Exclusive: The Closer to Live On?

Someone check the temperature in hell because I think it’s about to freeze over. Why? I’m answering one of my blind items!

The hit drama series whose final season was recently announced — but which may not be ending after all — is… The Closer!

Nearly two months after TNT announced that the show’s upcoming seventh season would be its last, sources confirm that the network is now looking at ways to keep the lucrative franchise going — perhaps without leading lady Kyra Sedgwick (whose desire to leave at the end of Season 7 prompted TNT to pull the plug in the first place).

One option being bandied about has TNT merely extending the final season from 15 to 21 episodes. Another scenario involves the net continuing the series with a new lead (Mary McDonnell’s Capt. Sharon Raydor, perhaps?) or launching a spinoff.

It’s not hard to understand why TNT would want to keep its signature series going. The Closer remains the most-watched basic cable series of all time, and this summer it helped TNT launch the promising rookie procedural Rizzoli & Isles.

A TNT spokesperson had no comment.

Thoughts? Is The Closer worth saving? Which blind item should I reveal next? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Elise says:

    There is no Closer without Kyra! I wish she didn’t want out but be done and leave us wanting more with a good taste in our mouth rather than spoiling a great thing.

  2. Alexa says:

    LAME. You had me all excited for a second there. I’m just so tired of all the procedural dramas out there. :-P Even White Collar and Covert Affairs get to be so predictable sometimes.

  3. Arkoflight says:

    That was the most stupidest and uninteresting reveal ever …. That show has served it’s time already let it end god what a disappointment this news was

  4. Emor says:

    I also concur. The Closer without Kyra will not work.

    One reason why: Profiler (look it up)

  5. Ryan says:

    Well actually my parents love this show but my mother especially finds this to be selfish on KS’s part because of all the good people she’d put out of work by leaving, and the fact there are like ten other characters on the show. So if it’s that strong an ensemble, then maybe do a spinoff about her crew solving crimes.

    • John says:

      It’s selfish to not want to renew a contract after seven years? If she was leveraging it for a big raise, maybe (though those sorts of things are mostly initiated by agencies rather than their clients), but seven years in one very taxing job is a LOT (I’ve heard that series TV is often a 60+ hour workweek, often with middle-of-the-night and erratic schedules). If the network opts to cancel the show without her, that’s THEM putting the cast/crew out of work. But, at the same time, ending something at its creative peak is often more advantageous to everyone’s careers moving forward.

    • Suzanne says:

      Oh, come on. How many of us would continue to work if we had millions of $$ in the bank. Her kids are grown and maybe she would just like to live her life and enjoy all she has worked for. The show cannot continue without her, but that has been the way with tons of other shows. It is always good to end on a high instead of waiting until no one wants to watch a show anymore. I say thank you Kyra. You gave us some good TV.

  6. Erinn says:

    I was hoping & praying that it would be Friday Night Lights :-(

  7. Laurel says:

    D*mn ! I was hoping it was Smallville.

  8. Sue says:

    I love The Closer mainly because of Kyra. If she’s not a part of it, it’s not The Closer. I’m not so sure I want to watch The Closer’s Second Cousin.

  9. Jared says:

    I don’t think they should continue without Kyra. A spin-off could be appropriate but not continuing on without her…

  10. Karen says:

    Sad it’s ending but would absolutely watch it with Mary McDonnell as the lead. That woman is too good to be off the screen.

  11. Mykey716 says:

    Are they crazy? The whole thing about ‘The Closer’ is the closer; Brenda Lee Johnson! As great an actress as Mary McConnell may be, her character is a total b*tch!
    Without Kyra, the show would not be the same and would be best to go
    while the show is still good, then wait till it becomes an embarassment! And can TNT really keep the show going without Kyra? She is one of the producers.

  12. kennine says:

    Who cares? I was hoping for a good show, Terriers.

  13. Maureen says:

    As many already have said…there is no The Closer without Kyra…but I think there is potential for an interesting spin-off with Mary McDonnell as the lead…since they have begun to soften up the character a bit.

    • forrest says:

      so the obvious solution is to have a spinoff – different show name – new lead actress and same supporting cast… Not being a fan of the heavy accent of the current lead actress, I never could get past the promos.

