EXCLUSIVE: Jan Nash is joining TNT‘s flagship drama series Rizzoli & Isles as executive producer/showrunner. She will succeed creator/executive producer Janet Tamaro, who stepped down as showrunner in September, right after the series wrapped …
UPDATE, 12:25 PM: Production on TNT’s hit drama Rizzoli & Isles has been shut down in light of the sudden passing of co-star Lee Thompson Young, whose body was discovered in his apartment after he failed to show up for work this morning. The producers of the series, in which Thompson played star Angie Harmon’s partner on the force, are currently evaluating whether to resume production tomorrow or go on hiatus while the cast and crew cope with Young’s death and writers figure out how to write off his character. Here is TNT, Rizzoli & Isles‘ studio Warner Bros TV and executive producer Janet Tamaro’s statement today on Young’s death: “Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.”
PREVIOUS 11:30 AM: Rizzoli & Isles co-star Lee Thompson Young has died in apparent suicide. He was 29. “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning”, said Young’s long-time manager Jonathan Baruch. “Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time.” Young played Detective Barry Frost on TNT’s flagship drama Rizzoli & Isles, which was just renewed for a fifth season. He started his acting career early as the lead of Disney Channel’s first original series, The Famous Jett Jackson, executive produced/directed by Shawn Levy. “I am stunned and truly saddened by the news of Lee’s passing,” Levy said.
TNT has ordered 15-episode new seasons of three of its highest performing original summer series, Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer spinoff Major Crimes and Perception, for next summer. The three join recently renewed Falling Skies. No decisions have been made yet on freshman King & Maxwell and Franklin & Bash, whose future is uncertain, as is that of the 2 reality series TNT launched in the summer, The Hero and 72 Hours.
The four renewed TNT dramas rank among basic cable’s Top 10 series with total viewers this summer, with Rizzoli & Isles leading the pack at No.1. Falling Skies and Rizzoli & Isles are two of basic cable’s Top 5 dramas with adults 18-49. “With the renewals of Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Falling Skies and Perception, TNT has built an incredibly strong arsenal of scripted series,” Michael Wright said. “And it’s only going to get stronger with the addition of Mob City and the return of Dallas this winter, not to mention the debuts of The Last Ship and Legends next summer.”
TNT has set its fall/winter schedule, which includes the continuation of the current seasons of The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage, which all return with new episodes on Nov. 27/Nov. 28; the new season of Southland, which will kick off in January; and the first installment of the network’s new original movie franchise TNT Mystery Movie Night, which will debut Nov. 29. In the scheduling release, TNT also announces additional castings on several of its movies, including Alfred Molina joining Scott Turow’s Innocent, Dermot Mulroney tapped to star in Silent Witness, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kevin Alejandro coming on board Hide. Here is a detailed list of TNT’s upcoming premiere dates:
TNT just unveiled its summer schedule, setting premiere dates and time slots for new series Franklin & Bash and Falling Skies and returning shows The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Hawthorne, Men of a Certain Age, Memphis Beat and Leverage. Meanwhile, OWN announced its new unscripted series Kidnapped by the Kids, …
EXCLUSIVE: I hear TNT tomorrow will announce a 10-episode Season 3 pickup for the Sony TV-produced medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith. With The Closer, Rizzoli, Leverage, Memphis Beat and now Hawthorne all getting renewed, the only TNT summer series waiting its fate is Jerry Bruckheimer’s cop drama Dark Blue. While attracting about half of the audience of TNT’s Monday juggernauts The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles, Hawthorne has been a solid performer ratings-wise, with its audience averaging 3.4 million viewers. What’s more, it was used to successfully launch a new series this summer, the off-beat Memphis Beat. The renewal for the quirky cop show starring Jason Lee has been in the works for awhile, so
CABLE NOTES: ‘Memphis Beat’ Looks Good For Renewal, ‘Army Wives’ Spinoff A No-Go, ‘Facing Kate’ Order Trimmed
- TNT’s freshman Memphis Beat looks promising for a second-season renewal, though there is no official pickup yet. The network is expected to make the decision within the next few days. Despite being overshadowed by the blockbuster launch of fellow freshman TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles, which received an early renewal, …