1. Introduction:
Ironside is an American television series that falls under the genre of crime drama. The show was first broadcasted in 1967 and ran until 1975. It captivated audiences and became a staple in American television during its time on the airwaves. Created by Collier Young and starring Raymond Burr in the titular role, Ironside kept viewers hooked with its engaging storylines and dynamic characters.

2. Background:
Ironside was created by Collier Young, who had previously produced successful shows like Perry Mason and The Outer Limits. The series was produced by Universal Television, one of the leading production companies of the time. The show was developed with the intention of creating a unique detective drama that would stand out from the other crime shows of the era.

3. Plot and Format:
Ironside follows the life of Chief Robert T. Ironside, a former San Francisco police chief turned consultant. Paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by a would-be assassin, Ironside uses a wheelchair to navigate his way through crime-solving. Each episode presents a self-contained case that Ironside and his team of investigators work to solve, often dealing with complex and high-stakes situations. The show was known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of crime and investigation, showcasing the challenges faced by Ironside and his team.

4. Cast and Characters:
The show’s standout character was Chief Robert T. Ironside, portrayed brilliantly by Raymond Burr. Ironside was a tough and no-nonsense detective, known for his keen intellect and determination to bring criminals to justice. Other key cast members included Don Galloway as Ed Brown, the Chief’s right-hand man and trusted aide; Barbara Anderson as Eve Whitfield, the young and ambitious policewoman; and Don Mitchell as Mark Sanger, Ironside’s personal assistant. The show also featured notable guest stars such as Gene Hackman, Leslie Nielsen, and Farrah Fawcett, who added their own contributions to the series.

5. Reception:
Ironside received critical acclaim for its unique premise, well-developed characters, and gripping storylines. Raymond Burr’s portrayal of Chief Ironside was widely praised for its depth and complexity. The show garnered multiple Emmy nominations and won the prestigious Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama in 1972. Ironside also had a significant impact on popular culture, with the character of Chief Ironside becoming an icon of resilience and determination.

6. Legacy:
Ironside’s legacy is marked by its lasting impact on the crime drama genre. The show broke new ground by featuring a disabled protagonist in a leading role at a time when disabilities were generally underrepresented on television. The success of Ironside led to the development of other shows showcasing diverse characters and their struggles. Additionally, Ironside spawned a Made-for-TV movie in 1993, as well as a short-lived revival of the series in 2013.

7. Conclusion:
Ironside remains a memorable and important television show in history. It broke barriers and paved the way for more inclusive storytelling on television. Raymond Burr’s portrayal of Chief Ironside has left an indelible mark on audiences, and the show’s influence can still be felt in the crime drama genre today. With its engrossing storylines, well-crafted characters, and impactful portrayal of disability, Ironside continues to be a beloved and significant part of television history.

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