The Guardian is an American drama series which aired on CBS from September 25, 2001 to May 4, 2004. In the United States, as of 2012, it is being broadcast in re-runs on the Sleuth Channel and TV Guide Network. The Guardian has aired in the United Kingdom on the Hallmark Channel, ABC1 (April 2006) and, more recently, 5USA (May 2009) and Five (August 2009). In Turkey, the show aired on TNT and in Australia on Network Ten; as of 2011 re-runs are airing on the Nine Network following episodes of Simon Baker's 2008-2015 vehicle The Mentalist, but before on free to air television, the show has also aired on Foxtel's defunct station TV1 (now TVH!TS) in 2003 during the Saturday Night's Crime Time Block before Law & Order: CI and SVU. In India and Pakistan the show airs on Animax from June 2010 and AXN and FX. In Singapore, the show airs on AXN through Starhub Cable Television. In New Zealand, the show airs on Vibe, channel 7, via sky TV. In Latin America, the series will premiere in October on the Sony Spin channel.

The show stars Simon Baker and Dabney Coleman. It includes guest stars, such as Farrah Fawcett, and featured scenes with the Pittsburgh Police in multiple episodes.

Synopsis

Series protagonist Nick Fallin is a corporate attorney sentenced to 1,500 hours of community service with Legal Services of Pittsburgh as the result of a drug conviction. The plot focuses on Nick's community service and recovery from drug addiction, as well as his strained relationship with his father, who was founder and is managing partner of the corporate law firm where Nick is employed full-time.

Cast and characters

Main cast

  • Simon Baker as Nicholas "Nick" Fallin, a lawyer sentenced to community service for drug-related crimes. The central protagonist, he is a driven individual whose work and relationships are the focus for the series.
  • Dabney Coleman as Burton Fallin, Nick's father and senior partner at the law firm where Nick works. They do not have a close relationship. He fosters Shannon Gressler.
  • Alan Rosenberg as Alvin Masterson, the head of Legal Services of Pittsburgh, where Nick serves his community service. Alvin dates Laurie Solt, a social worker, and is arrested with a prostitute.
  • Wendy Moniz as Louisa "Lulu" Archer, Nick's de facto boss from mid-season one and his main love interest. She marries another man, but Nick's feelings still run deep.
  • Raphael Sbarge as Jake Straka, Nick's closest friend and a law colleague.
  • Charles Malik Whitfield as James Mooney, an attorney at Legal Services of Pittsburgh and a friend of Nick. He has a gang and drug background. He is shot and killed in the second season finale.
  • Amanda Michalka as Shannon Gressler, a troubled child. Shannon's mother dies in the Season 1 finale, and her grandmother in Season 2; Burton Fallin comes to care for her.
  • Erica Leerhsen as Amanda Bowles, an ambitious but caring associate. She leaves mid-way through the first season.
  • Kathleen Chalfant as Laurie Solt, a hardworking social worker who provides guidance for Nick.

Notable guest stars

  • Farrah Fawcett as Mary Gressler, a troubled grandmother and love interest of Burton Fallin. Appeared in four episodes in Season 2.
  • Rita Moreno as Caroline Novak, mother of Lulu (Louise Archer played by Wendy Moniz), for three episodes in 2003.
  • Lolita Davidovich as Victoria Little, a social welfare advocate and love interest of Alvin Masterson. Appeared in two episodes.
  • Zac Efron appears in Episode 15 of Season 3.
  • Bethany Joy Galeotti as Claire Stasiak. Appeared in two episodes: "What It Means to You" and "My Aim Is True".
  • Chris Pine as a troubled teen, Lonnie Grandy, in the "Hazel Park" episode of Season 3.
  • Will Ferrell, credited as "Phil Weston," in a cameo appearance as Larry Flood, a new lawyer at LSP, in the Season 2 finale, "All the Rage".
  • Corey Feldman as a former child actor, Gavin Putinski, in Season 2's "You Belong to Me".
  • Erik Estrada made a cameo appearance in a restaurant in Season 3, episode 18, "The Bachelor Party".
  • Joseph Campanella as Ralph Longo, the sick grandfather evicted from the home he had squatted in for 21 years, in Season 3's Episode 9, "Let God Sort 'Em Out."
  • Aaron Paul as a gay teenager in the Season One episode "The Men From The Boys"
  • Chloë Grace Moretz as Violet in the Season Three episodes "The Watchers" and "Blood in, Blood Out". This was her first ever acting role.
  • Anna Gunn as Meghan Barstow, a lawyer for a pharmaceutical firm in Season One episodes "Home" and "Reunion".
  • Viola Davis as Suzanna Clemons' attorney in the Season One episode "The Men From The Boys".
  • Kerry Washington as Drea Westbrook a client in the Season Two episode four "The Next Life".

Production

The show was set in Pittsburgh, and was filmed in the city from time to time. Beginning in Season 2, the theme song was "Empire in My Mind" performed by The Wallflowers.

Episodes

DVD releases

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all three seasons of The Guardian on DVD in Region 1.

DVD NameEp#Release Date
The First Season22October 27, 2009[2]
The Second Season23September 7, 2010[3]
The Final Season22February 8, 2011[4]

CBS/Paramount controls video rights only in the USA (where CBS Television Distribution has ancillary rights). Outside the US, Sony Pictures Television controls distribution rights, and international DVD releases will be mostly from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In Germany the first season is set to be released July 9, 2015 via Koch Media.[5][6]

Awards

YearAwardCategoryResult
2002ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards"Top TV Series" – Jakob DylanWon[7]
Family Television Awards"Actor" – Simon Baker"Won[7]
"New Series"Won[7]
GLAAD Media Awards"Outstanding Individual Episode (In a Series Without a Regular Gay Character)" – The Men From The BoysNominated[7]
Golden Globe Award"Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama" – Simon BakerNominated[8]
Young Artist Award"Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Guest Starring Young Actor" – Erik KnudsenNominated[9]
"Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Guest Starring Young Actor" – Jesse PlemonsNominated[9]
2003ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards"Top TV Series" – Jakob DylanWon[10]
Emmy Award"Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series" – Farrah FawcettNominated[11]
Environmental Media Awards"Drama - TV Episodic" – Assuming the PositionNominated[12]
2004ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards"Top TV Series" – Jakob DylanWon[13]
Environmental Media Awards"Drama - TV Episodic" – Big CoalNominated[14]
Young Artist Award"Best Performance in a TV Series - Guest Starring Young Actress" – Danielle PanabakerWon[15]
2005Prism Awards"Performance in a Drama Series Storyline" – Simon BakerNominated[16]
"TV Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline" – Beautiful Blue Mystic & AmendsNominated[16]
Young Artist Award"Best Performance in a Television Series - Recurring Young Actress" – Scout Taylor-ComptonNominated[17]