PRESS TOUR: CMU alum Blair Underwood plays a new 'Ironside' on NBC

Saturday, 27 July 2013 07:05 PM Written by 

Read Friday's TV Q&A and more coverage from the Television Critics Association summer 2013 press tour by clicking here. 

ironsideBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Blair Underwood, a 1988 Carnegie Mellon University grad, stars in a remake of the 1970s Raymond Burr series "Ironside" (10 p.m. Wednesdays starting Oct. 2).

Parapalegic actors were not considered for the lead role, producers said, because actors were needed who could walk in flashback scenes to before Ironside was in a wheelchair.

Read more after the jump. ...

Underwood said he trained with a 35-year-old parapalegic who's been in a wheelchair since he was in a skiing accident at 19 and Ironside's self-sufficiency is based on that man.

"The first thing I noticed was he had no handles on his wheelchair, so we cut those off, and he said, 'Why would I want them? Whatever I can do for myself, I'll do for myself,'" Underwood said. "The speaks to some of his independence. Ironside is like that in terms of his self-sufficiency."

Underwood said the new show only borrows the name, occupation and wheelchair, otherwise everything else is new.

"It's a crime drama wrapped in a character study," Underwood said.

Producers said they have not decided if they will use the original show's theme song.

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