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!

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  1. Sandra says:

    I do not like the Capt. Raydor character and would definitely not like her replacing Brenda. The other team members are phenomenal and get great lines! Keep the team together and maybe put Capt. Taylor over them or let the team report directly to Pope! NOT RAYDOR!

  2. mays laddie says:

    mcdonnel is a fine actress but not as a replacement. maybe her own series but brenda is such a complex and paradoxical figure that running a similar sries would be only highlighting the power of kyras performance and underlining the huge loss of our connection to her multi layered morals and our frustrations at trying to back her when .we know that shes violated OUR morals and ethics just to “get her man”

  3. Robyn Williams says:

    If Ms. Sedgewick leaves, The Closer, should fold. She is the star, the Closer. Everyone on the show is very talented, and there is great chemistry, but she is the glue. I am not a fan of Lt. Sharon Raydor/McDonnell and would hate to see a show with some or all of the supporting case around her character. However, a new show, a spin-off with as many of the support case as possible, preferably bringing Ms. Gina Ravera back on the scene, (should never have left in the first place), would be great too. They are all interesting characters, and could be developed further. Plot is always good, but fans like to see character development too. I am very sorry Ms. Sedgewick wants to leave. It is the only interesting show on television. I had hoped Kevin Bacon would guest star at least once and that some of the past criminals that had eluded Brenda Lee Johnson, might reappear. All in all, it is a great series, with talented actors and witty writers. So sad it must end.

  4. Fan from Australia says:

    I’m sure they’ve started Captain Raydor off that way deliberately, people will enjoy seeing her soften as she gets to know the rest of the team and you watch, they’ll all love her eventually, remember how much they hated Brenda at first.

  5. connie says:

    i love,love,love this show so much anything you do to keep it on the air is okay, just don’t lose provenze, flynn, tau and sanchez. i will miss brenda lee so much, but that is her decision. keep will pope and fritzie, please. this show is so great, keep it for all the many people that watch it faithfully. i watch all the reruns, know all the dialogue and still can’t get enough. PLEASE, PLEASE.

  6. RickyDee says:

    I LOVE the Closer. Captain Raydor, with the current cast (except for Fritz, which I love, but would be awkward) wil be a great show! But, I don’t get Kyra leaving. Didn’t she and hubby, Kevin, lose their fortune?

  7. Wendy says:

    I think if they make Major Crimes as an ensemble cast with no lead, then it will be a decent show. I don’t think I really like the idea of Raydor being the head of Major Crimes though. Is she going to become the new Deputy Chief? Are we going to have the same scenario as The Closer where they all hate her, but then end up caring for her after the first season? I really would prefer that someone else becomes Deputy Chief and Raydor just becomes a member of the team, rather than the leader. That way it doesn’t just look like Raydor has replaced Brenda. Seeing as Raydor is just starting to get used to interviewing suspects, it would be better if in Major Crimes they would all take turns in who would interview the suspects.

    I think my biggest fear about having this new show is what will happen to Brenda? They can’t end The Closer now with all the gang continuing with the work because they’re going to have this new spinoff with many of the same characters. Therefore Brenda HAS to leave Major Crimes. So what will happen to her? If they promoted her to Chief or Assistant Chief, would it not seem strange that we never see her in Major Crimes? I get the feeling she’ll leave the LAPD altogether and perhaps her and Fritz will move to D.C where he’ll continue to work for the FBI.

    I love so many of the characters in The Closer, but Brenda is the centre, the glue that holds it all together. I think I’ll find it hard to watch Major Crimes with these characters without Brenda being apart of it. My favourite part about this show is Brenda’s interogations of suspects and how she pieces it altogther.

    A Spin off is usually using 1 or 2 characters from a show and starting a new one with them and a whole new cast. Major Crimes is starting to sound like they’re just re-naming The Closer and replacing the lead female with another female. I think if I’m happy with how The Closer ends and Brenda’s fate, then I’ll most likely watch Major Crimes. But if I don’t like the ending, I will skip this show.

  8. Sue and Melanie says:

    We want Kyra Sedgewick to stay. We are great admirers of her work. TNT should make it worth her (and her casts) while to stay. This is the best show on TV since CSI started and we just can’t let it go!

    TNT execs! Listen up!

  9. Joyce says:

    Capt.Raydor character is abrasive and will not watch if she is the lead or in it more than occasionally. Quit making women leaders into super-bitches. Brenda was a feminine strong leader with faults but likable. The rest of the squad were all good, also. “The Closer” was Brenda so a spin-off needs a new name. Will miss you Kyra.

  10. Gary Lester says:

    By all means keep the closer going, put Mary McDonnell in charge. Great actress.

  11. Wendy says:

    After seeing the episode Death Warrant, I’m sure many watchers like Captain Raydor a lot more than they once did. It was a great episode that showed us a more likable Raydor and the squad is also beginning to accept her.

    I’m still not convinced about a spin off, I think The Closer should be able to end without the talk of a new spin off hanging over it.

  12. justin says:

    Mary will be great, the writters and actors on the closer are amazing. I think raydors charactor could be a very interesting show. She is intellegent, sharp tongued and knows what she wants like brenda

  13. lori says:

    I would like to see the show go on under a different name with Mary’s character at the lead. I think that’s what they will do. I’ll watch it. I think my Mom would also watch it.

  14. bp says:

    Mary is my new favorite. I hope they promote Myra to chief so she can guest star

  15. Sandy says:

    TNT please keep Kyra, she’s great in the show & makes the show.I love all the other actors also. Great Show…

  16. Roy and Valerie says:

    Oh, PLS keep both. They are GREAT together but to remove chief Brenda Lee and the rest of the cast would be a MAJOR letdown. My husband and I so enjoyed the show and the relational dynamic between the cast entire cast we were virtually ADDICTED to the show! When we learned Kyra was cancelling the show we wanted to write her and form a PROTEST outside her door to NOT do this. The only disappointing show we saw was the one supporting tge homosexual lifestyle otherwisectge show had a generally wholesome air not particularly seen much anymore on weekly television. Keep the show with ALL its cast members including McDonnells new promotion and call it Closer&Closer – not -Major crimes. Please, please…pretty please?!?

  17. India waller says:

    I love Keria, I wish she would stay. I can’t wait to see wgat they do with Mary and the team. I hope it can stand up. If they don’t bring it, than will kise one fauthful watcher. Hurts my heart. I love the whole Closer cast.

  18. Betty parmesan says:

    Lovethisshow… If you donothave Kkyra mRy ISA good character to have a new show…. I will not miss this. Kyra u r great and all will is u… See u in the movies.. Say hi to husband.

  19. D. Chan says:

    Mary McDonnell is not up to the role as a good interrogator. She has to be that legitimate person for the rule of law – to protect the civil rights interests of society and LAPD’s long arm of the law. I agree that the new series should be a spin-off something what JAG and NCIS have done so successful. You need someone now for Major Crimes not just as a good interrogator but somehow who have legal skills as well as forensic sciences and psychology. The new series also requires some modifications as to what the current Closer series has done. Otherwise you cannot pries the role of DC Brenda Lee Johnson. Please also transfer out that Commander as his role is only a political thorn.

  20. Jennifer wilkins says:

    Without Kyra …the Closer should be closed. Mary is an excellent actress…but …sorry. I would not watch without my girl Kyra