When NBC’s cop drama Reasonable Doubts premiered in 1991, the world was introduced to deaf Assistant District Attorney Tess Kaufman (a young Marlee Matlin) and American Sign Language-fluent Det. Dicky Cobb (Mark Harmon, a few years after hanging up his stethoscope at St. Elsewhere and way before NCIS came along).
Tess and Dicky’s working relationship was full of the zingy back-and-forth and long looks that savvy TV viewers know signals a slow-burn attraction. Indeed, over the course of two seasons, the rough-around-the-edges cop and the idealistic ADA grew closer and closer… and then the show got cancelled.
Matlin, now starring in ABC’s Quantico, tells TVLine via interpreter that Tess and Dicky’s happily ever after was the victim of conflicting creative visions for the series.
“In the pilot, there was a potential of them hooking up. And there was some sort of connection,” she recalls. “But then they went back and forth between a procedural and a romantic drama, and the second season was completely different in that the direction… wasn’t what I had anticipated.”
She adds that she suspects the show’s Powers That Be came to the realization that Tess and Dicky “wouldn’t work. I don’t know why… I never asked them not to pursue it. I think that they should have. It would have been great.”
Press PLAY on the video below to see the show’s opening credits, then hit the comments: If you watched Reasonable Doubts, were you hoping for a Dicky/Tess love connection?