The Closer (TV Series 2005–2012)

TVSeries


The Closer (TV Series 2005–2012)

Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, formerly Atlanta police officer and CIA-trained interrogator, is given the opportunity to run her own division of elite officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. Her unusual procedure for obtaining confessions, blatant disregard for politics, and southern accent make her a marked woman. However, with all the bluster and bravado, she still maintains her title, The Closer.
USA
IMDb  7.6 /10
Metacritic   68%
Creators
Creator James Duff
Information
Release Date2005-06-13
Runtime46mins
GenreCrime, Drama, Mystery
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
AwardsWon 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 72 nominations.
CompanyThe Shephard/Robin Company, Walking Entropy, Warner Bros. Television
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Brenda Leigh Johnson 109 episodes, 2005-2012
Will Pope 109 episodes, 2005-2012
David Gabriel 109 episodes, 2005-2012
Russell Taylor 109 episodes, 2005-2012
Louie Provenza 109 episodes, 2005-2012
Fritz Howard 109 episodes, 2005-2012
Buzz Watson / ... 108 episodes, 2005-2012
Andy Flynn 108 episodes, 2005-2012
Mike Tao 107 episodes, 2005-2012
Julio Sanchez 105 episodes, 2005-2012
Irene Daniels 44 episodes, 2005-2009
Dr. Fernando Morales 39 episodes, 2007-2012

The Closer

The Closer is an American television police procedural starring Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, a Los Angeles Police Department deputy chief. Originally a CIA-trained detective from Atlanta, Georgia, Brenda has a reputation as a closer—an interrogator who not only solves a case, but also obtains confessions that lead to convictions, thus "closing" the case. She sometimes uses deceit and intimidation to persuade a suspect to confess. The series ran on TNT from June 13, 2005, to August 13, 2012.

The Closer was created by James Duff and the Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television. On July 11, 2011, the series began its seventh and final season, having finished its sixth season as cable's highest-rated drama. The Closer's final six episodes began airing on July 9, 2012, with its finale airing on August 13, 2012. Following the finale, The Closer's spin-off, Major Crimes, premiered.


Episodes

Each episode of The Closer deals with an aspect of the Los Angeles culture as it interfaces with law enforcement in the megacity. The show deals with complex and subtle issues of public policy, ethics, personal integrity, and questions of good and evil. The rather large character ensemble explores the human condition, touching on individual faiths, traditional religious influences in the lives and communities of contemporary society, and the breakdown and dysfunction of family systems, work teaming, and government responsibility. The first season began with Brenda Leigh Johnson arriving at the LAPD to lead the Priority Murder Squad (PMS), quickly renamed Priority Homicide Division (PHD), a team that originally dealt solely with high-profile murder cases (seasons one to four).

During season four, an embarrassing tangle with the press over just what criteria make a homicide a priority allowed Brenda to manipulate circumstances so that the division was upgraded to a much larger major crimes division with a wider scope, though most plots still focused on homicides. Most importantly to the show's plotlines, Commander Taylor's role was also changed from "rival and in-house adversary" to that of "unambiguously loyal subordinate", so he was thereafter reporting directly to Brenda and noticeably helpful as he coordinated interaction between the MCD and other units.

Season five introduced Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor of the Force Investigations Division. Raydor and Brenda start out as rivals, but gradually develop grudging respect for each other and form an uneasy alliance. McDonnell went on to star in The Closer's spin-off, Major Crimes.

During the final season, Brenda finds herself in civil legal difficulties as a result of the events in "War Zone" (season six, episode eight), and the LAPD concludes that a disloyal subordinate must be generating information leaks from within MCD. Taylor and Raydor take an active role in attempting to combat the leaker, and the legal matters do not reach a final resolution until the series' end, in the episode "The Last Word".

On December 10, 2010, TNT announced that the seventh season of The Closer, which began production in the spring of 2011, would be the last. The channel said that the decision to retire the show was made by Sedgwick. On January 30, 2011, it was announced that the final season would add six episodes to the usual 15-episode order, building toward the spin-off series, Major Crimes.


