The Closer

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The Closer
The Closer logo.jpg
Format Crime Drama
Created by James Duff
Michael M. Robin
Greer Shephard
Starring Kyra Sedgwick
J. K. Simmons
Corey Reynolds
Robert Gossett
G. W. Bailey
Tony Denison
Michael Paul Chan
Raymond Cruz
Phillip P. Keene
Mary McDonnell
Jon Tenney
Gina Ravera
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 109 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 42-60 minutes
Production company(s) The Shephard/Robin Company
Walking Entropy
Warner Bros. Television
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel TNT
Original run June 13, 2005 (2005-06-13) – August 13, 2012 (2012-08-13)
Chronology
Followed by Major Crimes

The Closer is an American television police procedural, starring Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, a Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and CIA-trained, Brenda has a reputation as a Closer — an interrogator who not only solves a case, but obtains confessions that lead to convictions, and so "closing" the case. Deputy Chief Johnson sometimes uses deceit and intimidation to persuade a suspect to confess. The series ran on TNT from June 13, 2005 to August 13, 2012.

The Closer was created by James Duff and the Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television. On Monday, July 11, 2011, the series began its seventh and final season, having finished its sixth season as cable's highest rated drama.[1] The Closer 's final six episodes began airing on Monday, July 9, 2012, with its finale airing on Monday, August 13, 2012. Following the finale, The Closer's spin-off Major Crimes premiered.

Characters[edit]

The cast consists largely of an ensemble of detectives who make up the LAPD's fictional Major Crimes Division. It is led by Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, played by Kyra Sedgwick. Some observers have noted strong similarities between Johnson and Jane Tennison, Helen Mirren's lead character in the British crime drama, Prime Suspect, with an article in USA Today claiming The Closer to be "an unofficial Americanization" of the British drama.[2] In interviews, Sedgwick has acknowledged that the show owes "a debt" to Prime Suspect and her admiration for that show and Mirren were factors that first interested her in the role.[3]

Other main characters include Johnson's superior officer, Assistant Chief Will Pope (J.K. Simmons), Robbery-Homicide Commander Russell Taylor (Robert Gossett) and her FBI agent boyfriend-then-husband Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney). The remainder of the cast makes up Brenda's squad, each with expertise in a specific area, such as crime scene investigation or gang activity. The first and only departure from the regular cast occurred in Season Five, when actress Gina Ravera (Irene Daniels) left and her character was transferred to another division in the LAPD.

Mary McDonnell, a recurring cast member in seasons five and six, joined the cast full-time for season seven, continuing her role as Captain Sharon Raydor.[4]

Primary cast in 2006
Actor Character Rank Unit Seasons
Kyra Sedgwick Brenda Leigh Johnson Deputy Chief Major Crimes Division[note 1] 1–7
J. K. Simmons Will Pope Assistant Chief for Operations; Interim Chief of Police (Season 7) Los Angeles Police Department 1–7
Jon Tenney Fritz Howard Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation 1–7
Corey Reynolds David Gabriel Detective Sergeant Major Crimes Division 1–7
G. W. Bailey Louie Provenza Detective Lieutenant Major Crimes Division 1–7
Mary McDonnell Sharon Raydor Captain Force Investigation Division 5–7
Tony Denison Andy Flynn Detective Lieutenant Major Crimes Division 1–7
Robert Gossett Russell Taylor Commander Robbery-Homicide Division 1–7
Michael Paul Chan Michael Tao Detective Lieutenant Major Crimes Division 1–7
Raymond Cruz Julio Sanchez Detective Major Crimes Division 1–7
Phillip P. Keene Buzz Watson Civilian Surveillance Coordinator Major Crimes Division 1–7
Gina Ravera Irene Daniels Detective Priority Homicide Division 1–4

Episodes[edit]

Each episode of The Closer deals with an aspect of the Los Angeles culture as it interfaces with law enforcement in the mega-city. The show deals with complex and subtle issues of public policy, ethics, personal integrity, and questions of good and evil. The rather large character ensemble explores the human condition, touching on individual faiths, traditional religious influences in the lives and communities of contemporary society, and the breakdown and dysfunction of family systems, work teaming, and government responsibility.[citation needed]

The first season began with Brenda Leigh Johnson arriving at the LAPD to lead the Priority Murder Squad (PMS), quickly renamed Priority Homicide Division (PHD), a team that originally dealt solely with high-profile murder cases (Seasons 1–4).

During Season 4, an embarrassing tangle with the press, over just what were the criteria making a homicide a priority, allowed Brenda to manipulate circumstances so the division was reorganized into a much larger Major Crimes Division with a wider scope,[note 1] though the majority of plots still involved and focused on homicides. Most importantly to the show's plot lines, Commander Taylor's role was also changed from "rival and in-house adversary" to that of "unambiguously loyal subordinate", so that he was thereafter reporting directly to Deputy Chief Johnson and noticeably helpful as he coordinates interaction between the MCD and other units.

