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The Irrational

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The Irrational
Created byArika Mittman
Based onPredictably Irrational
by Dan Ariely
ComposerDanny Lux
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes11
Executive producers
ProducerJesse L. Martin
Running time42 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 25, 2023 (2023-09-25) –

The Irrational is an American crime drama television series created by Arika Mittman. It stars Jesse L. Martin, and premiered September 25, 2023, on NBC. The Irrational is based on the 2008 non-fiction book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely. In November 2023, the series was renewed for a second season.


The show centers on Alec Mercer, a world-renowned professor of behavioral psychology with a unique insight into human nature. Mercer lends his expertise to an array of high-stakes cases involving governments, corporations, and law enforcement. However, he meets his match in a female domestic terror suspect who turns his world upside down.



  • Jesse L. Martin as Professor Alec Mercer, a world-renowned expert in behavioral science
  • Maahra Hill as Special Agent Marisa Clark, an FBI agent and Alec's ex-wife
  • Arash DeMaxi as Rizwan, Alec's newest grad student
  • Molly Kunz as Phoebe, Alec's grad student assistant
  • Travina Springer as Kylie, Alec's younger sister


  • Brian King as Special Agent Jace Richards, an FBI agent and Marisa's new boyfriend
  • Karen David as Rose Dinshaw, a crisis management professional, and Alec's new girlfriend
  • Ben Cotton as Wes Banning, a criminal convicted of the bombing that injured Alec


No. in
Title [1]Directed byWritten by [2]Original air date [1]U.S. viewers
11"Pilot"David FrankelArika Lisanne MittmanSeptember 25, 2023 (2023-09-25)3.81[3]0.34/3[3]
22"Dead Woman Walking"Jesse WarnArika Lisanne MittmanOctober 2, 2023 (2023-10-02)3.98[4]0.29/3[4]
33"The Barnum Effect"John TerleskyMark GoffmanOctober 9, 2023 (2023-10-09)3.94[5]0.31/3[5]
44"Zero Sum"Janice CookeRobert Hewitt WolfeOctober 16, 2023 (2023-10-16)3.50[6]0.24/2[6]
55"Lucky Charms"Amanda TappingLydia TefferaOctober 23, 2023 (2023-10-23)3.73[7]0.29/3[7]
66"Point and Shoot"Ernest DickersonTeleplay by : Kirk Moore
Story by : Kirk Moore & Jordan Rosenberg
October 30, 2023 (2023-10-30)3.54[8]0.27/3[8]
77"The Real Deal"Jesse WarnMira Z. BarnumNovember 6, 2023 (2023-11-06)3.74[9]0.28/3[9]
88"Scorched Earth"Maja VrviloJordan RosenbergJanuary 29, 2024 (2024-01-29)3.18[10]0.28/3[10]
99"Cheating Life"Carl SeatonJordan Rosenberg & Mira Z. BarnumFebruary 5, 2024 (2024-02-05)3.30[11]0.26/3[11]
1010"Bombshell"Jesse WarnMark Goffman & Robert Hewitt WolfeFebruary 12, 2024 (2024-02-12)2.60[12]0.19/2[12]
1111"Reciprocity"Ernest DickersonArika Lisanne MittmanFebruary 19, 2024 (2024-02-19)2.42[13]0.18/2[13]



In November 2021, it was announced NBC had given a put pilot commitment to The Irrational, created by Arika Mittman and inspired by the 2008 book Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.[14] In February 2022, it received a pilot order.[15] In April 2022, it was announced Jesse L. Martin had been cast as the show's lead character, Alec Mercer, and would also serve as a producer for the pilot. It was also announced that the series would be written by Arika Mittman, with Dan Ariely serving as consultant.[16] In September 2022, NBC commissioned a mini-room to produce a couple of backup scripts to go with the well-received pilot.[17] In October 2022, NBC extended its options on the cast, which were due to expire in October, to that December.[18] In December 2022, NBC picked up The Irrational pilot and gave it a series order. It was revealed at this time that David Frankel was the director and would also be serving as an executive producer along with Mittman, Mark Goffman and Samuel Baum.[19] On November 17, 2023, NBC ordered an extra episode for the series, bringing the first-season order to a total of 11 episodes.[20] On November 29, 2023, NBC renewed the series for a second season.[21]


In May 2022, it was announced that Maahra Hill would be joining the cast in a lead role opposite Jesse L. Martin.[22] In June 2022, Travina Springer, Molly Kunz, and Arash DeMaxi were added to the cast. In June 2023, Brian King joined the cast in a recurring role.[23]


Filming of the pilot took place from late May to early June 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia,[22] standing in for Washington, D.C. and the adjoining Virginia area.[24] After seven episodes were filmed, production stopped due to the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.[25] Filming for the second season began on March 11, 2024 and is scheduled to conclude on October 31, 2024.[26]


