EXCLUSIVE: The Closer star/executive producer Kyra Sedgwick has signed with CAA. She was previously at UTA. Sedgwick’s seven-season stint as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the hit TNT drama earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She recently returned to TNT as an executive producer of drama Proof, which was picked up to pilot by the network. On the feature side, Sedgwick has starred in Born On The Fourth Of July, Singles and Phenomenon. She continues to be repped by manager Jill Littman at Impression Entertainment and attorney Ira Schreck.
The agreements with Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution will add the TNT dramas to the Prime Instant Video catalog. Those who pay $79 a year for Amazon Prime — which also provides free shipping for merchandise bought from the e-retailer — will be able to see all seven seasons of The Closer as well as current and future seasons of Falling Skies. The Prime Instant Video service works on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD (of course) as well as devices from Apple, Roku, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii U. “Subscription-on-demand services continue to grow in the consumer marketplace, and this deal represents a way to help expand our viewership from TV Everywhere and introduce a wider audience to this hit series,” says Turner Broadcasting SVP Program Acquisitions Deborah Bradley.
TNT has gone 3-for-3, giving all of its freshman series a second-season pickup. The cable network has renewed The Closer spinoff series Major Crimes with a 15-episode second-season order. The series starring Mary McDonnell will end its first-season run in mid-October, with Season 2 slated to roll out next summer. Major Crimes hails from The Closer creator James Duff and Warner Horizon. “With Major Crimes, James Duff and his amazing production team have crafted an incredibly entertaining show that not only honors the spirit of The Closer, but also stands alone with its own voice and spirit,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright.
TNT’s flagship drama The Closer ended its seven-season run last night with 9,075,000 viewers in Live + Same Day to become cable’s No. 1 series telecast for the summer-to-date. Among adults 18-49, The Closer averaged 2 million viewers, its 25-54 tally was 2.7 million. In total viewers, The Closer finale squeaked past the Season 2 closer of AMC’s The Walking Dead to No. 3 on the list of the most watched basic cable series telecasts in Live+Same Day. The TNT drama now claims the second and third spot behind the finale of USA’s Monk (9.4 million) with its 2007 midseason finale and last night’s episode. (In Live+7, The Walking Dead March finale is tops with 11.6million)
Following The Closer‘s finale, spinoff Major Crimes opened solidly with 7,184,000 viewers in Live + Same Day to rank as cable’s No.1 new series launch for the year-to-date. TNT has now claims cable’s Top 3 new series launches of 2012 in total viewers, with Major Crimes followed by the June 13 premiere of Dallas (6.9 million viewers) and the July 9 debut of Perception (5.6 million viewers). Major Crimes‘ demo results were 1.5 million in 18-49 and 2.0 million in 25-54.
The premiere of ABC’s nine-week run of Good Afternoon America drew 1.923 million total viewers and 359,000 women 18-49 on Monday, according to fast national data released today. The one-hour extension of Good Morning America hosted by Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott improved on the season average of its predecessor, the canceled The Revolution, by 40% in viewers and 21% in the demo.
Meanwhile, on TNT, the final season opener of The Closer drew 6.1 million viewers and 1.2 million adults 18-49, followed by the series premiere of the drama Perception, which drew 5.6 million total viewers to rank behind the network’s Dallas as cable’s best series bow numbers year-to-date.
