The Irrational arrived in the 2023 TV schedule at a time when the WGA writers strike and SAG-AFTRA actors strike meant a shortage of fall TV options. The new drama brought Jesse L. Martin back to NBC after his Law & Order days, and it quickly set itself apart from other procedurals by unraveling an explosive mystery from Alec’s past while he used his behavioral science expertise to close cases in the present. Unfortunately, the show is already going on a break after just seven episodes, so I’m ready to pin my hopes on what creator/showrunner/executive producer Arika Lisanne Mittman told CinemaBlend about ending Season 1!
First things first! The good news is that The Irrational isn’t absent from its Monday night time slot because NBC was disappointed with the performance or the ratings tanked. Instead, TVLine reports that the new drama simply ran out of new episodes that were produced before the strikes began. There is reportedly no date set yet for when production can begin again, but the ends of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes at least mean that those obstacles are no longer in the way.
When I spoke with showrunner Arika Lisanne Mittman for the heavy sixth episode that drew on real-life experience, she shared that The Irrational team was “super lucky” to pull off the cameo from NBC Universal newscaster Joy Reid, because they wrote the episode before the WGA strike began, and then there wer “no changes that could be made from a certain point.” The interview took place prior to the very recent end of the SAG-AFTRA strike, and I asked Mittman if they’d been able to finish the season before the production halts. She responded:
The showrunner established that they were still making progress on writing the rest of The Irrational Season 1, and seemed optimistic about being able to craft the intended ending without being cut short. NBC has not yet confirmed when production will begin on upcoming episodes, but The Irrational was on the list of shows expected to restart on Monday, November 27. The network also has not yet released a 2024 TV premiere schedule; at the time of writing, CBS is the only one of the major broadcast networks to set premiere dates.
When speaking with the showrunner, I took the chance to ask if there is a future for one of my favorite guest stars from the first season so far: Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Alec’s nemesis by the name of Dr. Dustin Atwood. Mittman shared whether Atwood might pop up again in a future episode:
My fingers are officially crossed! The Irrational brought Malcolm-Jamal Warner to NBC not too long after the end of his six-season run on Fox’s The Resident, and his episode opposite Jesse L. Martin – who was praised for his “rock star vibe” in Season 1 – left me wanting more. Arika Lisanne Mittman only had good things to say about him:
Of course, The Irrational has a lot to wrap up in Season 1 without starting to bringing back particular guest stars, and comments from Mittman already have me hyped for Alec and Marisa. I’m still not 100% convinced that we should trust Jace after his actions in a recent episode, but I’m certainly looking forward to what’s next. Hopefully the show is able to restart production in the not-too-distant future for a return early in 2024!
For now, you can always revisit the first seven episodes of Jesse L. Martin’s newest NBC show streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.