Kyra Sedgwick's Case for Leaving The Closer:
'I Want To Go Out While We're On Top'

That Kyra Sedgwick’s voice wavered and cracked as she touted The Closer‘s upcoming seventh and final season at last week’s TNT Upfront event comes as no surprise. After all, Brenda Leigh Johnson is a role that garnered the actress five Emmy nominations, including her first-ever win last go-round, and put her in the company of many fine writers and actors.

“It’s obviously very emotional for me,” Sedgwick shared with TVLine not long after taking the stage. “Making this decision was really hard.”

So why punch out? In the end, it was Brenda’s exemplary ability to do her job that prompted Sedgwick to give up hers. That is, the rock-steady stream of murders to be investigated — and almost unerringly solved, within an episode’s frame — left the actress itching to do more.

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Sedgwick’s two children (with actor-husband Kevin Bacon) are now both young adults, so spending more time at home wasn’t a factor, she says, “and it certainly wasn’t about not adoring this character or these people [I work with]. But at the end of the day, [The Closer]‘s still a procedural, and I think that probably fit into my decision a bit. Even though there’s all this amazing character stuff, that’s still what it is.”

“I thought about it for about a year, and it finally came down to the fact that I really want to do other things, creatively,” she adds. “I’m an artist, and I want to express myself in other ways and other places.”

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When Sedgwick herself announced The Closer‘s final season in December, the press release included quotes from the actress and top execs from both Turner and Warner Bros. Television. Series creator James Duff, however, was somewhat conspicuously MIA. But Sedgwick dismisses the idea that he wasn’t on board with her desire to call it a day.

“Oh, he knew. I told him first,” says Sedgwick, who is an executive producer on the hit drama. “I told [fellow EPs] Michael [M. Robin] and Greer [Shephard] and James and Rick [Wallace], and we cried…. They were like, ‘You’re an artist, and this is what you have to do.’ And then I called the cast immediately, because I didn’t want them to hear it from anybody but me.”

Surveying the room as we spoke to her, Sedgwick had in her eye line castmates such as JK Simmons (who plays Pope), Corey Reynolds (Gabriel), Robert Gossett (Taylor), and her TV husband, Jon Tenney. “I love [the show] and I love everybody so much,” she expressed, “but I also want to go out while we’re on top, when people still want to see us.”

The Closer‘s Main Men Sound Off On Spinoff

Fortunately for the people who love The Closer, there are two bits of solace. One, the seventh season will be some 50 percent larger than usual, spreading 21 episodes across the coming summer (starting July 11), a brief winter stretch, and then wrapping things up in summer 2012.

Also, TNT is all set to serve up a spinoff — titled Major Crimes and starring Mary McDonnell as Capt. Sharon Raydor — the instant Brenda Leigh bids us adieu, invariably with a big Southern “Thank you!”

“I’m really glad that they’re going to go on and do another show,” Sedgwick says. “That really helps soften the blow.”

And what is the theme for The Closer‘s closing run? “Love and Loss,” Sedgwick reports, “which is appropriate. It’s exactly the way you want the character to go out.”

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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128 Comments
  1. Nb1 says:

    Loser—-not—looser–you idiot! Unless we are talking about loose skin…

  2. mary says:

    Ugh. Not Captain Raydor! She’s so boring!!

  3. TC says:

    Sorry to see the Closer end, it is my favorite. Wish the cast well!
    Wish Kyra would reconsider.

  4. Best wishes kyra, because whatever you decide to do in the future I know it will be a success. I love you,
    Could marathons be in the future for the closer?

  5. jackie says:

    PLEASE DON’T GO!

  6. Katie says:

    Why does it have to go? Everyone that was in this series made it awesome. Since none can get to be as good as Kyra is then what is the point of starting a another series. But if they can find someone as awesome as Kyra, I’m all ears but it still would never be the same. Never, i may get used to it but not to used to it. If you know what i mean. And from all the other people who say this. Were going to miss everyone if one person leaves it just makes a big empty hole that no one can fit cuz its the size that the character left behind and no one can fit the shoes the same way another person does. That is all needs to say.

  7. I have enjoyed this show so much and will miss it when it’s gone. Look forward to the last season. Kyra, you are great!!!! You are so down to earth, so beautiful and such a wonderful actress. The whole gang really clicks. I will miss all of you. Everyone knows I don’t answer the phone when The Closer is on!!!!! Kyra, I wish you the best in the future. I just admire you so much—I hope to see you a lot on other things. Thank you for giving us all of this pleasure of enjoying The Closer. I retired in January of this year and take care of my 97 year old Dad but at 1:00 to 2:00 every day I have to watch all my buds!!!! Take care and good luck to every one of you. You will all be missed. It’s kind of like a death in the family. I’m pretty pitiful, huh? Bye, eh

  8. Skh says:

    I am so sad. Yes I will watch the new show but I will miss Brenda. Being a southern girl myself, I have always cringed at fake or exaggerated southern accents but have totally loved Brenda. I will miss her and will watch all reruns.

  9. Cynthia says:

    I love Kyra in the Closer. I always looked forward to watching her every Monday night. I wish her luck in whatever she chooses to do next. You will ve missed.

  10. Savannah says:

    It needed another season to finish up its characters’ stories.

  11. Kim B says:

    Gabriel and Pope aren’t moving over to the spinoff, Major Crimes. One or both of them must be the leak.