J.K. Simmons, who is wrapping a seven-season run on TNT’s hit drama series The Closer, is making a switch to comedy with a co-starring role opposite Kyle Bornheimer in ABC/ABC Studios’ half-hour pilot White Van Man. The single-camera comedy, written by Bobby Bowman and directed by Michael Fresco, is a blue collar ensemble based on the British format and centers on a man (Bornheimer) who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father (Simmons). The series takes its name from the UK phrase that describes the stereotype for drivers of light commercial vehicles, often self-employed or owning small businesses such as handyman services. On The Closer, Gersh-repped Simmons, has played Deputy Chief Branda Johnson’s (Kyra Sedgwick) boss, Assistant Chief Will Pope, since the pilot. Available for pilot season for the first time in 8 years, Simmons was offered multiple pilots. He had his eye set on doing a comedy and ultimately chose White Man Van. Another Closer co-star, Corey Reynolds, also is expected to do a broadcast pilot this season — he has a talent deal with NBC.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
As a spinoff of The Closer – TNT’s most popular scripted drama series ever — Major Crimes, which premieres in the summer, has its work cut out to match its predecessor. But the man who created and ran The Closer and now oversees Major Crimes, James Duff, said during a TCA panel this afternoon that the new series has more going for it than simply impressive pedigree. It’s also got many of the supporting players from The Closer, including Mary McDonnell stepping into the starring role left vacant by star Kyra Sedgwick’s departure. “We’re not going to explain to the audience that this isn’t The Closer,” Duff said. “That will be immediately obvious because [Sedgwick's] not there any more. But there will be a lot of new territory for us to mine. And it isn’t like they’re all running off to Seattle and starring in a radio talk show,” a reference to the way Cheers was spun off into Frasier.” They’re all going back to their desks, doing some version of the jobs that they did before.” Duff went on to stress that in fact the new show promises to open up fertile new territory for the producers and cast. “The Closer was always about getting the confession,” he said. “While that was intriguing, it forced a kind of structure on the show that we will now be able to improvise with more. …
EXCLUSIVE: The Closer veteran Corey Reynolds is moving to the broadcast side with a talent holding deal at NBC. I hear that Reynolds, who spent the past seven seasons playing Sgt. David Gabriel on TNT’s flagship drama The Closer, was offered to reprise his role on the upcoming spinoff Major Crimes but opted not to join the series starring Mary McDonnell. For his role on The Closer, Reynolds shared 5 drama series ensemble SAG nominations and received an Image Award nom. Reynolds, managed by New Wave, made his Broadway debut playing Seaweed in Hairspray, which earned him a Tony nomination and led to Steven Spielberg casting him in the 2004 film The Terminal, which marked Reynolds’ feature-film debut.
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:
This year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Drama Series will continue cable’s dominance in this most prestigious category. Cable claimed 10 of the 13 nomination spots over the past two years, and 13 of 19 since 2008. By contrast, cable earned a mere nine nods combined in the seven years between 2001 and 2007 when the networks still ruled. The shift from broadcast is so extreme in 2011 that CBS’ The Good Wife is considered the only network series with a solid shot to earn its second nomination in as many years. (Though not in that league, NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, NBC’s Parenthood, and CBS’ Blue Bloods deserve consideration while ABC has entered a rebuilding phase.) The sad reality is that the broadcast networks, which just signed a new eight-year deal with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to carry the Emmys, are facing a possible first-ever shutout from the top drama series category. That’s because of the continuing strength and ambition of programming on cable — in particular, HBO in a return to form, and AMC still on a roll.
HBO’s Prohibition-era hourlong Boardwalk Empire drew the most critical attention this Emmy season because of its pedigreed producer team, headed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and creator/showrunner Terence Winter, a Sopranos alum. How interesting that the pay channel’s expensive serial will compete against another period drama from that other Sopranos alum Matt Weiner. AMC’s first acclaimed original series, Mad Men, has won this category three years running and is bidding this year to be the first series to win four in a row since NBC’s The West Wing (2000- 2003). Though the frontrunner, Mad Men could be hurt by a long hiatus.
AMC has seized the mantle from HBO as TV’s preeminent quality-drama purveyor with a pair of newcomers that could crack the series field this year: the zombie-themed hour The Walking Dead, and the dark murder mystery The Killing. Even though two-time category nominee Breaking Bad is not eligible for 2011, AMC could still land three nods, becoming the first network in 10 years to do so in this category, after NBC scored the hat trick in 2001 with The West Wing, ER, and Law & Order. No cable network has ever managed the feat to date.
And then there’s Showtime, whose Dexter is in the running for its fourth consecutive Outstanding Drama nomination, along with first-season Shameless. FX is pushing its increasingly buzzed-about Western, Justified and, to a lesser extent, Sons Of Anarchy. TNT wants attention for The Closer, Men Of A Certain Age, and Southland. USA is pressing Covert Affairs and White Collar. Here’s our assessment of the chances for this year’s drama series in alphabetical order:
Mary McDonnell, who has been recurring on TNT’s The Closer, is joining the cast of the crime drama’s extended seventh and final season as a regular, TVLine reports. She will reprise her role as Captain Sharon Raydor. TNT is planning to continue The Closer, likely via a spinoff titled Major Crimes, which would feature some of the series’ current cast members, so McDonnell’s timely promotion is sure to open up speculation that she may be groomed to succeed departing star Kyra Sedgwick as the franchise’s next leading lady.