  14. Jake says:

    A spinoff series with a different title and centered around another character might be fun, and certianly seems like the best way to go forward. But THE CLOSER needs to have a definative ending WITH Kyra Sedgewick. I’m a huge fan of the show but any attempt to continue it in its existing form without her will be doomed (look what happened to Scrubs 2.0 on ABC last year) and I won’t watch it if it continues in that manner.

    • DL says:

      Completely agree with you, Jake.

      And for the record, I probably would watch a spin-off starring Mary McDonnell. Huge fan of hers after Battlestar Galactica. I’m sure they could have her transfer to homicide, but I think an internal affairs-based procedural is worth a shot. It would certainly be unlike any other police show of its ilk on TV today.

  15. DJ Rogue says:

    I thought it was Smallville too.

    Anyways, why don’t they float the idea of moving the show to the East Coast? Maybe that would make a difference to Kyra..

  16. SunKrux says:

    I probably won’t watch it because seriously Kyra Sedgwick is “The Closer” and no one, imho can replace or take her place.

    If they do a spin off with Mary McDonnell I’d probably give it a go but I do not want someone else or even Mary as “The Closer”. That was and will always be Brenda Leigh Johnson-Howard (Kyra).

    I vote for letting the show go out while it’s still on top and good. Please dear gods in heaven, do not pull and X Files and drag it out to the point of the entire cast phoning in their performances.

  17. Lisa says:

    Would love to see The Closer continue but only with Kyra in charge. I would miss Provenza, Gabriel, Tao, Sanchez and Flynn if the show ended but would not watch without Brenda Leigh at the helm. It wouldn’t be the same show. Perhaps Kyra will reconsider or will film in NYC?

  18. what? says:

    How does any of the clues given fit THE CLOSER?!?

    TRU CALLING? Hamlet quote? Denmark?

    It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • John says:

      One man’s literary references (Hamlet) and jokes (Tru Calling) can be another man’s clues if he looks hard enough.

    • mowgo says:

      Hamlet is obsessed with getting his uncle Claudius to confess he murdered Hamlet’s father. Brenda Lee Johnson is obsessed with getting murderers to confess to their crimes.

      Ausiello mentioned Tru Calling as a preemptive action because, if you read his Q&A transcipts, people still ask if it’s coming back. I don’t know how many are jokes, but they still ask.

  19. Jean P. says:

    I am flabbergasted by the popularity of this show. Kyra Sedgwick is just awful and has THE worst fake Southern accent I’ve ever heard. Take it away…quickly…

  20. Michael says:

    Use the last season to market a spinoff with Mary McDonnell! She’s played great this season and it would be interesting to see the tough captain handle her to teenage kids aswell as the major chrime unit! As much as i love Prevenza, he is WAY to old to be a police officer out on the streets!! Could be fun to watch;)

  21. Ingmar says:

    Just like I predicted it was the Closer. Well, I like the show, but 7 years is a good time to stop. I do like the first option ; to extend the episode order for season 7, that would be nice, but going for another season without Kyra is just not a good idea. Spin-off might work.

  22. KevyB says:

    A spin-off is not continuing the show. Frasier was not the continuance of Cheers. Joey was not the continuance of Friends. The blind item was given false clues.

  23. Lynn says:

    That’s the problem with networks, they tend to use overkill on something. The show is nothing without Kyra. These networks have learned nothing.

  24. Barry G says:

    I say spin off Flynn and Provenza. Bailey and Denison crack me up even when they’re not in a “Flynn & Provenza” episode. And any way to keep Tony “Ray Luca” Denison on TV is OK with me.

  25. Lorie says:

    No Kyra = no show for me. I would love for TNT to extend this final season.

  26. Stefany says:

    Have Flynn and Provinza transfer to IAB to work for Raider in a spinoff. Then Kyra, Jon and JK can guest from time to time.

  27. Juliab says:

    Kyra Sedwick is The Closer and I am not interested in watching it without her. I like the idea of extending the episode order from 15 to 21 for season 7.

    A spinoff series with characters from Closer in a new setting would work. Kyra, Jon and JK can still do guest appearances.

