Exclusive: The Closer Promotes Mary McDonnell to Series Regular — Will She Replace Kyra?

The case for Mary McDonnell succeeding Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer just got stronger.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that McDonnell will reprise her role as Captain Sharon Raydor for the show’s super-sized “final” season — but not for another measly arc. The Battlestar Galactica vet has been upgraded to a full-time series regular.

The news comes two months after TVLine reported that TNT was looking to keep the Closer franchise going with or without Sedgwick — whose desire to leave at the end of Season 7 prompted the cable net to pull the plug in the first place.

The likeliest scenario has the network folding some of Closer‘s current cast into a spinoff titled Major Crimes. While it’s unclear if McDonnell would be included in such an offshoot, it’s safe to say producers are keeping their options open.

Of course, TNT’s decision to air The Closer‘s 21-episode seventh season in three separate chunks — 10 this summer, five in the winter, and the final six next summer — gives the cable net’s brass (and the show’s producers) plenty of time to weigh their options.

What option do you like best? A new Closer series with McDonnell at the helm? A new Closer series with someone other than McDonnell at the helm? Or no Closer series with anyone other than Sedgwick? 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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


    WITH WITH WITH! omg, this is a perfect way to replace kyra. i love what they’ve been doing with capt. raydor’s character! GO MARY! we’ll keep watching.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I’m thinking renaming the snow might be a good idea (but it must be a better name than Major Crimes). I love the idea of Mary McDonnell running the squad and keeping the personalities on the squad. The squad was resistent to Brenda Lee in the beginning but they came around. It would be interesting to see them have to re-adjust to a new female boss (and in particular one who comes from Internal Affairs which most of them hate).

      I am curious though whether they’d keep Will Pope, the other captain from Robbery Homicide (blanking on the character’s name – the guy who doesn’t get an office) and John Tenney’s character (Fritzie).

    • eileen halling says:

      I love Mary…Yes, yes yes!!! I will keep watching because she is a fantastic actress!!!!

    • Sherry Clark says:

      It seems to me Kera might consider her cast ! what are they going to do?Is she really that self absorbed. Not to mention the fans that The closer is the highlite of their week.Who made her what she is today,we did.Thanks a lot Kera for throwing us off the train as soon as you achived what you wanted.Fame and money.No one that is really hooked on the Closer will ever be able to accept it without her.

    • joannbelair says:

      No one can take Kyra Sedgwick place. Nobody! She is the show. It is very sad to see her go.

    • no one can really replace Kyra and it would never be the same and i probably won’t watch , the cast is great with her in the lead and i love the romance with Fritz

      • Linda Rowe says:

        Don’t like Lt Sharon Raydor AT ALL!!! Don’t want her to even TRY to take Brenda Leigh Johnsons place. Won’t work at all . Love ALL of the other characters on the show and hope that they are ALL in the new spin off series. If they are, I will definitely watch!! Gonna miss Brenda Leigh Johnson !!! Wish Kyra Sedgewick lots of luck and happiness in her future endeavors!!!

  2. Lori says:

    Kyra IS the closer. Any other lead makes it a different show. End of story. Let the Closer go and launch a real spinoff with some of the same characters if that seems right to Mr. Duff, but show some respect and change the name.

    • Joe Ramiirez says:

      I love this show… Kyra is the show she is what makes it what it is… with out her its just not the same. So if she’s gone the spine off is a better idea… Kyra I love u. Ur the best… oh by the way please run some new reruns at 2:00pm im tiard of the same ones please. Kyra I hat to see u go ur the best.

    • Teresa says:

      Agree, Kyra is “The Closer” son don’t worry, the show will change the name in case they make a spin-off. :)

      • Mary from Ireland says:

        Love the Closer – fave show, and Kyra the best part of it. TNT must do all they can to keep her – offer her more money, more anything of whatever it takes, just keep her. There must be a way – at least get her to agree to a few more seasons. The closer is capable of pulling at least 10 to 15 seasons, probably far more. A spin off is a great idea but the last resort if we can’t have Kyra. Maybe people should let her know what her fanbase is like. Saying all this, love all the other characters too and wouldn’t want them to disappear. I think they should bring back the other female (Gabriel’s girlfriend), she was a good part of the team. Does Kyra have a good reason to leave? Can’t have Fritz without her, and Fritz needs to stay too. Thanks to TNT for this show, it’s brilliant! Mary and the whole of Ireland.

