In addition to his role on Party of Five, and the X-Files episode: Miracle Man (1994), Bairstow has also starred as the lead character, Newt Call, in both Lonesome Dove: The Series and 'Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years, as well as the lead in Chris Carter's short-lived series, Harsh Realm.
In May 2003, Bairstow was charged in Everett, Washington with second degree child rape for allegedly having had sex with a 12-year-old girl, who is related to Bairstow's ex-wife, and later asking her to keep quiet about it. In December 2003, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge -- second degree assault. Bairstow entered an Alford plea, under which he maintained his innocence but conceded that he would likely be convicted by a jury if the case went to trial. He was sentenced to four months in jail, one year community supervision, and was required to undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation. He was also ordered to have no contact with the girl for 10 years and to pay for any counseling she requires.