Rizzoli & Isles

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Rizzoli & Isles
Rizzoliisles 1.svg
Genre
Created by Tess Gerritsen
Developed by Janet Tamaro
Starring
Composer(s) James S. Levine
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 68 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Bill Haber
  • Janet Tamaro
  • Jeff Hayes
  • Michael M. Robin
Running time 45–55 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channel TNT
Original run July 12, 2010 (2010-07-12) – present
External links
Website

Rizzoli & Isles is a TNT television series starring Angie Harmon as police detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The one-hour drama is based on the Rizzoli & Isles series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. It premiered on July 12, 2010.[1] On August 15, 2013, TNT ordered a 15-episode fifth season, which began on June 17, 2014. [2] On December 9, 2014, TNT renewed Rizzoli & Isles for an 18-episode sixth season to begin in mid-2015.[3]

Premise[edit]

The series' backstory is inspired by the novel The Apprentice. The Surgeon is the original novel in the series but Dr. Maura Isles' character is not introduced until the second book. Jane Rizzoli also has a lesser role in The Surgeon. Boston detective Jane Rizzoli was investigating a serial killer named Charles Hoyt some time before the series began. Hoyt, who was banned from medical school for fondling a corpse, used his vast medical knowledge to systematically torture and kill people, usually choosing couples so that he could induce the most fear into his victims. Rizzoli is able to find Hoyt's location. As she is searching for him, she is hit in the back of the head and knocked unconscious. She is pinned to the floor by scalpels. As Rizzoli is waking up, we see Hoyt preparing to cut her throat. Vince Korsak, Rizzoli's partner, locates Rizzoli and saves her life by shooting Hoyt before he can slit her throat. Rizzoli, reasoning that Korsak would never trust her as his partner after seeing her so vulnerable, applies for a new partner.

The series pilot, "See One. Do One. Teach One", is largely based on the novel The Apprentice. Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles investigate a killer with Hoyt's modus operandi, plus an interest in necrophilia. Rizzoli and Isles discover that the copycat was John Stark (Brendan McCarthy), a soldier who met Hoyt in medical school, had his identity erased for CIA black operations, and mimicked Hoyt's MO in a killing spree during said operations. Meanwhile, Hoyt escapes from prison and rejoins his apprentice to continue in his killing. Later Rizzoli's home is broken into, and she is told by someone she thought was part of BPD that her neighbors had been killed; she rushes into the van to see the bodies but finds Hoyt instead. Hoyt and his apprentice knock Rizzoli out and kidnap her. When she wakes up they attempt to kill her, but she manages to disarm them by tasing them and impaling Hoyt in the eye with a flare. In self-defense, she shoots the apprentice to death and when Hoyt reaches for Rizzoli's gun, she shoots him through the hands, giving him injuries similar to the ones he gave her.

New twists are introduced when Rizzoli and Isles discover that a recent murder victim is actually Isles's previously unknown half-brother, resulting in her discovery that her father is notorious criminal Patrick Doyle.

Hoyt returns 18 months later through another apprentice, Lola, in "I'm Your Boogie Man". Having murdered Lola's abusive husband two years earlier, Hoyt uses her Stockholm syndrome to his advantage, and uses her to stalk Rizzoli. Lola seduces and captures Frankie Rizzoli before tying Jane up. She plans to kidnap Jane until Hoyt can escape from prison, but Rizzoli manages to distract Lola long enough for Frankie to kill Lola with her own revolver.

Hoyt returns again when he arranges for another inmate to be stabbed while he is dying of cancer, luring Jane into the prison so that he can taunt her about another unsolved murder he committed. While speaking to Jane in the prison infirmary Hoyt tells Jane to look at what he is reading, Tess Gerritsen's novel The Silent Girl. Although Jane manages to find the bodies of his victims—the family of an old college professor of Hoyt's who was unaware of his expulsion—Hoyt, aided by a third apprentice, manages to capture Jane and Maura, only for Jane to beat Hoyt and then stab him when he and his apprentice try to kill Maura.

Episodes[edit]

As of September 2, 2014, 68 episodes of Rizzoli & Isles have aired, ending with its fifth season's summer finale.

