First Look at NBC’s The Irrational, starring Jesse L. Martin! – PROMO

Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer and Maahra Hill as Marisa in

“My name is Alec Mercer, and I was brought in because I know people and why they do inexplicable things.” So explains Jesse L. Martin’s Alec at the beginning of the first trailer for NBC drama series The Irrational, premiering September 25 on NBC. The Law & Order alum returns to NBC to take on more crime-solving duties, listing “bereavement sex” and “attentional blindness” as a couple of his more unique cases.

“It feels really great to be back on NBC after all these years,” the chronically good-natured Martin said while filming behind-the-scenes content for the crime thriller, before the actors’ strike. “And the funny thing is that of course, I’ve played detectives in most of my TV career.”


Professor of behavioral science Alec Mercer is called upon to investigate the murder of a fashion influencer whose boyfriend, a decorated soldier and senator’s son, has confessed to the crime; however, Mercer suspects there is more to the story.


Not quite this time, though. Inspired by Duke University professor Dan Ariely’s nonfiction work Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. The drama follows Alec Mercer, a professor of behavioral science at the Washington, D.C., area’s fictional Wylton University. Thanks to his genius-level ability to read people, Mercer — whom Martin describes as “an emotional detective”. Has become the go-to guy for federal officials and local law enforcement in need of speedy insight on high-stakes cases.

“It’s your standard procedural with nothing standard about it,” Martin continued with a laugh. “Alec has the bonus of being very tuned in on human behavior. And the deficit of being very tuned in on human behavior”. Kind of like So You Think You Can Get Away With Murder?

“We’re not just asking whodunit; we’re asking why,” added showrunner Arika Lisanne Mittman during the behind-the-scenes shoot. “We’re asking questions that relate to psychology, that relate to human motivation, and those are sometimes even more interesting than just figuring out who the killer is.”

In the opener, we learn that while Mercer is astute at figuring out how other people think and react to certain stimuli (Google “paradoxical persuasion” or “the cocktail-party effect”), he has a few blind spots when it comes to his own mind.

Having survived a church bombing 20 years earlier that left him with burns over 60 percent of his body, the still-scarred Alec has blocked out details of the night and shuns professional help for the trauma.

But after a shocking development at the parole hearing for the man charged with the explosion, Mercer starts to suspect that what he can’t remember could hold the key to a much larger conspiracy. At the same time, the headline-grabbing murder of a social media influencer with ties to a D.C. political player (Lauren Holly, who has her own procedural history with NCIS) has Mercer and his team looking for clues in a way that could strike a chord with viewers.

“My deepest hope is that people will watch and start to think, ‘I would never do that…or wait, would I? Could I be convinced of this or that?’” Mittman said. Commenting that the actual science behind Mercer’s methods has the power to “change the way people look at themselves.”


Along with Martin, The Irrational stars Maahra Hill as Marisa, Travina Springer as Kylie, Molly Kunz as Phoebe, and Arash DeMaxi as Rizwan. Arika Lisanne Mittman, Mark Goffman, Sam Baum, and David Frankel serve as executive producers.


The Irrational will launch on Monday September 25, the same 10 p.m. slot as was revealed in May, after The Voice, which kicks off with new coach Reba McEntire. Episodes air Mondays at 10pm ET on NBC and stream next day on Peacock.



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Source: TV Insider

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