  28. Mel says:

    This show has the best ensemble cast, it would be a shame to waste them. As much as I adore KS, I love the rest of the cast, especially JK Simmons and the two older cops, who are a hoot. I would watch with a new lead (not Mary M. please, too caustic IMO), or a soin-off. Hope they keep it alive for awhile .

  29. Remizak says:

    I wouldn’t be remotely interested in Mary McDonnell’s character taking over. I can’t stand the Capt. Rader character though, of course, McDonnell is a talented actress.

    I will miss the entire cast and they should have success after the series. I could see a comedy spinoff with Flynn and Provenza retiring and running security for a big residential complex or an entertainment facility.

    • Agnes says:

      The point is that the character would evolve. You wouldn’t watch a TV series because of strong feelings about a character? Seems to me that means the character is doing a good job

  30. kellyo says:

    I don’t think it will be the same without Kyra. Also, next blind item reveal should be the one about which onscreen couple was making war.

  31. Penny says:

    I’m glad it’s not Smallville. The show has lived on way past its prime and this season especially is a jumbled mess with many of the scripts ripped directly from bad fanfic. Plus I admit I’ve grown tired of their often annoying and haranguing fanbase. Hopefully they will go back to the soap operas they came from.

  32. Cathy says:

    She is the Closer, so it won’t be the same. And as much as I love the show, I totally understand why she doesn’t want to continue, since she’s based in NY; I don’t think that’s selfish at all.

  33. Tony Brown says:

    I personally believe that The Closer has a Barney Miller-style ensemble which can extend its run further without Miss Sedgwick…if it makes the right decision by offering the lead to Mary McDonnell. The show would not miss a beat bumping her up and renewing appearances with Courtney Vance. There isn’t much to change in the recipe. The humor, dialogue, characters and storylines are still first-rate.

  34. Chena says:

    I love The Closer, but I don’t know if I would commit to a spin-off. I really like Brenda and I can’t think of any other character currently on the canvas who could carry the show. I don’t think viewers like Captain Raydor enough yet.

  35. Ivan Cobenk says:

    Spinoff! Is Kevin Bacon available?

  36. cassie litvak says:

    Who writes for you, can you not afford an editor? It says on Yahoo.com, ‘Kyra Sedgwick
    is ‘leading’ the show not ‘leaving’ the show!!!! Check it

  37. John Berggren says:

    I think the only truly viable solution would be to commission quarterly Closer telefilms. If the money is right, they could probably convince Kyra to do it – or semi-annual or annual – whatever she goes in for.

  38. davej says:

    It’s very simple – just move the show to New York the way Kyra wants it. That’s the only reason she is leaving – her family lives in New York City and she doesn’t want to spend so much time in Los Angeles shooting the show.

  39. Patricia Winegard says:

    Yes i think the closer should keep going and leave the door open incase Kyra wants to come back.Kyra make’ the show,but so does the rest of the cast,i think it’ worth a shot to see what happen’.I think Kyra would stay if you can meet her demand’,she hate’ being away from her family so you need that to consider,a spin off would b great too as long as the rest of the cast can stay together.

  40. Robbie says:

    I’d accept a spinoff with a new lead and most of the same staff, but I would not accept the same show without Kyra. Hope they think this through.

  41. Marc says:

    First, thank you for answering the blind item. It’s always a good idea for a new business to give the customers what they want.

    Second, I agree with those who say that The Closer is Brenda Leigh Johnson. She was brought to LA because of her ability to close cases by getting confessions, not because she was a great administrator who could set up and lead the new division. That is the premise of the show, what makes it different than most other procedurals, and it hasn’t really changed over the past six years. It’s not an ensemble show like ER or even The Practice with several leads. It’s not like L&O, where the characters are secondary to the stories. Perhaps if they had played up the development of the interviewing or investigative skills of someone else in the squad, they could pass the baton. But, while they could have done that with Gabriel–it would be a different show if they had–they didn’t. To simply replace Brenda would be like when Paul Provenza took over for Rob Morrow on Northern Exposure. I cannot think of any quality show that replaced such a central character successfully.

