On Monday, The Closer‘s Brenda Leigh Johnson will hear her final confession. But TNT’s Closer spin-off Major Crimes should be able to keep you from grief-eating a dozen Ding Dongs.
The Closer‘s series finale finds Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) trying to put away slippery defense attorney — and suspected serial rapist —Phillip Stroh (Billy Burke) once and for all. And although the climax of the Stroh storyline heavily impacts Brenda’s future, it’s the introduction of another character — an orphaned teenage hustler named Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) — that may ultimately prove to be most important. So much so that he’ll also be a focal point of Major Crimes.
“Brenda meets a witness … who indirectly changes her life,” creator James Duff tells TVGuide.com. “I didn’t want to necessarily have this character transition, but when this kid showed up… he just did an amazing job. And because he became Brenda’s sort of unexpected doppelganger, a lot of her energy transfers on to him in the show. It was a way of sort of keeping her voice alive even though she was gone.”
And indeed, after closing the Stroh case, shedding a few tears, and eating one last sweet treat, Brenda will leave the squad room behind. But Major Crimes, which features almost all of The Closer‘s supporting cast and is shot and edited similarly, picks up almost exactly where its predecessor leaves off. The two major differences: Capt. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) is now leading the team and the Major Crimes unit now has a new guiding principle.
“Whereas Brenda wanted to go for the confession, Raydor wants the conviction,” Duff says. “Brenda did not care about the financial costs of what she did, [but] there are serious budget issues inside the California Justice System right now. There’s a limit to how much justice we can afford. There is an incredible pressure to get plea bargains now. …The justice system was not designed to be a bargain, but we have to turn it into one.”
While the LAPD brass’ conscious decision to let crooks skate by on lesser charges might seem counterintuitive to most police work, Raydor, whose career began in Internal Affairs, takes a more pragmatic view. “Her theory is: Why go through the process of a trial when I can put them in jail and throw away the key right now?” Duff says. “She embraces that because she believes the justice system can be made to work. She believes in the rules, and it’s interesting to see that person at work with homicide detectives who are by nature tricky and untrustworthy.”
In particular, look for Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) to push back against Raydor’s way of doing business. (Of course, his complaints may also stem from being passed over to lead the unit.) “In Provenza, we are exploring someone who has obtained the position to which he is going to rise — someone whose ambitions have been frustrated and whose potential to command has been examined and discarded,” Duff says. “What do you do in a situation where you are finally in the place you are going to be the rest of your life?”
Raydor will have at least one ally, a new detective named Amy Sykes (Kearran Giovanni), who transfers to Major Crimes after working mostly undercover. “This is without question one of the smartest people in the room, but she is a little socially awkward,” Duff says. “She’s suddenly switched to homicide, which requires an element of diplomacy that she has never had to learn. She’s more conscious about how criminals work than she is about how she works herself, but she’s likable in spite of all that.”
Ultimately, Duff hopes Major Crimes is more of an ensemble show than The Closer. And to that end, he thinks his new series is not just made for die-hard fans of the mothership. “I approached it at first as a sequel to The Closer, but it’s something that eventually finds its own rhythm,” Duff says. “My own feeling is that if there were people who didn’t like The Closer, they might check into Major Crimes around Episode 3 or 4 and find it is another show.
“You will see more of Provenza than you’ve ever seen, and you will see Flynn [Tony Denison], Sanchez [Raymond Cruz], and Tao [Michael Paul Chan] take the lead in [different episodes],” Duff says. “Raydor still stays like sort of the first among equals I’d say, and it’s her personal story that you get more involved in. But it’s much more focused on the team.”
The Closer‘s series finale airs Monday at 9/8c on TNT. It will be immediately followed by Major Crimes at 10/9c.
Mary McDonnell as Capt. Sharon Raydor
Now in charge of Major Crimes, Capt. Sharon Raydor is determined to lead the department with a rule-based, team-oriented approach, sharing the credit with the people with whom she works. But her transition into the job is not readily accepted by all.
G.W. Bailey as Lt. Provenza
The squad’s resident old-timer, Lt. Provenza still has a few tricks up his sleeve. He likes to bend the rules to avoid doing too much work. In Major Crimes, Provenza will have a difficult time taking orders from someone he doesn’t think knows as much about the job as he does.
Tony Denison as Lt. Andy Flynn
Lt. Flynn is passionate about his job but sometimes lets his friendship with Provenza get in the way. He always has a wise crack to keep the squad lifted, even in stressful situations.
Michael Paul Chan as Lt. Mike Tao
Lt. Tao is the go-to guy for anything technology related. He thrives on using his expertise to crack cases; the more complex, the better. But he also tends to go overboard on details when explaining things.
Raymond Cruz as Det. Julio Sanchez
Det. Sanchez is knowledgeable about the complexities of gang warfare in Los Angeles and can be a bit intimidating to a suspect. Even when his emotions run high, Sanchez knows how far he can push without crossing the line.
Philip P. Keene as Buzz Watson
Buzz is the electronics room technician. In addition, he is the videographer of all crime-scene documentation for the Major Crimes Division. The outdated equipment provided by the LAPD causes Buzz constant frustration, but his instruments often prove useful in cracking a case.