The Irrational premiered on September 25, 2023, on NBC. It is available to stream on Peacock.[27] The pilot episode of The Irrational then premiered on September 27, 2023, on USA Network.[28]


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 47% with an average rating of 5.1/10, based on 17 critic reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Irrational could've used a lot more originality to live up to its promise, although Jesse L. Martin's shrewd presence makes even the utterly conventional pretty watchable."[29] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 55 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30]


  1. ^ a b "Shows A-Z - irrational, the on nbc". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  2. ^ "The Irrational". Writers Guild of America West. Archived from the original on September 29, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (September 26, 2023). "Monday Ratings: Decent Results for The Voice 24th Season Premiere and The Irrational Debut on NBC". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on October 7, 2023. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (October 3, 2023). "Monday Ratings: CBS Debuted Game Show Loteria Loca". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on October 7, 2023. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (October 10, 2023). "Monday Ratings: The Irrational on NBC Remains a Decent Draw in Total Viewers in Week Three". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on October 10, 2023. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (October 17, 2023). "Monday Ratings: ABC and ESPN's NFL Monday Night Football and MLB's NLCS Game 1 on TBS and truTV Dominate in Prime Time Key Demos". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on October 18, 2023. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (October 26, 2023). "Monday Ratings: Fox and FS1 Earn Decent Numbers with Game 7 of MLB's ALCS Despite Opposite the NFL". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on October 26, 2023. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (October 31, 2023). "Monday Ratings: NFL Monday Night Football on ABC and ESPN Unsurprisingly Tops MLB World Series Game Three on Fox". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on November 1, 2023. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  9. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (November 8, 2023). "Monday Ratings: ABC and ESPN Share Prime Time Leadership with NFL". Programming Insider. Archived from the original on November 8, 2023. Retrieved November 8, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (January 30, 2024). "Monday Ratings: NBC's 'The Irrational' Wins its Hour Among Broadcast Nets Upon its Return". Programming Insider. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  11. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (February 6, 2024). "Monday Ratings: NBC and USA Share Prime Time Victory". Programming Insider. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  12. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (February 13, 2024). "Monday Ratings: CBS Leads All in Total Viewers with Season Premieres of its Regular Lineup". Programming Insider. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  13. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (February 20, 2024). "Monday Ratings: 'NCIS' on CBS Pays Tribute to 'Ducky' a.k.a. the Late David McCallum". Programming Insider. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 30, 2021). "NBC Nabs 'The Irrational' Drama From Arika Lisanne Mittman Inspired By Dan Ariely's Book As Put Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 5, 2023. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  15. ^ White, Peter (February 4, 2022). "Dean Georgaris' 'Blank Slate' & Arika Mittman's 'The Irrational' Land Pilot Orders At NBC". Deadline. Archived from the original on September 24, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 13, 2022). "Jesse L. Martin Departs 'The Flash' As Series Regular After 8 Seasons, Will Headline NBC Pilot 'The Irrational'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 14, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 13, 2022). "NBC Off-Cycle Pilots Update: 'The Irrational' Gets Additional Scripts & More". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 3, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 27, 2022). "NBC Pilot 'The Irrational' Extends Options On Cast Led By Jesse L. Martin". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 3, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (December 27, 2022). "'The Irrational' Drama Starring Jesse L. Martin Lands NBC Series Order". Deadline. Archived from the original on August 30, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 17, 2023). "NBC's 'The Irrational' Gets Extra Episode, 'Lopez vs. Lopez' Order Is Trimmed As Network Finalizes Midseason Schedule". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  21. ^ White, Peter (November 29, 2023). "'Found' & 'The Irrational' Renewed For Season 2 At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  22. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 19, 2022). "'Delilah's Maahra Hill To Star In NBC Pilot 'The Irrational' As OWN Series Has Ended". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 23, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise (June 7, 2023). "'The Irrational': Brian King Joins NBC Drama Series As Recurring". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 3, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  24. ^ Gomulka, Stephanie (2023-10-03). "Where Does The Irrational Starring Jesse L. Martin Take Place, and Where Did it Film?". NBC Insider. Archived from the original on 2023-10-08. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  25. ^ Roots, Kimberly (2023-11-13). "The Irrational's Next Episode Won't Air for a While — Here's Why".
  26. ^ "DGC BC Production List". Directors Guild of Canada. May 24, 2024. Archived from the original on May 31, 2024. Retrieved May 31, 2024.
  27. ^ Petski, Denise (August 28, 2023). "'The Irrational' Trailer: 'Law & Order' Alum Jesse L. Martin Is Back To Crime-Solving In NBC Procedural". Deadline. Archived from the original on September 2, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  28. ^ "The Irrational on USA Network". USA Network. Archived from the original on September 28, 2023. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  29. ^ "The Irrational: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  30. ^ "The Irrational: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved September 26, 2023.

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