    Third, I could see spinoff/successor series surrounding one of more of the characters, as long as we are thinking more Lou Grant than Beverly Hills Buntz.

    Finally, I could see expanding the last season by scattering throughout the season a several episodes with limited or no involvement from Brenda if Kyra Sedgwick does not want to increase her workload. They could focus on Fitz or Will or Raydor or the rest of the squad collectively. There are ways to do it successfully.

    And, PS: Will our kinder, gentler host now tell which hit show that does not shoot in LA has tensions mounting and costs rising because of location?

  42. Laura M. says:

    The Closer is a great show. Fantastic pool of writers. I’m sure they could pull it off – introducing a new lead OR a spin off, doesn’t matter. IMO, Sharon Raydor is a fantastic potential candidate for both scenarios – especially since they started making her less quirky (and yes, Brenda and her less bitchy!). We don’t know enough about her yet, so there would be plenty to explore. Remember how long it took the team to actually like Brenda?! She was adorable from the start but also difficult. Same goes for Sharon Raydor. Not only would I love to see her working more closely with Brenda more often, I would definitely watch a Raydor-centered show for both, the laughs and the the eye roll surprises and her pragmatism. And wouldn’t it be great if they kept Kyra Sedgwick on as producer?! A girl can dream…

  43. waytodawn says:

    Well, I hoped it would be Caprica or SGU. I can see more potential in developing in this series. I’m glad it is not smallville – 10 seasons are enough and they should bring it to a (good) end – and at this end there must be superman…

  44. Agnes says:

    What a FANTASTIC idea to have Mary McDonnell as Captain R in a spin-off. The Closer should work hard to develop her story during the last season so that it is truly a spin-off. Think of all the great story lines for Brenda Lee during the last season if the rest of the cast and especially McDonnell move into a spin-off. I am all for this idea and will keep watching TNT if they do a spin-off with McDonnell! Huge TV fan and would hate not have TNT on my DVR but without The Closer or without McDonnell in a spin-off, not sure what I would do. Great Great Great idea

  45. eviltwit says:

    I’d watch with McDonnell. I think it would be great. I love the team. The Closer wouldn’t be as good a show as it has been without them!

    p.s. What’s with all the – meh, we lurve Smallville! wat’s the Cl…o…ser – comments? Sheesh, people I’m sure there are some Smallville articles you could prowl on this site.

  46. Sabonne says:

    I agree the show would not be the same without my sugar loving neurotic compassionate genius, Brenda Leigh. Network TV is trying hard to take advantage with new shows like Harry’s Law with Kathy Bates and a new Dana Delaney joint where she plays a surgeon turned M.E. after a personal health crisis. We’ll see but ain’t none of them got nuthin on Brenda and Fritzy.

  47. Susan N. says:

    Capt. Raydor cannot replace Brenda Leigh. The men cannot stand her and she isn’t worth watching every week…even though I love her antagonist scenes with Brenda. I know that the guys hated Brenda in the first season, in fact, the entire first season was about gaining their respect, but this is different. In the 2-part episode “Living Proof”, Brenda introduced Capt. Raydor to her parents as “my friend Sharon”. In an otherwise serious & sad episode, this was a funny scene & running joke throughout the episode. I will watch the spin-off and give it a chance, as I totally enjoy the entire cast but am hoping that they bring in someone totally new as the replacement for Kyra. Maybe the new Chief can get shot and Brenda becomes Chief & she puts Pope as Asst. Chief so that HE is her replacement? Then she can “visit” the Major Crimes area once in a while. I still think two spin-offs would work…one titled “Flynn & Provenza” (because every time you hear her say those three words you can bet SOMETHING went wrong!) and then the “Major Crimes” spin-off! I’d watch BOTH!

  48. AsalwaysMary says:

    PLEASE do whatever it takes to keep Kyra Sedgwick on the show as it would simply NOT be the same without her on it!
    It is the ONLY series I watch and will be so sad when the show is cancelled.

  49. Linda-lu says:

    The Closer is one of only two dramas I look forward to watching – but
    last night’s episode was somewhat mean spirited and preachy (apparently someone on the writing team has an axe to grind with Jesus). When creativity runs out, it’s time for The Closer to go.