        • Mary from Ireland says:

          p.s. everyone, I forgot to add that Kyra’s parents are a great addition to the show – they would be badly missed too, and need to be kept in the show. So – loads of good reasons why Sedgwick can’t leave – Fritz, the parents, Joe the cat, keeping Raydar in order, and the whole smart female detective role. There are many more great potential storylines to be developed around her and her family alone. Many with the rest of the crew too. Does anyone have Sedgwick’s email address so that I can complain to her directly about how much damage she will do to the show? thanks, Mary (and the whole of Ireland!).

    • SaraA says:

      I agree, Mary may be ok, but she is no Kyra Sedgwick. Once Kyra is gone, so am I.

      • Georgia Skeeter says:

        I agree that Kyra made the show. Without her is will never be the same and yes if there is a spin off, then it should be renamed. Don’t care to much for the actress Mary McDonnell, at all. So if she’s the new it girl on the spin off, not sure I’ll be watching it. If all the other characters from The Closer are on the spin off, then I’ll give it a chance, but won’t promise anything without Kyra. She made the show, along with the other characters, but she was the real reason I watch it to begin with. She’s a great actor and will be missed.

    • Paula Majors says:

      I fully agreee with Lori. Kyra IS the CLOSER, this great show will NEVER be the same without her and her fantastic squad – they should ALL go on with the show; it’s by far the BEST police TV series EVER !!!! The Closer’s fans are legion, even here in far away BRAZIL!! And what would happen to Chief Pope and Agent Fritz Howard??? Please, Kyra, don’t quit The Closer… this great show must go on !!

    • Linda Rowe says:

      I agree completely in regard to changing the name. The show will NOT be the same if they leave the name “The Closer”. I love the entire cast especially the hispanic man, the older grey headed guy ,who is a veteran actor, and her other two main detectives as well. However, I have never cared for Marys character at all and don’t think I would look forward to seeing her every week. I hate to see the show close down but I respect Kira’s desire to move on and do something else. I think she is a wonderful actress and would like to see her in some movies. I truly want to see a spin off with the same wonderful writers and at the very least Brenda Lee Johnson’s right hand investigators. I WILL ABSOLUTELY watch it but don’t particularly want Mary to be a part of the show.

  3. Steve T says:

    I like Mary McDonnell a lot but I don’t like the Capt Raydor character. I don’t miss watching The Closer but I would probably pass with Capt Raydor in charge unless they make her a whole lot more likeable.

    • kate says:

      I agree. Love Mary, but Raydor really irks me. She’s two faced. But Mary is awesome so I’ll deal lol

    • Tom says:

      She has come along way from where she began, i think it all turned around when she and brenda worked together when one of he officers killed her husband and set him up as an abuser, if you missed that one you’re probably still stuck at her being a bitch.

      • Sue Thomas says:

        I love Kyra but Mary McDonnell and the rest of the cast could make a great show. Sorry to hear Kyra is leaving but I have also liked Mary since she came into the story. Great Show

      • tyana says:

        im a newbie and have come to LOVE the show. which episode or season was this? i’d love to watch it!!!

  4. Tracy says:

    As soon as I heard Kyra Sedgwick was leaving the show I think everyone’s first thought was: “Bring in Mary McDonnell to lead the show!” It’s too obvious and too good to pass up.

    MM has been such a wonderful foil for KS and the guys; it would be delightful to see her character further developed. I’ll happily switch my TiVo to “Major Crimes” once Ms. Sedgwick (sadly) moves on.

  5. Veronica says:

    If we get to keep Flynn and Provenza then I’m for it!

  6. DL says:

    I’m a fan of Mary McDonnell (and Cpt. Raydor), so I’d be perfectly happy to see her succeed Kyra. I wouldn’t mind seeing her pick up a few tricks from the good Brenda Leigh, as well. I don’t expect that she’ll somehow become the new mistress of confessions, but it’d be cool if she was able to learn some things.