Characters

The cast consists largely of an ensemble of detectives who make up the LAPD's fictional Major Crimes Division. It is led by Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, played by Kyra Sedgwick. Some observers have noted strong similarities between Brenda and Jane Tennison, Helen Mirren's lead character in the British crime drama Prime Suspect, with an article in USA Today claiming The Closer to be "an unofficial Americanization" of the British drama. In interviews, Sedgwick has acknowledged that the show owes "a debt" to Prime Suspect and her admiration for that show and Mirren were factors that first interested her in the role.

Other main characters include Brenda's superior officer, Assistant Chief Will Pope (J. K. Simmons), Robbery-Homicide Division Commander Russell Taylor (Robert Gossett), and her FBI agent boyfriend-then-husband Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney). The remainder of the cast makes up Brenda's squad, each with expertise in a specific area, such as crime-scene investigation or gang activity. The first and only departure from the regular cast occurred in season five, when actress Gina Ravera left and her character, Detective Irene Daniels, was transferred to another division.

Mary McDonnell, a recurring cast member in seasons five and six, joined the cast full-time for season seven, continuing her role as Captain Sharon Raydor.

Main cast and characters

  • Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) deputy chief, Major Crimes Division. Originally a CIA-trained police detective from Atlanta, Georgia, she is the interrogation specialist Will Pope calls a "closer".
  • J. K. Simmons as Will Pope, LAPD assistant chief for operations, acting chief of police during season six and interim chief of police during season seven.
  • Corey Reynolds as David Gabriel, LAPD sergeant, is a laterally appointed detective sergeant from season five onward.
  • Robert Gossett as Russell Taylor, LAPD captain, is initially assigned to Robbery-Homicide Division, promoted to commander in season two, and appointed LAPD interdepartmental liaison in season four.
  • G. W. Bailey as Louie Provenza, LAPD detective lieutenant, is second-in-command of MCD.
  • Tony Denison as Andy Flynn, LAPD detective lieutenant, is transferred from Robbery-Homicide to MCD during season one.
  • Jon Tenney as Fritz Howard, Senior Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is the FBI-LAPD liaison from season six onwards.
  • Michael Paul Chan as Michael Tao, LAPD detective lieutenant, is the scientific investigation specialist (regular: seasons 3–7; recurring: seasons 1–2)
  • Raymond Cruz as Julio Sanchez, LAPD detective, is the guns and gangs specialist (regular: seasons 3–7; recurring: seasons 1–2)
  • Gina Ravera as Irene Daniels, LAPD detective, is the forensic accounting specialist (regular: seasons 3–4; recurring: seasons 1–2)
  • Phillip P. Keene as Buzz Watson, LAPD civilian surveillance coordinator, handles video and audio tasks. (regular: seasons 4–7; recurring: seasons 1–3)
  • Mary McDonnell as Sharon Raydor, LAPD captain, Force Investigation Division, is also Women's Coordinator for the LAPD (regular: season 7; recurring: seasons 5–6)

Cultural impact

Both gender researchers and members of the media have claimed that the series "expanded the vocabulary of what is acceptable for women as seen through the lens of popular culture."

"We've certainly seen women in powerful positions before," says author and gender researcher Maddy Dychtwald, pointing out Angie Dickinson in 1974's Police Woman, and Cagney & Lacey from 1981. "But those women were largely token in a sea of dominant males, and most important, strove to be like the men that surrounded them." In contrast, Dychtwald says the former CIA-trained interrogator and Atlanta police detective played by Kyra Sedgwick, "retains (and revels in) her femininity, keeps her composure, can handle the two 'sexist pigs' who bait her due to their jealousy and insecurities, and not lose her head."

Media experts also noted that the series helped redefine the place of basic cable channels alongside network programming:

Beyond gently tweaking the popular image of women in power, "The Closer" has helped redefine the power balance between basic cable and broadcast networks, says Fordham University media expert Paul Levinson. Just glance at the equal number of recent Emmy nominations for basic and premium cable shows is confirmation, he adds. Beyond that, says More Magazine Entertainment Director Kathy Heintzelman, the off-season placement—the show launched in the summer and continues to air its seasons in counterbalance to the traditional network schedule—has helped redefine viewing habits. "It's helped people get used to the idea that summer is a time to watch original series on televisions," she adds.