Kearran Giovanni as Det. Amy Sykes
Det. Amy Sykes is an ambitious undercover police detective and military veteran who served in Afghanistan. A new member of Major Crimes, Sykes struggles to prove herself and be taken seriously.
Graham Patrick Martin as Rusty Beck
Rusty is a homeless juvenile who ends up living with Raydor after becoming a witness in an important homicide case. His troubled past shapes his unruly character.
Robert Gossett as Commander Taylor
Commander Taylor helps the Major Crimes Division on many cases. He frequently acts as a press liaison and has proven to be a strong ally for closing cases.
Jon Tenney as FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard
FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard is Brenda’s husband. He works as the main liaison between Major Crimes and the FBI.
TNT’s all-new drama series Major Crimes is ready to take television’s favorite squad of detectives into bold new territory. Two-time Oscar® nominee Mary McDonnell stars in the series, continuing her Emmy-nominated role from The Closer. Joining her are fellow Closer veterans G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene, along with guest stars Robert Gossett and Jon Tenney. The series also stars Graham Patrick Martin as a homeless juvenile whose character will be introduced in the final episode of The Closer, and Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, an ambitious undercover police detective and military veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Major Crimes is slated to premiere Monday, Aug. 13, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), immediately following The Closer’s series finale. The show will then move to its regular Monday 9 p.m. (ET/PT) timeslot.
As the new series opens, the detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes division are still reeling from the departure of Brenda Leigh Johnson and the realization that Captain Raydor is now in charge. Unlike their previous chief, Raydor is determined to lead the department with a more team-oriented approach, sharing the credit with the people with whom she works. Raydor’s hardest job, however, will be gaining the full trust and confidence of her detectives, who aren’t quick to forget her long history of internal investigations targeting them and their previous boss. Especially troublesome is Provenza, who has a difficult time taking orders from someone he doesn’t think knows as much as he does.
“Major Crimes will feel very comfortable to fans of The Closer,” says executive producer and creator James Duff. “We are not only keeping many of the same cast members but also shooting and editing the show in much the same way. And there will still be a lot of that great banter between characters, especially between Raydor and Provenza.”
While The Closer’s focus has been on the lead character’s uncanny ability to secure airtight confessions from suspects, Major Crimes will center on what it takes to secure an airtight conviction. The show will explore how the police and prosecutors work together to build a solid case that will result in a suspect confessing, signing a plea agreement, or being found guilty in a court of law.
“Despite its connections to The Closer, Major Crimes is very much its own show,” Duff continues. “This new series allows us to explore these characters in new and exciting ways, especially as they begin to interact more with the District Attorney’s office in order to build airtight cases. We also have the opportunity to see a different side of Captain Raydor as she deals with significant changes in her life both inside and outside the job.”
Major Crimes is produced by The Shephard/Robin Company, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The Closer’s James Duff, Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin serve as executive producers on the new series.
MAJOR CRIMES Cast Biographies
Captain Sharon Raydor
Mary McDonnell is renowned for her work in film, television and theatre. As a two-time Oscar®-nominee, McDonnell has transformed both period and present-day screen roles into dynamic character portrayals.
McDonnell’s first Oscar nomination was a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Stands with a Fist, a white woman raised by the Sioux in Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. She also received her first of two Golden Globe nominations for her performance. McDonnell garnered a Best Actress Academy Award® nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of a paraplegic soap-opera star in John Sayles’ critically acclaimed Passion Fish, a story portraying the relationship between a woman and her taciturn caretaker.
Some of the films in McDonnell’s extensive filmography include acclaimed cult film Donnie Darko; Nola with Emmy Rossum; two Lawrence Kasden films, Grand Canyon and Mumford; Roland Emmerich’s Sci-Fi blockbuster Independence Day, with Bill Pullman and Will Smith; William Friedkin’s Blue Chips, with Nick Nolte; and Sneakers, with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier and Ben Kingsley.
Last year, McDonnell appeared in the critically acclaimed award-winning Margin Call, a behind-the-scenes look at an investment bank over a 24-hour period right before the financial crisis, where she had a pivotal cameo role opposite Kevin Spacey. And Scream 4, which took moviegoers back to Woodsboro for more terror, McDonnell portrayed Sidney Prescott’s aunt Kate.
McDonnell received outstanding reviews for her portrayal as President Laura Roslin in the Peabody Award-winning series Battlestar Galactica. McDonnell also garnered an Emmy nomination for her recurring guest role on the television series ER. Some of her other television credits include TNT’s adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock; the CBS series High Society and the critically acclaimed television movies Behind the Mask and Two Small Voices. She also co-starred on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Virginia Dixon, a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon battling Asperger’s Syndrome.
McDonnell began her career in theatre and has starred in a wide variety of both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. She received an Obie Award for her performance in Emily Mann’s Still Life and has starred in such Off-Broadway productions as Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo, John O’Keefe’s All Night Long, Michael Cristofer’s Black Angel, Kathleen Tolan’s A Weekend Near Madison, Paula Cizmar’s Death of a Miner and Dennis McIntyre’s National Anthem. Her Broadway credits include Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles and Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice.