Season five introduced Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor of Internal Affairs. Rayder and Johnson start out as rivals, but gradually they develop grudging respect for each other and form an uneasy alliance. Rayder went on to star in The Closer's spin-off, Major Crimes.

During the final season, Brenda finds herself in civil legal difficulties as a result of the events in War Zone (Season 6, Episode 8), and the LAPD concludes that there must be a disloyal subordinate generating information leaks from within MCD. Taylor and Raydor take an active role in attempting to combat the leaker and the legal matters do not reach a final resolution until the series' end, in the episode "The Last Word".

On December 10, 2010, TNT announced that the seventh season of The Closer, which began production in the spring of 2011, would be the last. The channel said that the decision to retire the show was made by Kyra Sedgwick.[6][7] On January 30, 2011, the media announced that the final season would add six episodes to the usual fifteen episode order, building toward the spin-off series, Major Crimes.[8][9]

Cultural impact[edit]

Both gender researchers and members of the media have claimed that the series has "expanded the vocabulary of what is acceptable for women as seen through the lens of popular culture."[10]

“We’ve certainly seen women in powerful positions before," says author and gender researcher Maddy Dychtwald, pointing out Angie Dickinson in 1974's Police Woman, and Cagney & Lacey from 1981. But those women were largely token in a sea of dominant males, and most important, strove to be like the men that surrounded them.” In contrast, Dychtwald says the former CIA interrogator played by Kyra Sedgwick, “retains (and revels in) her femininity, keeps her composure, can handle the two 'sexist pigs' who bait her due to their jealousy and insecurities, and not lose her head.”[10]

Media experts have also noted that the series has helped to redefine the place of basic cable channels alongside network programming:

Beyond gently tweaking the popular image of women in power, "The Closer" has helped redefine the power balance between basic cable and broadcast networks, says Fordham University media expert Paul Levinson. Just glance at the equal number of recent Emmy nominations for basic and premium cable shows is confirmation, he adds. Beyond that, says More Magazine Entertainment Director Kathy Heintzelman, the off-season placement—the show launched in the summer and continues to air its seasons in counter-balance to the traditional network schedule—has helped redefine viewing habits. “It’s helped people get used to the idea that summer is a time to watch original series on televisions,” she adds.[10]

U.S. television ratings[edit]

Viewer numbers (based on average total viewers per episode) of The Closer on TNT. The debut of The Closer was seen by more than 7 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research and was the top-rated premiere episode ever of any original scripted series on basic cable. The second (8.28) and third season (8.81) premieres broke the previous record.

Season Season Premiere Season Finale
Date Viewers
Total
(in millions)
Viewers
Households
(in millions)
Date Viewers
Total
(in millions)
Viewers
Households
(in millions)
1 June 13, 2005 7.03[11] 5.26[11] September 5, 2005 6.39[12] 4.61[12]
2 June 12, 2006 8.28[13] 6.04[13] September 4, 2006[note 2] 7.60[14] 5.45[14]
3 June 18, 2007 8.81[15] 6.38[15] September 10, 2007[note 2] 9.21[16] 6.84[16]
4 July 14, 2008 7.81[17] 5.91[17] September 15, 2008[note 2] 7.63[18] 5.00[18]
5 June 8, 2009 7.14[19] 5.35[19] August 24, 2009[note 2] 7.40[20] 5.50[20]
6 July 12, 2010 7.66[21] 5.72[21] September 13, 2010[note 2] 7.20[22] 5.43[22]
7 July 11, 2011 7.23[21] TBA August 13, 2012[note 2] 9.08[23] TBA

At the end of Season Three, The Closer became ad-supported cable's most-viewed scripted series of all time, ending the season with a live + same day audience of 9.21 million viewers in 6.84 million households. The third season finale holds the record for the largest live + 7 day audience for a single episode of an ad-supported cable series with 9.55 million viewers in 6.88 million households. Live + 7 day (DVR) data for the season reflects 30–40% audience growth in three key age-based demographic groups.[24] Season Four's premiere slipped slightly from the Season Three opening, with live + same day ratings showing a 3% decline in audience from the previous year's opener.[25] For its Season Six premiere, on July 12, 2010, the show reached an estimated 7.66 million viewers.[21][26]

DVD releases[edit]

Warner Home Video has released all seven seasons of The Closer on DVD in Region 1.[27]