Production[edit]

The untitled project was on TNT's development slate as early as March 2008.[4] In October 2009, TNT placed a cast-contingent pilot order under the original title, Rizzoli.[5][6] The pilot script was written by Janet Tamaro. Angie Harmon was the first actress cast, taking the title role of police detective Jane Rizzoli.[7] Sasha Alexander won the role of medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles after auditioning with Harmon.[8] Bruce McGill signed as Rizzoli's former partner, Sgt. Vince Korsak.[9] Lee Thompson Young was cast as her new partner, Barry Frost.[9] The role of Rizzoli's younger brother Frankie was filled by Jordan Bridges.[9] Lorraine Bracco signed on as Rizzoli's mother, Angela.[10] In early 2010, Billy Burke was announced as FBI agent Gabriel Dean.[11]

In late January 2010, TNT green-lighted the pilot to series with the new title Rizzoli & Isles.[11][12] Ten episodes were ordered and the show premiered on July 12, 2010.[11][13] The series is produced on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, California.[14] Due to a sponsorship deal between MillerCoors and Turner Broadcasting for the summer 2010 season, the series included product placement for MGD 64, including billboards in the backgrounds of some scenes.[15][16] The first season was additionally sponsored by Vonage. After having aired three episodes in 2010, the series was renewed for a second season,[17] which aired from July 11 to December 26, 2011. In August 2011, TNT ordered a third season, which aired from June 5 through December 25, 2012.[18] On June 29, 2012, TNT ordered a fourth season, which aired from June 25, 2013, through March 18, 2014.[19][20][21] In August 2013, production on the fourth season was suspended when cast member Lee Thompson Young was found dead at his Los Angeles apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[22] In the second half of the fifth season, a new character, crime scene analyst Nina Holiday, played by Idara Victor, was introduced. Series executive producer Jan Nash stated that Nina would not replace Young's character, Frost, but is her own character. Instead, the existing characters were given "new dynamics", according to Nash. For example, Jane and Korsak work more cases together, and Frankie is more involved and has more access.[23]

Cast and characters[edit]

Name Portrayed by Assignment Position Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Jane Rizzoli Angie Harmon Boston Police Department Homicide Detective Main
Dr. Maura Isles Sasha Alexander Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Chief Medical Examiner Main
Sean Cavanaugh Brian Goodman Boston Police Department Homicide Lieutenant Detective Recurring Main Recurring
Frankie Rizzoli, Jr. Jordan Bridges Police Officer (seasons 1–3), Floating Detective (season 4–) Main
Barry Frost Lee Thompson Young Homicide Detective Main
Vince Korsak Bruce McGill Homicide Sergeant Detective Main
Angela Rizzoli Lorraine Bracco Division One Café Waitress Main

Main cast[edit]