U.S. television ratings

The Closer's debut was viewed by more than 7 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research and was the top-rated premiere episode ever of any original scripted series on basic cable. The second- (8.28) and third-season (8.81) premieres broke the previous record. Viewer numbers (based on average total viewers per episode) of The Closer on TNT:

SeasonSeason premiereSeason finale
DateViewers
Total
(in millions)
Viewers
Households
(in millions)
DateViewers
Total
(in millions)
Viewers
Households
(in millions)
1June 13, 20057.035.26September 5, 20056.394.61
2June 12, 20068.286.04September 4, 20067.605.45
3June 18, 20078.816.38September 10, 20079.216.84
4July 14, 20087.815.91September 15, 20087.635.00
5June 8, 20097.145.35August 24, 20097.405.50
6July 12, 20107.665.72September 13, 20107.205.43
7July 11, 20117.23TBAAugust 13, 20129.08TBA

At the end of season three, The Closer became ad-supported cable's most-viewed scripted series of all time, ending the season with a live + same-day audience of 9.21 million viewers in 6.84 million households. The third-season finale holds the record for the largest live + 7-day audience for a single episode of an ad-supported cable series with 9.55 million viewers in 6.88 million households. Live + 7 day (DVR) data for the season reflect 30–40% audience growth in three key age-based demographic groups. Season four's premiere slipped slightly from the season-three opening, with live + same-day ratings showing a 3% decline in audience from the previous year's opener. For its Season Six premiere, on July 12, 2010, the show reached an estimated 7.66 million viewers.


Home media

Warner Home Video has released all seven seasons of The Closer on DVD in Region 1.

DVD TitleRegion 1Region 4 (Australia)Region 2 (Germany)Region 2 (France)
The Complete First SeasonMay 29, 2007February 7, 2007December 13, 2013April 18, 2007
The Complete Second SeasonMay 29, 2007October 3, 2007November 29, 2013July 18, 2007
The Complete Third SeasonJuly 1, 2008October 1, 2008January 17, 2014August 27, 2008
The Complete Fourth SeasonMay 26, 2009March 3, 2010January 17, 2014October 28, 2009
The Complete Fifth SeasonJune 29, 2010November 10, 2010January 17, 2014March 2, 2011
The Complete Sixth SeasonJune 21, 2011November 2, 2011January 17, 2014March 7, 2012
The Complete Seventh And Final SeasonAugust 21, 2012October 27, 2012February 7, 2014August 28, 2013
The Complete Season 1-7N/AOctober 31, 2012December 18, 2014October 16, 2013
SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113June 13, 2005September 5, 2005
215June 12, 2006December 4, 2006
315June 18, 2007December 3, 2007
415July 14, 2008February 23, 2009
515June 8, 2009December 21, 2009
615July 12, 2010January 3, 2011
721July 11, 2011August 13, 2012

Awards and accolades

Until the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2011, Kyra Sedgwick had made history as being the only actress in the history of television to be nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award every year that the show aired in the eligibility period.