  7. Promoting Mary McDonnell to regular is a great idea, but it would be a huge mistake to continue the show replacing Sedgwick with Mary…because Sedgwick IS The Closer. Mary should be the lead in the Major Crimes spin-off. Heck, I’d watch it. I love Mary.

  8. dyanne says:

    kyra kyra kyra
    brenda leigh brenda leigh brenda leigh
    she IS the show!

    • woff says:

      stop selling the show short! There is more to the show than Brenda Leigh. The writers that bring us the clever stories and the cast members who support Kyra are great too. The show names Law and Order and NCIS have remained the same even though the cast has changed. The “Closer” is a postion not a person. Mary McDonnell will make that position to her own!

  9. Linda says:

    While Kyra would be missed, I love the rest of the cast too, and would miss them if they were off the air. So I hope TNT decides to keep the show going. I am not a fan of Raydor as a character, but if it keeps the show on the air, I could learn to live with the decision.

    I would like to here more actresses are in the running though.

  10. Dee says:

    No offense to Mary because she’s perfectly adequate but Brenda IS the Closer. Call it something else if you must ride this pony to the ground.

  11. Lorie says:

    I can’t see The Closer w/o Kyra Sedgwick.

  12. Maria says:

    Love Kyra and she will never be replace but I also love Mary and I think she will do AWESOME!!!!!

  13. LB says:

    Mary McDonnell is a wonderful and underrated actress who does deserve her own show. But her current character on The Closer is too underdeveloped and antagonistic to translate well into a series lead. The writers have a huge job ahead of them. If they can create a nuanced character, then I’m confident that Ms. McDonnell will do justice to the role.

  14. TarheelBlue says:

    I thank Mary would be a good replacement, but I am with Veronica–Losing Brenda Leigh is bad enough, but if Flynn and Provenza go, then I’m gone too.

  15. Summer says:

    Given the fact that she’s a series regular now, though, and that its a 21 episode season, I think that they have plenty of time to turn the character into someone more fleshed out and nuanced, worthy of leading a series.

  16. Nicole says:

    I’m not excited about this at all. I’ve never liked Raydor’s character, but could take her in intermittent small doses. Now I’m stuck with her for an entire season? Very lame. I hope that the show is spun off instead of being continued with Raydor in the title role. Brenda Leigh Johnson IS the closer. There is no replacing her. Plus, I want the show to end properly so that I can buy the entire series in a cute little boxed set.

  17. tahina45 says:

    Brenda Leigh is unique-I could never watch The Closer again without her. End of the story. Raydor should get the spinoff.

    • Clare says:

      Did you not read the article? That’s what it says will happen. Spin off..Major Crimes…

      • Dav says:

        Um Clare….did *you* read the article? Check out the question Michael asks at the bottom and stop picking on everyone for giving him a reply. Oh, and while you are most likely correct, it does say the “likely scenario”…not the guaranteed scenario.

  18. dan says:

    S7 is almost a season and a half long, so having Capt. Raydor around for that long will allow for a huge amount of development. It’ll also give Chief Johnson months to change/mold the captain.

  19. Beth says:

    Its all about Flynn and Provenza for me. Kyra makes the show, she is The Closer and it can’t have that title without her. But Flynn and Provenza are the backbone that any spinoff would need, and putting the focus on Raydor instead is a terrible idea. Mary McDonnell is fabulous, but I’ve never been that interested in her character. Raydor gets annoying. Provenza, on the other hand, makes me insanely happy.

  20. V says:

    I do agree with the whole the closer being Brenda. HOWEVER, Sharon would be the perfect character for a spin off and the lead for it!
    Mary is such a consummate actress that I am sure that even though her character is not liked at the moment (mostly because she goes against Brenda a lot) with a little fleshing out they would love her!

  21. XK says:

    No thanks… hate the character. I’ll stop watching the Closer when Kyra is done.

  22. Juliab says:

    Kyra Sedgwick is The Closer.

    If the spinoff happens, call it Major Crimes and have McDonnell be a part of that show.

    • clare says:

      The article says a spin off. Can’t people read?!

      • Mary May says:

        Jeeze Clare what is your problem?! She didn’t say there won’t be a spinoff. She just said “if it happens”. I think everyone here agrees it is a very likely scenario but it is by no means a done deal. Just an idea right now.