  • Angie Harmon as Jane Clementine Rizzoli: a Boston detective working for the Boston Police Department's Homicide Unit. From an Italian American family, Jane is brash, brilliant, and often prickly but also a confident and independent woman. She is the tomboy daughter of an overprotective mother. She is extremely competitive, especially with her little brother, Frankie, who is often caught in her shadow. Jane can tackle a perp like a linebacker. She rarely lets her guard down with anyone, except her best friend, Maura Isles. As a child, she was slightly chubby, earning her the nickname "Roly-Poly Rizzoli". She mentioned in one episode that she played field hockey as an attacker in junior college. She is the eldest Rizzoli sibling,[24] and graduated high school in the class of 1994, which puts Jane's birth year at 1976.[25] She is hopeless with men and allergic to dogs, but she winds up taking in Jo Friday, a stray dog rescued by her former partner, Korsak. Raised in the blue-collar Boston suburb of Revere, Jane has fought long and hard to win the respect of her colleagues, but it is her relationship with her equally stubborn mother, Angela Rizzoli, that sometimes proves to be her biggest headache. During her time on the force, she had a traumatic experience at the hands at a serial killer known as "The Surgeon", Charles Hoyt. While trying to rescue one of his victims, she was taken by surprise from behind and almost became a victim herself. She has matching scars in the center of her palms where Hoyt stabbed her with scalpels, keeping her pinned to the ground. Her original partner Vince Korsak saved her life, and Jane survived the brutal, near-death attack by Hoyt. Although she put Hoyt behind bars, she is still haunted by him. She learned that she was pregnant at the end of the fourth season due to a liaison with her old boyfriend Casey, but lost the baby mid-way through the fifth season when she was attacked while protecting a key witness in a case.
  • Sasha Alexander as Dr. Maura Dorothea Isles: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Chief Medical Examiner and a forensic expert working at the Boston Police Department. She is Jane's best friend. Maura is a walking library, able to spout out facts, regardless of whether or not they are relevant to a case. She has a pet tortoise named Bass, after renowned forensic anthropologist William M. Bass. Maura is not easily ruffled and has a steady temperament. She absolutely loves examining dead bodies, but she has a tendency to diagnose living people a little too often. She is the adopted, only child of a wealthy family. In high school, she was nicknamed "Maura-The-Bore-A" because her classmates thought she was boring. She is always dressed impeccably, as if she were going to a photo shoot. She is known around the force as "Queen of the Dead"; her ring tone on Jane's phone appropriately plays Chopin's "Funeral March". Maura is the complete opposite of Jane, though they are best friends; Rizzoli is more of a tomboy, while Maura always looks like she is going to a fashion shoot rather than to the morgue or a crime scene. Though Maura is socially awkward and has trouble with men due to her brutal honesty and habit of revealing all their medical conditions, she is not awkward around Jane. She can analyze x-rays and blood chemistries, can slice open muscles and organs, but possesses no scalpel with which to dissect human emotions. Maura also can not lie; if she does, she breaks out in hives. It is later revealed that her biological father is an Irish crime boss named Paddy Doyle, something she finds out while investigating her half-brother's death. She finds out in the episode "What Doesn't Kill You" (3.1) that her father told her biological mother that she died on the day she was born, August 7, 1976. She subsequently visited a cemetery containing a gravestone with the name "Baby Maura Doyle" on it.
  • Lorraine Bracco as Angela Rizzoli: Jane, Frankie and Tommy's mother. Angela Rizzoli is fiercely protective of her children, saying she has not slept since Jane decided to become a cop. Angela wishes Jane could be a little more feminine and is constantly trying to set her up on dates. She works at the Boston Police Department as a waitress at the Boston Police Café.
  • Bruce McGill as Vincent "Vince" Walter Korsak: Rizzoli's former/original partner and unofficial mentor. The two maintain a close bond after years of working together, but Korsak is clearly bothered that he is no longer partnered with Jane. He seems to care for her like a daughter and is nearly as protective of her as Angela is. It is revealed in the series pilot that he saved her life from Hoyt. He will drop whatever he is doing on a moment's notice to rescue an animal, and enjoys watching videos of dogs on the Internet.
  • Lee Thompson Young as Barold "Barry" Frost: Rizzoli's second and new partner. A whiz when it comes to computers and technology, he is terrified of dead bodies and becomes ill at the sight of blood. He is very protective of Jane and stands by her like a loyal, tough partner. In season five, he is killed in a car accident.
  • Jordan Bridges as Francesco "Frankie" Rizzoli, Jr.: Jane and Tommy's brother and the second-born child of the Rizzoli kids. He looks up to Jane, but does not like feeling caught in her shadow, especially as he tries to make his own way on the police force. Like all the men in Jane's life, Frankie is more protective of Jane than she would like. He is a police officer against his mother's wishes, and sees his sister as a role model. In season four Frankie is promoted to detective, and starts taking night classes in computer science in season five to increase his skill-set in Frost's absence.
  • Brian Goodman as Sean Cavanaugh (seasons 3–present, recurring previously): the lieutenant of the Boston Police Department's Homicide Unit. Fiercely loyal to Jane and an old friend of Korsak, Sean is willing to bend the rules for his guys. It is later discovered that Sean lost his wife and son in a fire (set by Paddy Doyle) back when he and Korsak were rookies.