List of Screen Actors Guild Award nominations
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryNomineeResult
12th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2005)January 29, 2006Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
Ensemble in a Drama SeriesRegular CastNominated
13th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2006)January 28, 2007Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
14th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2007)January 27, 2008Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
Ensemble in a Drama SeriesRegular CastNominated
15th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2008)January 25, 2009Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
Ensemble in a Drama SeriesRegular CastNominated
16th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009)January 23, 2010Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
Ensemble in a Drama SeriesRegular CastNominated
Stunt Ensemble in a Television SeriesStunt TeamNominated
17th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2010)January 30, 2011Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
Ensemble in a Drama SeriesRegular CastNominated
Stunt Ensemble in a Television SeriesStunt TeamNominated
18th Screen Actors Guild Awards (2011)January 29, 2012Female Actor in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
List of Saturn Award nominations
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryNomineeResult
32nd Saturn Awards (2005)May 2, 2006Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
33rd Saturn Awards (2006)May 10, 2007Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
Best Actress on TelevisionKyra SedgwickNominated
34th Saturn Awards (2007)June 24, 2008Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
Best Actress on TelevisionKyra SedgwickNominated
35th Saturn Awards (2008)June 25, 2009Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
Best Actress on TelevisionKyra SedgwickNominated
36th Saturn Awards (2009)June 24, 2010Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
Best Actress on TelevisionKyra SedgwickNominated
37th Saturn Awards (2010)June 23, 2011Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
Best Actress on TelevisionKyra SedgwickNominated
38th Saturn Awards (2011)July 26, 2012Best Syndicated/Cable Television SeriesNominated
Best Actress on TelevisionKyra SedgwickNominated
List of Primetime Emmy Awards and nominations
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryNomineeResult
58th Primetime Emmy Awards (2006)August 27, 2006Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
59th Primetime Emmy Awards (2007)September 16, 2007Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008)September 21, 2008Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009)September 20, 2009Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickNominated
62nd Primetime Emmy Awards (2010)August 29, 2010Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickWon
Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesBeau BridgesNominated
63rd Primetime Emmy Awards (2011)September 18, 2011Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesMary McDonnellNominated
List of Golden Globe Awards and nominations
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryNomineeResult
63rd Golden Globe Awards (2006)January 16, 2006Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
64th Golden Globe Awards (2007)January 15, 2007Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickWon
65th Golden Globe Awards (2008)January 13, 2008Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
66th Golden Globe Awards (2009)January 11, 2009Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
67th Golden Globe Awards (2010)January 17, 2010Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
68th Golden Globe Awards (2011)January 16, 2011Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
List of other awards and nominations
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryNomineeResult
Satellite Awards (2005)December 17, 2005Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickWon
Imagen Awards (2006)August 18, 2006Best Supporting ActorRaymond CruzWon
Best Supporting ActressGina RaveraNominated
Satellite Awards (2006)December 18, 2006Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickWon
Gracie Awards (2006)Female Lead in a Drama SeriesKyra SedgwickWon
Satellite Awards (2007)December 16, 2007Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
Writers Guild of America Awards (2007)February 9, 2008Episodic Drama"The Round File"Nominated
Satellite Awards (2008)December 14, 2008Best Actress – Television Series DramaKyra SedgwickNominated
35th People's Choice Awards (2008)January 7, 2009Favorite TV Drama DivaKyra SedgwickWon
PRISM Awards (2008)Best Drama Episode"Till Death Do Us" Parts 1 and 2Nominated
41st NAACP Image Awards (2010)February 26, 2010Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesCorey ReynoldsNominated
PRISM Awards (2011)Best Drama Series Episode"Old Money"Nominated
Best Performance in a Drama EpisodeAnthony John DennisonNominated
GoldDerby SNUBBEE Awards (2011)Outstanding Snubbed Lead Actress (Comedy or Drama)Kyra SedgwickNominated

Streaming

The Closer is available to stream on WarnerMedia's HBO Max, which launched on May 27, 2020.


International distribution

  • Latin America: Space, TNT Series
  • Albania: TVSH
  • Australia: Nine Network, GEM
  • Austria: ORF, ATV
  • Belgium: 2BE, VIJF, 13th Street
  • Brazil: SBT, TNT Séries
  • Bulgaria: Nova Television (Seasons one-three)(new season sx), Diema 2 (season four-present), Fox Crime (repeats)
  • Canada English: Super Channel
  • Canada French: Séries+
  • Croatia: HRT 2
  • Estonia: Kanal 2
  • Finland: MTV3
  • Norway: TVNorge
  • France: France 2
  • Georgia: Georgian Public Broadcaster
  • Germany: VOX
  • Greece: Star Channel
  • Hungary: RTL Klub, VIASAT3
  • Ireland: Channel 6 now 3e/TV3
  • Israel: Yes Action
  • Italy: Mediaset Premium (pay); Italia 1, Rete 4 (free)
  • Japan: LaLa TV
  • Lithuania: BTV
  • Netherlands: NET 5, 13th Street
  • New Zealand: TV One
  • Philippines: Jack City
  • Poland: TVP2, 13th Street Universal Poland
  • Portugal: Fox Crime
  • Russia: DTV
  • Singapore: WarnerTV
  • Malaysia: WarnerTV
  • Serbia: TV Avala
  • Slovenia: Kanal A (Seasons 1–4), POP Brio (season five–present)
  • South Korea: Story on , OCN Series
  • Spain: Calle 13, Cuatro, FDF, Divinity
  • Sweden: TV3
  • Switzerland: RTS Un, RSI La 1
  • Turkey: CNBC-e
  • United Kingdom: FOX UK
  • Uruguay: Canal 10
  • South Africa: M-Net