  12. Sherrie says:

    I am sad that they are ending The Closer, w the reality shows taking over, everything is going away, this show was one hope of real TV left. I am going to miss Brenda Leigh Johnson from the show, but one no one has bothered to mention is Gabriel, so sad he won’t join the team, he was too easy to think of if he is the mole, or not fare probably kill him off, when they could of had Pope be the mole since he won’t be back. You still have a fan in me Gabriel. I’m sorry but I really wish the whole crew minus Johnson would come back and Raydor be the mole, js…

  13. Harriett Shepherd says:

    I, like thousands of other fans, am deeply saddened to hear that The Closer is “closing” it’s final case/episode. As a woman, I felt that Kyra’s character successfully depicted the soft feminine side of a woman yet at the same time an equal amount of strength and confidence that demanded respect from everyone. I really appreciated the fact that she always “could hold her own.” Her role as a southerner especially intrigued me. She faced the stereotypes that are associated with southerners, i.e., the exaggerated drawl, the “thank you’s”, the “yall’s”, etc., yet she never felt she had to apologize for who she was and where she came from. After all, intelligence has nothing to do with geography. And, she constantly faced the obtacles of the “glass ceiling” with being a woman in a career mostly filled by men. Yet, she never backed down from any of this. Again, she “held her own.” Kyra, thanks for being such a great role model for women of all ages and all backgrounds for the past seven years. We will miss you and the entire cast…especially Provenza and Flynn! I wish you well.

    Harriett Shepherd; Columbia, South Carolina

  14. Bridgett says:

    My husband and I just started really watching every episode to catch up and now I am deeply disappointed The Closer is ending. I don’t personally think you let a character remain a character in one’s mind because no one will ever answer the question for you. It is like reading a book that never really ends; the book like the characters leave you hanging there. The most recent book I read that did this was The Help. I am still traumatized.

    Look at Seinfeld, it ran until the wheels fell off and it is still funny! I think The Closer would have been one of those memorable shows, but we will never know… see what I mean, we will never know.

    Lots of love and luck, We Still Love You In Ohio!

  15. wanda says:

    kyra, you are truly going to be missed.. i just hope the new major crimes show last. you had such chemistry with all the cast i just dont know. but i wish you all the best and i just found out earlier this year you was married to kevin bacon. you make a great couple. gooooood luck kyra..we love you

  16. Toni Harbage says:

    The Closer was refreshing and it was well written without bowing down to making it suit those who think we want nasty language and backdoor sex. Congratulations to all who were involved. Thank heavens for re-runs and I am looking forward to Major Crimes. If I have to spend another night scanning for simething interesting and all I find is another reality show. It is ill. Please spare us.

  17. Sheila Batch says:

    Brenda Leigh had me at the first episode, and I’ve never been disappointed. I really hate to see her go, although I do understand. I love whole cast. They all work so well together. I agree with Beverly Kirk. Such a breath of fresh air as far as mystery, drama and crime investigation. TNT you have been doing such a great job with your programming. I usually just leave my TV on your station, and TVO when I have to work. I wish you well Kyra, I’ll be looking for you where every you appear.

    Lonert33 – August 6, 2012

  18. L62/50 says:

    Sedgwick, I’m going to have to look up every thing you played in; I love you and will miss you from the CLOSER. One movie I love you in was with Julia Roberts as her sister (the name fell me now). God bless you in all you do

  19. Joan Becket says:

    sad :( it is my favorite show and practically the only show left w/out raunchy material
    i wish you would have hung in there a little longer for our sake, Kyra. we love you !

  20. Joan Becket says:

    i do wish you the best though.

  21. FAN OF ALL FANS says:

    I’VE WATCHED FROM 1ST EPISODE TO TODAY WILL BE THE LAST… and yes house has become. Dead… The closer was my family night show .. I will miss it, although major crimes seems to be the same damn show with changes made provenza will continue to have me rolling with his screw ups…. Capt radar I loved in the closer because it brought another powerful. Woman to challenge. Brenda. I hate to see fritz, Gabriel, leave . A nd not appear on major crimes . This sucks but shows come and go …and another great one will surface.

  22. C2cdude says:

    Going to miss her, and I hope her the best. Hope she starts another hit program. I’m comparing the both. Right now the score is 9.5 to. .5, Hope pope and the other two ying-yang’s at least get gunned down by the third show…..That right there would save LA from the rule queenie, and the lazy back stabler. Good by TBS…

  23. Gaea says:

    I was wondering if anyone knows why Kyra Sedgewick (as Brenda) looks at the mouth of the person she is talking to. Is this a trick used in acting? If it is, what does it accomplish. I know some people in real life do this because of hearing problems. I have seen one or two other actors do this.

  24. PLEASE COME BACK–YOUR PRESENCE WAS A JOY–SO MUCH FUN!!! MISS YOU, MISS YOU, MISS YOU.

    GREAT GRANDMA SUE

  25. cats & dogs says:

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  26. Deb says:

    Would love to see Mary and Krya together. Ok miss kyra Sedgwick miss Mrs. Bacon

  27. Joyce Strong says:

    As a fan of the closer, I respect Ms Sedgwick’s decision to leave the Closer. However, the Major Crime show is awful; mainly because of the character Rusty. Why is he being continued in that series? I will not watch this show.

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