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'The Closer' finale and 'Major Crimes' premiere both score big audiences

The series finale of "The Closer" drew the show's second-biggest audience ever Monday night (Aug. 13) -- and provided a big platform for the launch of its spinoff series, "Major Crimes."Just under 9.1 million people said goodbye to Kyra Sedgwick and "The Closer," making the finale the No. 2 episode in the show's history behind the third-season finale (9.2 million) in September 2007. TNT says it expects Monday's episode to pass the 2007 show's Live +7 ratings (9.95 million) when the final numbers are released in a couple of weeks."Major Crimes," meanwhile, followed "The Closer" with a premiere audience of 7.2 million viewers. It bumps another TNT show, "Dallas," out of the top spot for the biggest cable series premiere of 2012. Both "Major Crimes" and "The Closer," incidentally, drew more viewers than anything on broadcast TV Monday night.As was the case with its parent show, the demographics for "Major Crime" skewed to the older... //

The Closer Finale Postmortem: Creator James Duff Talks Brenda's Final Confession

[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the series finale of The Closer . Read at your own risk.] When it came time for The Closer 's Brenda Leigh Johnson to get her final confession, she didn't even want to hear it. The groundbreaking TNT drama's series finale found Brenda ( Kyra Sedgwick ) once again squaring off with the elusive defense attorney/serial rapist Phillip Stroh (guest star Billy Burke ) — only this time, Brenda had an eye witness in the form of orphaned teenage hustler Rusty Beck ( Graham Patrick Martin ). One problem: Rusty wouldn't identify Stroh unless the Major Crimes Unit located his mother, who had abandoned him....  //

James Duff and Mary McDonnell on Shifting From THE CLOSER to MAJOR CRIMES

For THE CLOSER fans, tonight is going to be bittersweet — the long-running TNT series ends its run after seven years, but literally immediately after the finale ends, MAJOR CRIMES, THE CLOSER’s spinoff, debuts. And while the transition might seem natural — after all, THE CLOSER is going out on a high, only concluding because [...] //

'The Closer's' Kyra Sedgwick: There's 'a grieving and a mourning that has to be honored'

Zap2it: Now that it's the end of the road for you with "The Closer," are you satisfied that the audience has rolled with the punches of everything you've gone through as police interrogator Brenda Leigh Johnson?Kyra Sedgwick: Oh, yeah, for sure. I remember the first year, people would say, "She's kind of a b****," ... but as they got to know her more, I never heard that anymore. I think they really liked the fact that she was a powerful woman who wasn't apologizing for being powerful, and a woman who would do anything to be an advocate for the victim.She became more morally ambiguous, and some of the things she did were tougher to swallow, but I think there was a lot of good will toward her at that point.RELATED: Our favorite female TV crime-solversZap2it: How difficult has it been to separate from fellow actors and a creative team that you've been with for... //

'The Closer' Finale and 'Major Crimes' Premiere Reviews: Goodbye and Hello

After seven years and more than 100 cases, The Closer is about to say "Thank you, thank you so much" for the last time. The Kyra Sedgwick drama's series finale airs Monday, August 13 at 9pm and is followed by the series premiere of the show's spin-off, Major Crimes . //

The Closer Series Finale “The Last Word”

The Closer  series  finale "The Last Word" (Season 7 Episode 21 ) airs Monday August 13 at at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on TNT. Episode Synopsis:  A young street hustler (guest star Graham Patrick  Martin) sees what appears to be a man burying a woman in Griffith Park, prompting an investigation Brenda is convinced will lead to Phillip Stroh (guest star Billy Burke). But Brenda’s obsession  with Stroh threatens not only her career, but also her life. Read More... //  

'Major Crimes' premiere: Mary McDonnell picks up where Kyra Sedgwick's 'The Closer' leaves off

What would "The Closer" be like without the closer?Viewers are about to find out: Literally on the heels of the finale of the much-acclaimed Kyra Sedgwick police saga -- one of the top-rated dramas in basic cable history -- TNT launches the spinoff series "Major Crimes" Monday, Aug, 13. The show will involve nearly all the "Closer" regulars, with the inescapably notable exception of Emmy and Golden Globe winner Sedgwick ... who felt a seven-season run as interrogator extraordinaire Brenda Leigh Johnson was enough for her.Once she made her decision known, TNT asked "Closer" mentor James Duff to devise a way to keep the other characters going. Thus, the new drama brings Mary McDonnell front and center as Sharon Raydor, the police captain she has been playing on the parent series (which actually does end immediately before "Major Crimes" begins).G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene are among others... //

Kyra Sedgwick Reveals Why She Almost Didn't Take 'The Closer'

With her TNT series ending Aug. 13, lead actress Kyra Sedgwick reveals why she almost didn't take her groundbreaking role and how husband Kevin Bacon "convinced me I could and should." //

'The Closer': Behind the Scenes With Kyra Sedgwick and Castmates

Photographer David Strick goes on set for the TNT drama's episode "The Last Word." //

Top Moments: Dallas Makes a Shocking Reveal and Usain Bolt Is a Legend (Just Ask Him!)

Our top moments of the week: 13. Funniest Name: On Bachelor Pad , the contestants have to run through an obstacle course called "The Hot Sludge Fundae." As hilarious as it is to watch the players fumble through foam that looks like ice cream and a chocolate syrup-soaked slide, it's the last leg of the race, which host Chris Harrison informs us is called "The Nut Sack," that makes us laugh the hardest. (Yes, we're 12.) 12. Most X-Rated Christmas Carol: Countess LuAnn tries to mix things up on... //