abusive dad. Ultimately, they seem to be there merely to provide our knight in shining armor a few hard-to-miss targets."[11] Samantha Force of The Michigan Daily said that the idea of a disabled cop returning to work was believable but that a blind cop can carry a loaded gun simply by signing a liability waiver is ridiculous. Force concedes that the show does point out its own flaws with the premise by having Dunbar's coworkers express concerns about his ability to use his gun if the need arose. Force concluded her review by saying, "this show is a good watch if the viewer is able to suspend their disbelief and take the premise at face value. For those viewers out there who want their dosage of realism in drama, Blind Justice is not the pill for you."[12]


Blind Justice was broadcast on Tuesdays at 10:00 pm on ABC. The series finale was shown on the west coast June 21, 2005, after game 6 of the 2005 NBA Finals.[13] As it was a regional broadcast there are no national ratings available for the episode. The series briefly had a syndicated run on Sleuth Channel in 2009.

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Gary FlederS : Steven Bochco;
S/T : Matt Olmstead, Nicholas Wootton
March 8, 2005 (2005-03-08)12.360[14]
After being shot in the head during an armored truck robbery the now blind Detective Jim Dunbar returns to work seeking to resume his duties. His coworkers express grave reservations about his ability to fully do the job and his Lieutenant is hesitant to allow Dunbar to carry a gun. Dunbar is assigned to investigate what is believed to be a relatively simple car theft with Detective Bettancourt. Dunbar discovers that the car theft is connected to an ongoing serial homicide investigation.
2"Four Feet Under"Gary FlederNicholas WoottonMarch 15, 2005 (2005-03-15)10.510[15]
When a 12-year-old boy is found murdered a known pædophile is the prime suspect. Dunbar's insecurites come to a head when he breaks out in a jealous rage at a dinner party because he believes his wife's boss is flirting with her right in front of him. Unresolved issues about Dunbar's own past infidelities threaten to end his marriage.
3"Rub a Tub Tub"Gary FlederMatt OlmsteadMarch 22, 2005 (2005-03-22)9.550[16]
When one of their own, Detective Carl Desmond from anti-crime, is found murdered the precinct is on alert. With everyone, including Desomnd's widow, believing it was someone Desmond had previously arrested who took revenge they are looking for a suspect among those recently release from prison. Dunbar believes that it was Desmond's former partner who killed him and that he is involved with Desmond's widow. Marty continues to make Dunbar's return to work difficult by rearranging the precinct desks so that Dunbar is walking into them.
4"Up on the Roof"John BadhamElwood ReidMarch 29, 2005 (2005-03-29)7.940[17]
Dunbar is having recurring nightmares about Terry Jansen, his former partner, hiding in fear during an armored truck robbery which resulted in his being shot and blinded. Dunbar and Bettancourt are forced to work with Jansen, who had transferred to a different precinct, and his new partner to solve a series of gang murders.
5"Marlon's Brando"Jeremy KaganMichael Oates PalmerApril 5, 2005 (2005-04-05)8.410[18]
6"Seoul Man"Bobby RothRussell GewirtzApril 12, 2005 (2005-04-12)8.140[19]
7"Leap of Faith"Michael AptedNicholas WoottonApril 19, 2005 (2005-04-19)8.060[20]
8"Past Imperfect"Guy FerlandMatt OlmsteadApril 26, 2005 (2005-04-26)7.230[21]
9"In Your Face"John BadhamMichael Oates PalmerMay 3, 2005 (2005-05-03)6.000[22]
10"Doggone"Bobby RothRussell GewirtzMay 10, 2005 (2005-05-10)6.300[23]
11"Dance with Me"John HyamsNicholas Wootton & Matt OlmsteadMay 17, 2005 (2005-05-17)6.050[24]
12"Under the Gun"Rick WallaceMatt Olmstead & Nicholas WoottonMay 31, 2005 (2005-05-31)6.380[25]
13"Fancy Footwork"Bobby RothNicholas Wootton & Matt OlmsteadJune 21, 2005 (2005-06-21)N/A

International broadcasters


  1. ^ "Development Update: August 14". August 14, 2003. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Ortiz, Vikki (March 9, 2005). "Small victories in 'Justice'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1B, 2B. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ "2004 UPFRONT RELEASE - part 1 TWO NEW COMEDIES, SEVEN NEW DRAMAS, TWO NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES JOIN ABC'S 2004-2005 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 18, 2004. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ "BLIND JUSTICE START OF PRODUCTION RELEASE" (Press release). ABC Medianet. October 25, 2004. Retrieved 2011.
  5. ^ a b Fisher, Bob (May 1, 2005). "Blind Justice Gets Visual". Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ "ABC OFFERS MIDSEASON SNEAK PREVIEW AT MINNEAPOLIS' MALL OF AMERICA, JANUARY 15 & 16" (Press release). ABC Medianet. January 6, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ "BLIND JUSTICE TO BE BROADCAST WITH VIDEO DESCRIPTION" (Press release). ABC Medianet. February 17, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Thompson, Kevin D. (March 8, 2005). "Review: 'Blind Justice' worth checking out". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. p. D6. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (March 8, 2005). "A Sightless Detective Who Can See What He's Up Against". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ Bianco, Robert (March 7, 2005). "Worst comes to worst". USA Today. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (March 8, 2005). "Bochco's blind cop never misses a beat". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ Force, Samantha (March 15, 2005). "ABC doesn't see the flaws in 'Blind Justice'". The Michigan Daily. p. 20. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "Development Update: June 20". June 20, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 03/07/05 THROUGH 03/13/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 15, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 03/14/05 THROUGH 03/20/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 22, 2005. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 03/21/05 THROUGH 03/27/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 29, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 03/28/05 THROUGH 04/03/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 5, 2005. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 04/04/05 THROUGH 04/10/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 12, 2005. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 04/11/05 THROUGH 04/17/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 19, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  20. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 04/18/05 THROUGH 04/24/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 26, 2005. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  21. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 04/25/05 THROUGH 05/01/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 3, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  22. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/02/05 THROUGH 05/08/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 10, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  23. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/09/05 THROUGH 05/15/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 17, 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/16/05 THROUGH 05/22/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 24, 2005. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  25. ^ "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/30/05 THROUGH 06/05/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. June 7, 2005. Retrieved 2011.

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