If TNT had its druthers, Brenda Leigh Johnson will be shaking down criminals with that odd Southern drawl for another decade or two.
But the actress Kyra Sedgwick is shutting down the candy factory in 2011 after seven seasons.
She didn’t cite a reason in a press release. This means 15 more episodes next year, not counting the current five-episode winter run.
The drama was the breakthrough original hit for TNT as it built up its “We Know Drama” imaging.
It typically draws six to seven million viewers a week, sometimes hitting eight. (Counting DVR use, it would exceed eight.) Most of its other dramas (”Hawthorne,” “Leverage,” “Memphis Beat”) are lucky to bring in three to four million. The only original drama so far to approach “The Closer” has been “Rizzoli & Isles,” which debuted last summer and one week even beat “The Closer,” a first.
Sedgwick, after four years of losing, won her first Emmy for best female actress in a drama this past September.
“Kyra blazed a new trail in the television landscape with her performance as Brenda Leigh Johnson,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in a press release. “Like her many fans, we will miss her terribly, and we will be forever grateful for the time we got to spend with her.”
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog