CBS debuts the series Whistleblower July 13. Alex Ferrer, who rode the bench as Judge Alex on the syndicated court show from 2005 to 2014, hosts the program, which spotlights people who have blown the whistle on corporations doing shady things.
The first episode features a pediatric dental chain that was giving children major procedures, such as root canal, when they did not need them. Another episode details a doctor erroneously diagnosing patients with cancer so he could bill them for costly chemo.
“They’re all horrible in their own way,” said Ferrer.
Yet another report on over 300 computers going missing from a lab in Los Alamos. “That one’s gonna scare the heck out of you,” he said.
Ferrer produces Whistleblower along with Ted Eccles and Susan Zirinsky. Asked about Zirinsky, who’s something of a legend over at CBS News, Ferrer said, “My God, I’ve never seen anyone who works harder, who is smarter.”
Whistleblower shows the risk people take to shine a light on shady companies. It doesn’t always turn out well for the individuals. “It pulls on your heartstrings, what whistle blowers go through,” he said.
Ferrer’s background includes being a police officer, an attorney, a judge and, as he puts it, “a TV judge.” His work in law has often dealt with whistle blowers, which sparked his interest in the show.
Ferrer mentions the False Claims Act, known as the Lincoln Law, which sees the government reward whistle blowers with a percentage of the monies recovered as a result of their actions. “The rewards can be staggering,” goes the Whistleblower trailer.
Indeed, it can amount to many millions of dollars for he or she who blew the whistle. “If that’s not a happy ending,” said Ferrer, “I don’t know what is.”
Ferrer is hopeful that the show, which has eight episodes, inspires other people to blow the whistle on companies doing creepy things. “My hope is that other whistle blowers will say, yeah, it’s time to hold people accountable,” he said. “One person can make a huge difference.”
Whistleblower premieres on Friday the 13th. Ferrer takes the oddball start date for the series in stride. “I tell people, Friday the 13th is a horrible day to be out on the road,” he said. “Stay home and watch Whistleblower.”
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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