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, about workaholic parents spending a week of quality time with their kids, will premiere April 4 in the Monday 9 PM time slot. Here is TNT’s summer lineup:
Franklin & Bash – Series premiere Wednesday, June 1, at 9 p.m.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue) and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip) star in this lighthearted legal drama as two fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants lawyers working for a button-down law firm.
Falling Skies – Two-hour series premiere Sunday, June 19, at 9 p.m.; regular timeslot Sundays at 10 p.m.
Noah Wyle (ER) stars in this drama series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg about the aftermath of an alien invasion and the resistance movement formed by the survivors.
Men of a Certain Age – Premiere: Wednesday, June 1, at 10 p.m. – Season 2 continues: Six summer episodes
Memphis Beat – Premiere: Tuesday, June 14, at 9 p.m. – Season 2: 10 episodes
Hawthorne –Premiere: Tuesday, June 14, at 10 p.m. – Season 3: 10 episodes
Leverage – Premiere: Sunday, June 26, at 9 p.m. – Season 4: 10 summer episodes
The Closer – Premiere: Monday, July 11, at 9 p.m. – Season 7: 10 summer episodes
Rizzoli & Isles – Premiere: Monday, …
EXCLUSIVE: TNT is not ready to close the book on The Closer. We hear that the cable channel is contemplating ways to extend the hit crime drama starring Kyra Sedgwick, including ordering additional episodes with Sedgwick and continuing the show without her, with another character (Mary McDonnell’s Capt. Sharon Raydor, perhaps?) stepping up on the existing series or launching a new spinoff series.
Among the scenarios currently discussed at TNT is super-sizing the 15-episode seventh and final season to 21-episodes with an order for 6 extra episodes. That, of course, is contingent on a deal with Sedgwick, whose contract is up at the end of Season 7. Additionally, the cable network is eying a possible 9-episode order for a new series, either The Closer sans Sedgwick in the mold of the transition on NBC’s comedy The Office after the pending exit of star Steve Carell, or a spinoff series featuring characters from The Closer in a new setting. (The latter will probably be a little easier to pull off as Sedgwick plays the title character in the original series.) Two years ago, TNT took a stab at launching a Closer spinoff called The Fixer, about a professional fixer and his daughter, which was to feature two characters from the original series, G.W. Bailey’s Det. Provenza and Tony Denison’s Lt. Flynn.
It is understandable for TNT to try to extend its flagship show, which remains the most watched basic cable series of all …
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.”
Kyra Sedgwick has joined the cast of Summit Entertainment’s Asger Leth-directed thriller Man On A Ledge. Sam Worthington plays a disgraced cop who stands on a ledge atop a high rise threatening to kill himself. Sedgwick plays the reporter trying to figure out if he means it or has an ulterior motive. She joins Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie and recent additions Ed Harris and Titus Welliver. Script’s by Pablo Fenjves and Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing with Mark Vahradian and David Ready. Aside from starring in the TNT series The Closer, Sedgwick’s most recently starred in the films Gamer and The Game Plan.
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
No surprise here: freshman Rizzoli & Isles and veteran The Closer have been on fire since getting paired on Monday earlier this month. Leverage also has been a solid performer for the network, showing growth in its new Sunday slot. No word yet on freshman Memphis Beat and Hawthorne. Here is TNT’s release.
TNT has ordered new seasons of three of the network’s hit series. The Closer, which continues to rank as ad-supported cable’s #1 series of all time, will return for its seventh season. Rizzoli & Isles, which currently ranks as cable’s #1 new series for the year-to-date, will return for a second season. Leverage, which is performing exceptionally well in its new Sunday timeslot, will be back for a fourth season. TNT has ordered 15 episodes each of The Closer and Leverage, along with 13 episodes of Rizzoli & Isles, with all three slated to start their new seasons in 2011.