Blair Underwood returns to primetime this fall in a reboot of the classic '60s series Ironside, and he tells ET that his new approach "is a different thing completely" in the vein of the Hawaii Five-O reboot.
"This is a different thing completely because it's a different show," he explains to ET. "You're dealing with, initially, people's point of reference, their nostalgia and their remembering of what that [original] Ironside meant. … [We're] breathing new air into it. It's the same thing Hawaii Five-O did. It's the same thing Tom Cruise did with Mission: Impossible on the big screen."
In Ironside, Underwood plays tough NYPD Detective Robert Ironside, a fearless cop who swore he'd never let a wheelchair slow him down after his spine was shattered by a bullet two years ago. Working with his trusted, handpicked team of specialists (including Neal Bledsoe, Pablo Schreiber, Brent Sexton, Kenneth Choi and Spencer Grammer), Ironside will do whatever it takes to solve New York's most difficult and notorious crimes -- even if it means breaking the rules.
Grammer compares the team of cops that works with Ironside as "a dysfunctional family" and Bledsoe agrees, saying that everyone's simply "fighting to be heard."
So is Underwood wary about taking on a reboot in a world of remakes and reboots?
"It's been done successfully and unsuccessfully in different ways," he explains. "It depends on the timing, it depends on the casting, it depends on if the audience is ready for it, so you never really know. But it's not intimidating in that sense, because we're not dealing with the same text."
Ironside premieresWednesday, October 2 at 10/9c on NBC.