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Reasonable Doubts

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Title: Reasonable Doubts  
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Subject: Leslie Jordan, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Child of deaf adult, Jim Brochu, Kay Lenz
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Reasonable Doubts

Reasonable Doubts
Starring Mark Harmon
Marlee Matlin
Kay Lenz
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 44
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) December 3rd Productions
Lorimar Television
Original channel NBC
Original release September 26, 1991 – April 27, 1993

Reasonable Doubts was a police drama television series broadcast in the United States by NBC that ran from 1991 to 1993.


Reasonable Doubts is primarily about the working relationship between Assistant District Attorney Tess Kaufman (Marlee Matlin), a prosecutor very sensitive to the rights of the accused, and hard-charging, gruff Detective Dicky Cobb (Mark Harmon), an old-fashioned cop with a "bust-the-perps" attitude. The reason that these two had been assigned to work together was that Cobb was one of the few available police officers who knew sign language, and Tess, like the actress who portrayed her, was deaf. Dicky was usually more frustrated by Tess' attitudes than by her deafness; he also repeated what Tess said back to her to make sure that he understood it (Tess also read lips) and this allowed the audience to understand her part of the dialogue. Dicky also spoke as he signed to Tess.

Both characters were involved with other people when the series started; Tess was estranged from, but still in contact with, her husband Bruce (Tim Grimm); Dicky had a manipulative girlfriend named Kay Lockman (Nancy Everhard). Kay was, unsurprisingly, quite jealous of Tess, and not without reason, as a considerable mutual attraction, despite their differences, developed between Tess and Dicky. The situation became more complicated with the death of Kay early in the second season, freeing the characters to pursue the relationship at least somewhat more, although its resolution was still up in the air when the program was not renewed for a third season. Executive producer Bob Singer gained some interest from the network in spinning off the show into a straight cop drama starring Harmon and Jim Beaver, who had played Dicky's friend and partner Detective Earl Gaddis from the beginning of the show, but ultimately NBC demurred.

In the Seinfeld episode "The Pitch" (Season 4, Episode 3), Jerry and George sit in an NBC waiting room under a poster of Mark Harmon and Marlee Matlin, an advertisement for the show Reasonable Doubts.


  • Mark Harmon - Detective Dickie Cobb (1991–1993)
  • Marlee Matlin - Assistant District Attorney Tess Kaufman (1991–1993)
  • William Converse-Roberts - District Attorney Arthur Gold (1991–1993)
  • Tim Grimm - Bruce Kaufman (1991–1993)
  • Kay Lenz - Maggie Zombro (1991–1993)
  • Bill Pugin - Ben Douglass (1991–1993)
  • Jim Beaver - Detective Earl Gaddis (1991–1993)
  • Vanessa Angel - Detective Peggy Elliott (1992–1993)
  • Marnie Andrews - Judge Andrea Claussen (1991–1993)
  • John Mese - Sean Kelly (1991–1992)
  • Jim Pirri - Asher Roth (1992–1993)
  • Leslie Jordan - Marvin/Cliff Sizemore (1992–1993)
  • Willie C. Carpenter - Robert Maxwell (1991–1992)
  • Michael Holden - Judge Melvin Orrick (1991–1992)
  • James Acheson - Andy Cromyer (1991)
  • Gregg Henry - Weldon Lewis (1992)
  • Richard Gant - Alvin Pinkston (1991–1992)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1992 American Cinema Editors' Eddie Award Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Pilots Robert Primes Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Television Series Drama Mark Harmon Nominated
Best Actress – Television Series Drama Marlee Matlin Nominated
1993 Best Actor – Television Series Drama Mark Harmon Nominated
Best Actress – Television Series Drama Marlee Matlin Nominated
1992 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Kay Lenz Nominated
1993 Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Series Richard M. Rawlings Jr. (For episode "Lifelines") Nominated
1992 Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Mark Harmon Nominated
Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series Marlee Matlin Nominated
1993 Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Mark Harmon Nominated
Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series Marlee Matlin Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series Kay Lenz Won
Best Specialty Player Leslie Jordan Nominated
1994 Writers Guild of America Award Episodic Drama Ed Zuckerman (For episode "Thank God, It's Friday") Nominated


External links

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