        Now be a good girl and go back and reread the entire article yourself and stop being such a douche.

  23. Mary says:

    I love Mary McDonnell on The Closer! I really hope that TNT is wise enough to make her a regular if they don’t have her at the helm of Major Crimes. Just because Raydor is in Internal Affairs doesn’t mean she can’t be promoted or shifted to a different division. Isn’t that what happens in real life police stations, robbery cops move to homicide or narcotics or so on? I love the chemistry between Mary and the guys in major crimes. I think a show with her will be on the right track for success. I’ll certainly be watching.

  24. Patricia Winegard says:

    I’m all for the spin off with the whole cast with McDonnell,renamimg the show Major Crimes,but leaving the door open for Kyra coming back if she choose’ too.

  25. Cheryl says:

    Kyra is totally The Closer, I would love to see her and ALL of the other squad members in a spin off..

  26. Robin Jenkins says:

    Love Mary! I only watched the closer because of Mary. I am a huge Mary fan so this is great news to me. I love Kyra too but Mary rocks

  27. Lindy999 says:

    OMG making Mary McDonnell a regular is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I love Kyra in The Closer but if she is leaving then Mary McDonnell all the way. So Say We All!!!

  28. tazzy says:

    I think Mary leading Major Crimes would be fantastic! In the last episode of the this most recent season, the writers put some subtle details in to help set the stage for a different side of Captain Raydor. I’m in!

  29. anonymous says:

    No thanks. She is awful on the show, the character is one dimensional, and what I’ve heard of her fans, they are crazy and stalkerish. Who needs that with a show?

    • Tam says:

      Perhaps her character is one dimensional now because she has only made brief appearances on the show and only for a specific purpose (to be a foil for Brenda.) Do you honestly think that the creators and writers of the Closer who gave us the wonderful Brenda Lee Johnson would not be able to flesh out her character and give us another great female lead?

  30. imagine10 says:

    The entire cast of the Closer is fantastic…I’d hate to see any leave, their chemistry would be hard to replace. And please, keep the humor…that makes the show. Like everyone else, the name would have to change as there is only one Closer and that is Kyra. I’m going to miss her parents and Fritz, too!

  31. Snsetblaze says:

    Everyone loves Flynn and Provenza and I do to but I’ve grown partial to Tau and I’d miss him too if the show went off the air.

  32. Teresa says:

    Reading some comments I wonder if some people knows that The Closer is ending… so Mary can´t be replacing Kyra in The Closer.

    • Jak says:

      Maybe you need to read the actual article. Michael asks what would we prefer and one of his choices is “A new Closer series with McDonnell at the helm” People are just responding to his question.

  33. Amber says:

    Meh. Mary is too good for this show. I would want her back on my TV on a regular basis as much as anyone but not ever again in this terrible excuse for a show.

    A spinoff ~with~ Mary McDonnell only if the writing improves , otherwise, no thanks.

    /personal opinion

  34. LDSK says:

    When they first announced the idea of a spin-off months ago the first thing I thought of was bringing in McDonnell to lead it. I think it’s a great idea and I hope they keep some of the original series characters as well.

  35. Maddy says:

    If the writers step up their game, and write Mary McDonnell a 3 dimensional character, instead of this ‘Enemy of Brenda-to-make-Brenda-look-more-awesome’ persona that she’s been forced to play, this might really work.
    I’d love for the show to acknowledge that playing it by the book (what Mary’s character is advocating) doesn’t actually mean you’re a bad cop; it means that you follow the law that you yourself make other people obey by.
    Anyway, Mary’s an incredibly talented actress, and deserves to be recognised for that. I hope the writing will reflect this too.

  36. sue says:

    I would miss Flynn,Provenza, Tau and Sanchez and the rest of the crew so much. I’d even be willing to put up with Raydor. But could you make her character more likable?

  37. chase says:

    Kyra did a great job in the Closer and will miss her when she leaves. Mary McDonnell will have the whole season to have her character as Captain Raydor develop and would be great as the lead in the spinoff, BUT please please please keep all the original cast members Flynn, Provenza, Tau, Gabriel, Pope and Sanchez. They have such a great dynamic and would be cool to see how they work under a new lead that they had such a prickly relationship so far with.