Season Episodes Premiere Finale DVD
release date
1 13 June 13, 2005 (2005-06-13) September 5, 2005 (2005-09-05) May 23, 2006 (2006-05-23)
2 15 June 12, 2006 (2006-06-12) December 4, 2006 (2006-12-04) May 29, 2007 (2007-05-29)
3 15 June 18, 2007 (2007-06-18) December 3, 2007 (2007-12-03) July 1, 2008 (2008-07-01)
4 15 July 14, 2008 (2008-07-14) February 23, 2009 (2009-02-23) May 26, 2009 (2009-05-26)
5 15 June 8, 2009 (2009-06-08) December 21, 2009 (2009-12-21) June 29, 2010 (2010-06-29)
6 15 July 12, 2010 (2010-07-12) January 3, 2011 (2011-01-03) June 21, 2011 (2011-06-21)
7 21 July 11, 2011 (2011-07-11) August 13, 2012 (2012-08-13) August 21, 2012 (2012-08-21)[28]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Up until the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2011, Kyra Sedgwick had made history as being the only female actor in the history of television to be nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award every year that the show aired in the eligibility period. However, that came to an end in 2011.

List of Screen Actors Guild Award nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee Result
12th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2005) January 29, 2006 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
Ensemble in a Drama Series Regular Cast Nominated
13th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2006) January 28, 2007 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
14th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2007) January 27, 2008 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
Ensemble in a Drama Series Regular Cast Nominated
15th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2008) January 25, 2009 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
Ensemble in a Drama Series Regular Cast Nominated
16th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) January 23, 2010 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
Ensemble in a Drama Series Regular Cast Nominated
Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series Stunt Team Nominated
17th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2010) January 30, 2011 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
Ensemble in a Drama Series Regular Cast Nominated
Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series Stunt Team Nominated
18th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2011) January 29, 2012 Female Actor in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated

List of Saturn Award nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee Result
32nd Saturn Awards (2005) May 2, 2006 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
33rd Saturn Awards (2006) May 10, 2007 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
Best Actress on Television Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
34th Saturn Awards (2007) June 24, 2008 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
Best Actress on Television Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
35th Saturn Awards (2008) June 25, 2009 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
Best Actress on Television Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
36th Saturn Awards (2009) June 24, 2010 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
Best Actress on Television Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
37th Saturn Awards (2010) June 23, 2011 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
Best Actress on Television Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
38th Saturn Awards (2011) July 26, 2012 Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Nominated
Best Actress on Television Kyra Sedgwick Nominated

List of Primetime Emmy Awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee Result
58th Primetime Emmy Awards (2006) August 27, 2006 Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
59th Primetime Emmy Awards (2007) September 16, 2007 Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) September 21, 2008 Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009) September 20, 2009 Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
62nd Primetime Emmy Awards (2010) August 29, 2010 Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Won
Guest Actor in a Drama Series Beau Bridges Nominated
63rd Primetime Emmy Awards (2011) September 18, 2011 Guest Actress in a Drama Series Mary McDonnell Nominated

List of Golden Globe Awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee Result
63rd Golden Globe Awards (2006) January 16, 2006 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
64th Golden Globe Awards (2007) January 15, 2007 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Won
65th Golden Globe Awards (2008) January 13, 2008 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
66th Golden Globe Awards (2009) January 11, 2009 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
67th Golden Globe Awards (2010) January 17, 2010 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
68th Golden Globe Awards (2011) January 16, 2011 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated

List of other awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee Result
Satellite Awards (2005) December 17, 2005 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Won
Imagen Awards (2006) August 18, 2006 Best Supporting Actor Raymond Cruz Won
Best Supporting Actress Gina Ravera Nominated
Satellite Awards (2006) December 18, 2006 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Won
Gracie Awards (2006) Female Lead in a Drama Series Kyra Sedgwick Won
Satellite Awards (2007) December 16, 2007 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards (2007) February 9, 2008 Episodic Drama "The Round File" Nominated
Satellite Awards (2008) December 14, 2008 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Kyra Sedgwick Nominated
35th People's Choice Awards (2008) January 7, 2009 Favorite TV Drama Diva Kyra Sedgwick Won
PRISM Awards (2008) Best Drama Episode "Till Death Do Us" Parts 1 and 2 Nominated
41st NAACP Image Awards (2010) February 26, 2010 Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Corey Reynolds Nominated
PRISM Awards (2011) Best Drama Series Episode "Old Money" Nominated
Best Performance in a Drama Episode Anthony John Dennison Nominated
GoldDerby SNUBBEE Awards (2011) Outstanding Snubbed Lead Actress (Comedy or Drama) Kyra Sedgwick Nominated

