Closure will elude longtime fans of The Closer as its Major Crimes spinoff concludes its run in January.
As first reported by TVLine, the upcoming sixth season of Major Crimes (premiering Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 98/8c) will be its last. And though series creator James Duff saw the writing on the wall around the time he was midway through producing the upcoming 13-episode run, an encore by Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh Johnson aka The Closer’s titular crimesolver was not in the cards.
Ever since The Closer segued into the Mary McDonnell-led Major Crimes in the summer of 2012, “I had a deal with Kyra for three guest-starring episodes. But she’s been very busy,” Duff tells TVLine. “She produced a TV series [TNT’s Proof] and she’s doing Ten Days in the Valley (currently airing Sundays on ABC).” And that’s in addition to the Emmy-winning actress’ recurring run on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and roles in a series of indie films.
“Kyra and I are good friends. I count her one of my very, very best friends. And I love her to death,” Duff makes clear. “If she could have worked it out, I would have worked it out… she would have been on the show. She wanted to do it, and I wanted her to do it. We just never got the schedules right.”
Which is not to say that Brenda Leigh won’t be there for the final episode in spirit. “There is a big mention of her in the finale” being filmed this week, Duff shares.
CAN MAJOR CRIMES BE SAVED?
As for whether this might not necessarily be “case closed” for Major Crimes, whether another outlet might ride to the rescue, Duff is skeptical: “I don’t know if there is another platform for this show, if anybody is interested in our audience. And I can’t say for sure whether we could do that or not. There are a lot of complications involved.”
Netflix — which it has to be noted hasn’t “saved” a newly cancelled series in three years — “is not the place we would go,” Duff states. “There are other streaming platforms that might be interested, but I don’t know if that’s a possibility. There are certain impediments,” including ownership. (As he later explained via Facebook, “Major Crimes is the property of Warner Brothers Television Studio; most other distribution platforms are focused on not only airing new shows, but also owning them.”)
WHY DID TNT PULL THE PLUG?
“Our numbers held up,” Duff says — and indeed TNT’s own “final season” press release notes that Major Crimes “has consistently ranked as one of cable’s most-watched drama series.” Season 6 averaged 3.2 million weekly viewers in Live+Same Day numbers, easily the most of any TNT drama. (That audience swells to 7.7 million with DVR playback, SVOD and what not.) And though Major Crimes skews older than The Librarians (entering Season 4 this winter) and Claws (already renewed for Season 2), Duff notes, “We do as well in the demo as Animal Kingdom,” which was renewed months ago for Season 3..
What about Major Crimes‘ price tag, six seasons in? “It’s not an expensive show to do,” Duff claims. “[TNT is] not cancelling it because it costs a lot of money. They just want the money for something else.”