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!