International distribution[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Previously known as Priority Murder Squad (Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2), then Priority Homicide Division (Season 1, Episode 3 through Season 4, Episode 9). The Division's name was first changed from Priority Murder Squad when it was recognized that the initials were PMS, leading to unintended humor due to Chief Johnson's sex. Division's official name was changed to Major Crimes Division (MCD) during Season 4 Episode 9 in response to the storyline's media misinterpretation of the use of the word "Priority", and the team first operated as the MCD in the following episode. At the end of summer season four, episode nine ("Tijuana Brass"),[5] the squad was retasked to handle a range of crimes including fraud and kidnapping, and renamed the Major Crimes Division, whose brief was enlarged (in theory) to include to a wider range of major crimes including grand theft, fraud, rape and homicide, along the lines of a Major Case Squad. Nevertheless, storylines continued to focus on solving murders until late in the sixth season when, after the ascension of a new police chief, the underutilized squad was assigned a serial armed robbery gang—which in the event, quickly became a murder investigation the next day.[5]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Summer finales. Seasons Two and Three both aired two additional episodes in December. Seasons Four and Six were divided into ten summer and five winter episodes and Season Five had twelve summer and three winter episodes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TNT Orders New Seasons of Three Hit Series: The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage" (Press release). Turner Newsroom. July 30, 2010. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ USA Today, June 12, 2006.
  3. ^ OrlandoSentinel.com.
  4. ^ "The Closer Promotes Mary McDonnell for Final Season - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Tijuana Brass", Season 4, Episode 9.
  6. ^ Fernandez, Mary Elena (December 10, 2010). "Kyra Sedgwick closes 'The Closer'". Los Angeles Times. Show Tracker. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  7. ^ Media Spy (December 11, 2010). "Kyra Sedgwick calls time on The Closer". Media Spy. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  8. ^ Rice, Lynnette; Hibbard, James. "TNT extends 'The Closer' final season to ready potential spin-off -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Inside TV. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (May 18, 2011). "TNT orders 'Closer' spinoff 'Major Crimes' starring Mary McDonnell". HitFix. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Christian Science Monitor, "The Closer opened doors for women--and for basic cable," July 12, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "TNT Original Dramatic Series The Closer Lands Record as Ad-Supported Cable's Top Original Scripted Series Telecast Ever". The Futon Critic. June 14, 2005. 
  12. ^ a b "TNT'S The Closer Ends Season as Ad-Supported Cable's Top Original Series of 2005". The Futon Critic. September 7, 2005. 
  13. ^ a b "TNT'S Hit Original Series The Closer Smashes Record as Ad-Supported Cable's Top Scripted Series Telecast Of All Time". The Futon Critic. June 13, 2006. 
  14. ^ a b "TNT’s The Closer Ends Season with a Bang as 7.6 Million Viewers Watch Record-Breaking Finale". The Futon Critic. September 6, 2006. 
  15. ^ a b "TNT'S Season 3 Premiere of The Closer Is Best of All Time". The Futon Critic. June 19, 2007. 
  16. ^ a b "With 9.2 Million Viewers and 6.8 Million Households Tuning in Last Night, TNT'S The Closer Breaks Live + Same Day Record for Ad-Supported Cable's #1 Series Telecast Ever". September 11, 2007. 
  17. ^ a b "TNT'S The Closer Scores as Ad-Supoported Cable's #1 Series Telecast for the Year-to-Date, with More Than 7.8 Million Viewers". July 15, 2008. 
  18. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (September 23, 2008). "Monday Night Football, The Closer and Saturday NCAA Football lead Cable Viewing". Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Gorman, Bill (June 9, 2009). "The Closer Premieres To 7.1 Million, Raising The Bar Just 3.6 Million". Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  20. ^ a b Cassel, Karen; Sal Petruzzi (August 26, 2009). "TNT Sets Summer Ratings on Fire with Monday-Wednesday Originals Lineup". Turner Network Television. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  21. ^ a b c d Gorman, Bill (July 13, 2010). "TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Sets Record with Cable’s Biggest Ad-Supported Premiere, Draws 7.6 Million Viewers". Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b Gorman, Bill (September 14, 2010). "TNT’s ‘The Closer’ and ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Close Out Summer With More Big Numbers". TVByTheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  23. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (August 13, 2012). "Monday Cable Ratings: NFL Pre-Season Football Rules Night, + 'Love And Hip Hop: Atlanta', 'WWE Raw', 'The Closer', 'Pawn Stars' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  24. ^ TNT Pressroom
  25. ^ MediaPost Publications - Strong Debut for TNT's 'Closer,' 'Saving Grace,' But Last Year Was Better - 07/16/2008
  26. ^ "Audiences du câble US : "Rizzoli & Isles" commence très fort ! - News Série Audiences - AlloCiné". Allocine.fr. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  27. ^ "The Closer on DVD". WBSHOP.com. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  28. ^ Lambert, David (June 6, 2012). "The Closer – Release Date, Cost, Extras and Packaging for 'The Complete 7th Season'". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  29. ^ The Closer クローザー (Japanese)

External links[edit]