The dreaded news came in September for diehards of ‘Rizzoli & Isles,’ when creator and showrunner Janet Tamaro stepped down in a move that always gives chills and worry throughout any show’s fanbase. It doesn’t always spell doom, but it doesn’t always work the best either; just see ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 2, ‘Community’ Season 4, or ‘The West Wing’ Season 5.
The pressure and expectations falls on Jan Nash, who was announced will now take over the series heading into Season 5, as first reported by Deadline.
Not only will she need to appease and endear the especially ardent fans who have made ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ the most popular TNT show of all time, and who are already very protective of their leading ladies, but Nash will have to deal with a television tragedy that struck in real life.
In August earlier this year, 29-year-old actor Lee Thompson Young, a regular cast member who played police Detective Barry Frost, was found dead in his apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
His death took place during filming of the second-to-last episode of Season 4, and neither the penultimate nor the final episode addressed the situation. Nash is tasked with writing a story that will bring his character to a close, which is expected to take place in the season premiere.
Based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen, the drama follows the professional and personal lives of Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli. Played by Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon, respectively, the show has triumphed in part due to their chemistry; chemistry that often has minds and thoughts wandering.
Their curious and close relationship is the stuff that fills Internet forums and pop culture ‘listicles,’ and the show certainly hasn’t been shy about playing up the angle of ‘are they, aren’t they? Will they, won’t they?’
So it’s on Nash now. ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ concluded the first half of their fourth season in September, with the second half set for February 2014. The fifth season will air the following summer.