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Donnie Wahlberg as Lieutenant Joe Grant: an old rival of Jane's who has known her since childhood. He constantly made fun of her, calling her "Frog-Face", and "Roly-Poly Rizzoli", due to being slightly chubby when she was younger. When he leaves for Washington DC due to being appointed as the liaison between Boston and Homeland Security, he claims that he had liked her for a very long time.
  • John Doman as Patrick "Paddy" Doyle: an Irish-American crime boss and biological father and protector of Maura Isles.
  • Jacqueline Bisset as Constance Isles: a visual artist and the adoptive mother of Dr. Maura Isles. She loves Maura, but is sorry that they don't have a close relationship.
  • Colin Egglesfield as Thomas "Tommy" Rizzoli: the youngest brother of Jane and Frankie; he is the youngest of the Rizzoli kids, arrested for running a priest over at a crosswalk on his third DUI violation. He returns to the family fold following his release from prison. As of the season two episode "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", he is 32 years old. He tries to kiss Maura when he comes back to pay her back for her kindness but she stops him, he develops a huge crush on Maura as he works on starting a new life[26]
  • Chris Vance as Casey Jones: an old flame of Jane's during high school, reunited with Jane during season two. A U.S. Army Officer assigned to the Middle East, he returned to Boston in season three but broke up with Jane due to injuries that left him partially paralyzed below the waist. He returns in season four's first episode after a successful operation and proposes to Jane, but when he received the offer of a promotion to colonel, he decided to stay in the army, leaving Jane behind as she was unwilling to leave her life. He was aware that Jane was pregnant with his child, but respected her decision to raise the child alone as he had also made the choice to return to the army; she lost the baby mid-way through the fifth season after being attacked while protecting a witness.
  • Darryl Alan Reed as Rondo: a man with access to information in the criminal world. Although Jane initially dismisses his offer to be her confidential informant, he does become her informant later on and is currently providing Jane with information from the criminal world. He has also been shown to have a comical character persona, similar to Larry Laffer. He frequently hits on Jane, calling her "Vanilla". He is revealed to be an ex–jazz singer in "This Is How a Heart Breaks".
  • Billy Burke as Gabriel Dean: an FBI agent often seen working with the Boston Homicide detectives and Medical Examiner's Office. He later becomes romantically involved with Detective Jane Rizzoli, but she ends this relationship when he tries to use her as part of a plan to capture Paddy Doyle that forced Jane to shoot Paddy.
  • Chazz Palminteri as Francesco "Frank" Rizzoli, Sr.: Jane, Frankie and Tommy's father. He owns and runs a plumbing business called Rizzoli and Sons. He and Angela separate and then divorce after the first series. He later tries to have their marriage annulled so that he can re-marry in a Catholic ceremony. He returns to announce he has Stage 2 prostate cancer, and, despite the news, his family finds it difficult to overlook his past transgressions.
  • Matthew Del Negro as Giovanni Gilberti: an old classmate of Jane's and a blue collar auto-mechanic. He is under the impression that Maura and Jane are dating, which Jane came up with in order to save Maura from Giovanni's advances.
  • Michael Massee as Charles Hoyt: a former serial killer who stabbed Jane in both hands and continued to threaten Jane, even from behind bars. Hoyt appears in many episodes including "See One, Do One, Teach One" (episode 1), "I'm Your Boogie Man", and "Remember Me". In the episode "See One, Do One, Teach One" Hoyt and his apprentice, that he went to medical school with, kidnap Jane. Jane shoots and kills the apprentice and throws a flare at Hoyt. Jane then shot him in the hands and said "we match". In the episode "Remember Me" Hoyt, despite dying of cancer, lured Jane and Maura into his hospital room with the aid of a new apprentice with the goal of killing Jane before he died, but Jane managed to get the upper hand, stabbed and killed Hoyt with a scalpel, while saying "I win". Despite his death, he continues to haunt Jane and the team, and has been mentioned at least once a season since his death; when dealing with the murders committed by Dennis Rockmond ("Melt My Heart of Stone"), Jane speculated that he may be an apprentice of Hoyt's due to the ritualistic nature of his crimes, and "No One Mourns the Wicked" saw the team deal with a forensic pathologist and her son (Conceived by her father's abuse) who were committing murders inspired by Hoyt's methods
  • Sharon Lawrence as Hope Martin: Maura's biological mother, who believed Maura died as a baby. She is a renowned forensic pathologist.
  • Emilee Wallace as Cailin: Hope's daughter and Maura's half-sister. Maura anonymously donated her kidney to Cailin to save her life.
  • Alexandra Holden as Lydia Sparks: a ditzy young woman who is heavily pregnant when she is befriended by Angela. It is soon revealed that the child she is carrying is either Tommy's or Angela's ex-husband Frank's. Eventually the child is known as TJ, for "Tommy Junior", once a test confirms that Tommy was the father.
  • Tina Huang as Susie Chang: The senior criminalist of the Boston Police Department's crime laboratory. She has described herself as having a very physical memory; when circumstances required her to take point in an investigation, she made various dioramas to explain her reasoning.