  38. tornado says:

    Yess! Put Raydor in charge of the same crew in a spinoff! If Kyra has to leave than Raydor would be the perfect choice to take things in a different direction. I’d love it if Flynn, Provenza, and Taylor stayed.

  39. Slippy says:

    I know I will get flack for saying this, but I was getting kind of annoyed with Kyra, not nearly enough character development. I would love to see what Mary McDonnell could do with more freedom to develop the Raydor character. What I am frustrated with are these split seasons. Why can’t the network let us get involved week after week and stay involved? I hate it with a few episodes here, and a few several months later. I often just give up and stop watching shows when they do that.

  40. Bella says:

    I’d watch a spinoff if starred Provenza and Flint doing private eye work or something like that, but if they just basically slide Captain Raydor into Brenda Leigh’s spot, then no, I won’t watch it. Raydor is so abrasive and manipulative that a little bit goes a long way. I’m not happy that she’s going to be a regular now.

  41. Tina says:

    OH EM GEE! Mary ‘she rocks my world’ McDonnell has become a series regular and I swear I just saw a Unicorn in my back yard. This is… an AWESOME FRAKKN DAY! Word!

  42. Colleen says:

    Bring on Mary McDonnell as the series star! Definitely!

  43. Jeri says:

    I do want it to continue with as much of the cast as possible.

    I love the show but I hate the way they break it up (three separate chunks — 10 this summer, five in the winter, and the final six next summer). You never know what a season is or when it’s done. The long breaks makes me feel cheated and like I can’t trust them to air the show.

  44. Betty says:

    I think Gabriel should be given a bigger part than he has now if they do go with Major Crimes. I hate to see Kyra leave but can understand why. You can only do a part for so long before it becomes humdrum. I wish her all the best. She is the Closer and no way could anyone replace her as Brenda. I will miss everyone on The Closer. They are terrific together as a team.

  45. Barbara says:

    It breaks my heart to lose Kyra. Obviously, Fritz will have to go, which is a shame. I love Brenda’s parents, too, and I’ll miss them as much as I’ll miss Brenda. But if they have to go, I sure hope they keep Will Pope, and I love Flynn and Provenza and the captain who never got an office (can’t remember his name off the top of my head). Gabriel and Tao and Sanchez and Raydor are fun, too. Heck, I’m attached to them all. I love these characters! Can’t TNT just keep the show going somehow? Give Kyra a raise or something!

  46. Barbara says:

    I cannot stand the character or the actress,the closer will finish if they use this horrid person.When Brenda leaves it should be some one completely new!

  47. Carol n Mike says:

    We are so used to and love Kyra with the rest of the cast plus the writers that bring us all these wonderful shows, that my hubby & I whole heartedly that “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”, thank you. They’ve all worked hard to make this show a winner so why change it?
    Go Kyra, cast, writers!

  48. Donna Grisham says:

    Without Kyra there is no Closer. Without her I will have lost yet another of my favorite programs. Mary does not work for me at all. Please try to keep Kyra on.

  49. sam says:

    I seriously don’t know if I can watch a show with Captain Raydor as a lead. Mary mc is a great actress, but her character is SO GRATING!!! i LOVE the rest of the cast though. Will not be happy to see Kyra go.

  50. Lynn says:

    It is going to be a long, drawn-out season, broken up into three parts over a one-year period. Maybe they can get Kyra Sedgewick to change her mind. What I would find interesting is if Lt. Sharon Raydor and and Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson both stayed on, and they fleshed out the relationship between the two of them. Maybe work on making Lt. Raydor more likable and less political and one-dimensional. I think they both make great foils for one another and it could lead to some exciting episodes when you add all the other quirky and lovable characters into the mix. If they can’t work that out, then I think that they should let the show go while it is on top. I’m tired of spin-offs, frankly. Mary McDonnell is a brilliant and gifted actress and deserves better than a spin-off of another show where comparisons will always be made. Maybe something made just for her. I firmly believe she deserves a character and a show specifically written for her and her skill set, which is tremendous.