With the popular TNT series "The Closer" ending its reign as the network's top-rated drama, it appears the spin-off series "Major Crimes" is set to inherit the crown.
The series features Mary McDonnell reprising her role from "The Closer" of Captain Sharon Raydor, the Internal Affairs officer who frequently butted heads with the Deputy Chief of Major Crimes played by Kyra Sedgwick. As her time on the series progressed, Raydor and Sedgwick's Brenda Johnson developed a professional respect, with Raydor taking over Major Crimes following Johnson's departure.
The transition of Raydor from antagonist to protagonist was a tricky one for McDonnell, as she told The Hollywood Reporter, "It was challenging because when you're clear about your function as a character in one form and you know that the next form is going to require you to open up other dimensions of the character, you have to constantly discipline yourself to make sure your movements are authentic. You can't just bring someone into a "likable" position all of a sudden, you have to be true to the human being in the first incarnation."
Clearly the audience had no reservations about joining Raydor and her crew: the spin-off launched following "The Closer"'s series finale, garnering promising ratings with 7.2 million viewers.
McDonnell explains she had no qualms about taking over series lead with Sedgwick's departure, "To be perfectly honest with you, it evolved so organically. It was a natural evolution. The whole idea that it would blossom into more of an ensemble was also a part of the equation. On the one hand, I knew and was quite happy to carry the bulk and I loved James Duff's writing and his mind -- the transition of this character from antagonist to protagonist, which I've never done in my career -- but I also felt very strongly about this whole group of people was a whole new show as well, I knew there was tons of story to be mined."
And what of the potential for Sedgwick to bring Brenda in for a visit to her old stomping grounds? McDonnell remains optimistic, stating "Wouldn't it be great? It would be fantastic because the fans would go berserk. It would be a hot ticket item, there's no doubt about it."
Major Crimes airs 9PM EST/8PM CST on TNT Mondays.