After seven seasons, 'Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson' solved her final case on finale of The Closer on August 13 and made way for new spinoff Major Crimes. Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick shares why leaving the series was hard to do, hubby Kevin Bacon's new Fox show and what lies ahead for her.
By Amy Amatangelo
Kyra Sedgwick, award-winning star of TNT
show The Closer (pictured above after winning
the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead
Actress, Drama, for Closer in 2010).
One of the most successful programs in television history, TNT's The Closer drew 9.1 million viewers for its finale, beating all cable and broadcast competition, except for NBC's America's Got Talent (9.97 million viewers) and Sunday Night Football (9.51 million viewers) &mdash and delivering a strong set up for spinoff Major Crimes.
Primetime Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick, who plays the LAPD spitfire with a knack for getting confessions out of bad guys, did say she believed fans would be happy with how Brenda’s story ends:
“The writers did an amazing job ending this important journey and I think people will really love it.”
Lots of fans will still be sad be said to see the long-running drama end, she knows. "I’m sad," Sedgwick shared, "and it’s sad that Brenda’s gone."
"But I think fans will be satisfied with what we’ve given them over the last six episodes," she continued, "and what we’ve given them over the last seven years, which is: an intimate view of the justice system that they might not have seen before—and a connection with this complicated, unusual woman.”
The world of The Closer now continues on Major Crimes. The spin-off features the majority of the same cast, headlined by Mary McDonnell’s Captain Sharon Raydor, and premiered to more than 7 million viewers.
“I’m so thrilled and happy for them,” Sedgwick said of the new series, which airs Mondays at 9 p.m./8c on TNT. “[Leaving ‘The Closer’] was a really difficult decision and made more difficult by the reality that 130 people would be out of work because I decided that I creatively wanted to move on. It feels so self- centered when you think of it that way. It took a big weight off my shoulders knowing that they would continue to work.”
To Closer delight, there is a very real chance "Brenda" may pay a visit to Major Crimes. Just don’t expect to see Sedgwick on The Following, the new Fox drama that stars her husband Kevin Bacon.
She envisions herself playing a more behind-the-scenes role on that series. “I see me making paper bag lunches for him and rubbing his feet when he gets home, visiting the set and being a little cheerleading squad,” Sedgwick shared. “All the things he did for me when I was working, I would like to reciprocate.”
She thinks now that the series is over, she’ll have the time to reflect on what an amazing experience The Closer has been. “It’s really hard to take in the phenomenal response we’ve gotten over the years,” she reflected. “It’s so unusual and it’s so rarified. In a way, it’s almost too good to take in sometimes."
While she knew all along that her Closer family is "a really special group" and that this program is really special show, she said, time may prove this production experience even more exceptional.
"I think that it will only be in comparison with other things, which we all go on to do in the future," she explained, "then, we will realize how phenomenally special it really was.”
Journalist Amy Amatangelo is also published in the Boston Herald, Zap2It.com, the Washington Post and tweets at @AmyTVGal.
Originally published August 9, 2012. Juliana Bolden also contributed to the this story.
Emmys.com Nominees & Winners: Kyra Sedgwick