Ratings[edit]

The series started strong in the ratings, as 7.55 million viewers tuned in for the premiere episode. Rizzoli & Isles was the second most-watched cable program on the evening of July 12, 2010, behind its lead-in, The Closer, which had 110,000 more viewers.[27] The show finished the week in third behind The Closer and the final episode of Deadliest Catch to feature the late Phil Harris.[28]

The premiere set a record as the highest-rated debut for a commercial-supported cable series, and it was the second-highest debut ever for a basic cable TV series.[29][30] Rizzoli & Isles is second only to the 2008 premiere of Raising the Bar, which attracted 7.7 million viewers during its commercial-free debut.[30][31][32] Live + 7 day ratings for the premiere updated the show's status as the all time most watched cable series launch, with DVR viewers increasing the show's rating to just over 9 million viewers.[33]

Season Time slot (EST) Number of episodes Premiere Finale TV season Overall rank Overall viewership
Date Viewers
(millions)
18–49 Rating Date Viewers
(millions)
18–49 Rating
1
Monday 10:00 pm
10
July 12, 2010
7.55[34] 2.1[34]
September 13, 2010
6.56[35] 1.5[35] 2010 TBA TBA
2 15
July 11, 2011
6.38[36] 1.2[36]
December 26, 2011
5.79[37] 1.1[37] 2011 TBA TBA
3
Tuesday 9:00 pm
15
June 5, 2012
5.62[38] 1.2[38]
December 25, 2012
4.42[39] 0.8[39] 2012 #3[40] 7.40[40]
4 16
June 25, 2013
6.64[41] 1.4[41]
March 18, 2014
3.58[42] 0.7[42] 2013–14 #5 8.40[43]
5 15
June 17, 2014
5.81[44] 1.0[44] TBA TBA TBA 2014–15 TBA TBA

International broadcast[edit]

Rizzoli & Isles started to air on GEM in Australia on November 29, 2010.[45] The series started to air on Super Channel in Canada on October 5, 2010.[46] It started to air on SBT in Brazil on July 27, 2014.[47] Rizzoli & Isles started to air on Canada's Super Channel on January 3, 2012, on TVNorge in Norway on November 11, 2010, Serie in South Africa on September 14, 2011, on Kanal 9 in Sweden, Viasat 3 in Hungary on November 24, 2010, and on Warner TV in Singapore on February 1, 2011.[48] The series started to air on NET 5 in the Netherlands on January 1, 2011.[49] It started to air on Space in Mexico on April 6, 2011.[48][50] The series started to air on MTV3 in Finland on October 22, 2012.[51]

Rizzoli & Isles started to air on in New Zealand on TV2 in early 2012.[citation needed] The series started to air on TPS Star in France on January 10, 2011 [48] and France 2 on February 25, 2013.[citation needed] It started to air on Mya in Italy on February 11, 2011, on HOT Zone in Israel on November 19, 2011, and on CNBC-e in Turkey on February 15, 2011.[48]

Rizzoli & Isles started to air on Alibi in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2011. A subscription is required.[48][52] The series second season premiered on January 26, 2012.[48] It started to air on VOX in Germany on March 14, 2012.[51] The series started to air on TVN in Poland on March 6, 2011, on Calle 13 in Spain on May 11, 2011, on Doma TV in Croatia on February 22, 2011, and on MBC 4 in Saudi Arabia on January 2011.[48]

Rizzoli & Isles started to air on TV Prima in the Czech Republic on September 6, 2012[53] and on Prima Love on February 12, 2014.[citation needed] The series airs on Stod 2 in Iceland on May 15, 2011, on Zee Café in India on October 1, 2011, on WOWOW in Japan on October 3, 2011, on Fox Life in Portugal on June 29, 2011}, and on VIJF in Belgium on February 21, 2011. [48] It started to air on La Une in Belgium on January 10, 2012, on Kanal 2 in Estonia on February 29, 2012, on Sony Entertainment in Latvia on June 11, 2014, on Novyi Kanal in Ukraine in early 2013 on Pro TV in Romania in June 2013, and on Infinito in Argentina on January 13, 2012.[citation needed]

References[edit]

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