EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Beals is set as the lead in the TNT pilot Proof, a supernatural medical drama executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick. Written by Rob Bragin and directed by Alex Graves, Proof centers on Dr. Kathryn Russo (Beals), a skeptical, hard-science, brilliant female surgeon with a caustic edge who has been struggling with the devastating loss of her teenage son and a growing estrangement from her surviving daughter. She is persuaded to investigate cases of reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, hauntings — all of it looking for verifiable proof to answer one of life’s greatest questions: Is death truly the end, or is there something else beyond? Sedgwick exec produces with Jill Littman, Tom Jacobson, Bragin and Graves. The L Word alumna Beals, repped by APA, Untitled and Patti Felker, also was pursued for broadcast pilots this season. She previously starred in Fox’s Chicago Code. She also co-created and is executive producing Laughs Unlimited, in development at HBO, with Oren Moverman, Tony Swofford, Lauren Schuler Doner and Adena Chawke.
TNT Gives Pilot Orders To Reincarnation Drama Produced By Kyra Sedgwick, Legal Drama From Marcia Clark & Dee Johnson
EXCLUSIVE: The Closer star/executive producer Kyra Sedgwick is back at TNT with another female-centered procedural drama project, this time strictly behind the camera. The cable network has given a pilot order to Proof, a supernatural medical drama executive produced by Sedgwick. Additionally, TNT has greenlighted a legal drama pilot co-written by Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, and Nashville showrunner Dee Johnson.
Written by Rob Bragin (Greek), Proof centers on a skeptical, hard science, female surgeon who’s struggled with family issues including a tragic death. She is persuaded to investigate cases of reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, hauntings — all of it looking for verifiable proof, to try to answer one of life’s greatest questions: Is death truly the end, or is there something … beyond?. Bragin and Sedgwick executive produce with her manager Jill Littman and producer Tom Jacobson (Ladykillers). There are no plans for Sedgwick to star. She had been looking to produce a new TV series and met with several writers before hitting it off with Bragin, repped by UTA and Rain Management. Sedgwick’s feature producing credits include Loverboy, Cavedweller and Losing Chase.
Clark and Johnson’s Guilt By Association is based on Clark’s novel about Rachel Knight, a gutsy Deputy District Attorney in the Special Trials Unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
This is a shocker. TNT’s flagship series The Closer is coming to an end with next year’s seventh season as its last. This was not a result of contract negotiations gone bad. The contract of star Kyra Sedgwick is up at the end of Season 7 and, like The Office‘s Steve Carell, she decided to move on. Unlike The Office, TNT and The Closer producer Warner Bros. TV opted to end the series with their star leaving. But The Closer is much more of a single-lead show than The Office. “Kyra is The Closer, it’s like continuing The Mentalist without Simon Baker,” one insider noted. Sedgwick, who has been commuting from New York where she lives with her family to Los Angeles where The Closer films, is certainly leaving on a high note. She just won an Emmy for The Closer in August. Also in the summer, the show helped launch TNT’s most promising new series since The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles. That would probably soften the blow to TNT from losing its signature series. The Closer remains the most watched basic cable series of all time and, in its sixth season, which is still underway, it went up from Season 5 in the ratings, a rare feat for a veteran series. Here is TNT’s release:
TNT’s long-running, breakout hit THE CLOSER will wrap up its phenomenal run with a final season in 2011. The difficult decision to conclude the series with season seven was made by Kyra Sedgwick, the Emmy-winning star of THE CLOSER.
“It’s impossible to fully express our appreciation to Kyra Sedgwick, series creator James Duff and all of the other talented people who brought THE CLOSER to TNT viewers,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “THE CLOSER was a pivotal series in setting a new course for TNT’s original programming, while also serving as a prime example of the storytelling strength possible on cable television.”
“I cannot fathom how difficult it will be to say goodbye to the incredible family we’ve created on THE CLOSER,” Sedgwick said. “I will always be grateful to James Duff for his love and friendship, as well as for creating such a rich and complex character who I have loved living with year after year. Mike, Greer, Rick and all of our outstanding cast and crew are forever in my heart. I want to thank TNT and Warner Bros. Television, as well as the incredible fans of THE CLOSER, for all of their unwavering support over the last seven years.”
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actress race:
GLENN CLOSE, DAMAGES
Why She Got Nominated: If the TV Academy voters hadn’t nominated Glenn Close in this race, they might as well have called off the Emmys. She’s still the gold standard for …