G.W. Bailey, who plays the cantankerous Lieutenant Provenza on TNT’s hit series The Closer, has a career that spans four decades and is packed with memorable and distinctive characters. A native Texan, he began his training at Texas Tech University and started his professional career at the prestigious Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Ky.
Bailey later moved to Los Angeles, where he started his television career in a string of guest-starring roles on episodic series, in addition to continuing his stage work. He later played a recurring role on M*A*S*H as well as regular roles on The Jeff Foxworthy Show and St. Elsewhere. Bailey also starred in several TV miniseries, such as the award-winning Double Crossed and The Siege at Ruby Ridge.
Bailey’s feature career began with the film Police Academy and flourished with starring roles in such movies as Mannequin, Short Circuit, Burglar and Rustler’s Rhapsody, among others. He returned to academia in the mid 1990s and graduated from Texas State University in 1994. Upon graduation, he remained at Texas State and served as artist-in-residence for several years, working occasionally in Hollywood and on the stage in New York.
Bailey’s true passion is his work with The Sunshine Kids Foundation, where he serves as the Executive Director. Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer. Established in 1982, the foundation is committed to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients and their families.
Lieutenant Andy Flynn
In addition to his role on THE CLOSER, Tony most recently completed shooting the feature film Trattoria, in which he plays a chef who starts to recognize what is really important in life. He has also formed a production company with friend and partner Joel Bess called Jucilian Productions.
With New York stage credits under his belt, Tony Denison made his momentous television debut starring in Michael Mann’s critically acclaimed drama Crime Story as Ray Luca. He received a fistful of kudos, including recognition from Time magazine as television’s best villain of the 1980s.
Denison has appeared in more than two-dozen motion pictures, including Art of Revenge and Little Vegas. He was recently cast as Ed Reilly in The Obama Effect directed by and starring Charles Dutton. In addition to Crime Story, Denison has an impressive list of starring roles on series, that includes a special episode arc on Wise Guy, Under Cover, Love and Marriage, The D.A., Playmakers and Prison Break, as well as notable guest-starring roles on such shows as CSI, Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, The District, J.A.G., Cold Case, The O.C., ER, NYPD Blue and Charmed.
Michael Paul Chan
Lieutenant Mike Tao
Michael Paul Chan grew up in Richmond, Calif., and was a musician in several Bay Area rock bands before becoming an actor.
Chan has more than 200 television and film credits, including The Insider, with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe; Spy Game, with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt; U.S. Marshals, with Tommy Lee Jones; Falling Down, with Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall; and the critically acclaimed adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. He has worked under the direction of legendary filmmakers Michael Mann, in Thief and Robbery Homicide Division, and Oliver Stone, in the third of his Vietnam trilogy, Heaven and Earth.
On television, Chan starred in Eddie Murphy’s animated television series The PJ’s, played a recurring role on Arrested Development and recently guest-starred on Bones and The Simpsons.
Detective Julio Sanchez
In addition to playing Detective Julio Sanchez on TNT’s hit series The Closer, Raymond Cruz has appeared in more than 30 feature films and has worked extensively in television, playing a wide range of characters. His work in films includes roles in Havoc with Anne Hathaway; Training Day, with Denzel Washington; Collateral Damage with Arnold Schwarzenegger; Alien 4: Resurrection with Sigourney Weaver; and Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford. Other notable films include The Last Marshal, The Rock, The Substitute, Out for Justice and Under Siege.
On television, Cruz has had recurring roles on My Name Is Earl, Breaking Bad, Day Break, The Division, 24 and Nip/Tuck. He has also guest starred on numerous hit shows, including CSI, CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue, The Practice, Star Trek, Boomtown and The X-Files. He recently won an Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on The Closer.
Cruz also has an extensive stage background and is a recipient of the Drama Critics award.
Phillip P. Keene
Phillip P. Keene is excited to be reprising the role of videographer and surveillance expert Buzz Watson on TNT’s The Closer and the upcoming Major Crimes. His previous television experience includes hosting the series Home and making a guest appearance on the ABC limited series, The DA. He made his feature debut in the Tony Alda film, Role of a Lifetime.
Keene, who is fluent in Spanish and German, earned a degree in history/art history from UCLA and a pilot’s license before deciding to go into acting, taking classes from Howard Fine, Heidi Davis, Margie Haber and Tony Sepulveda. His hobbies include surfing, collecting Pan Am memorabilia and renovating older homes.
Detective Amy Skyes
Kearran Giovanni, is best known to television viewers for her role as Dr. Vivian Wright on One Life to Live. She has also been seen on Law and Order and Royal Pains.
Giovanni, who hails from Katy, Texas, has spent the better part of her career on Broadway. She most recently starred alongside High Jackman in the award-winning show Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. She is currently preparing to reprise Marion Cotillard’s role as Josephine in the Broadway musical Big Fish: A Musical of Mythical Proportion, in which she will co-star opposite Michael C. Hall.
A graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Giovanni was nominated for an Astaire Award for her work in Guys and Dolls. She has also starred in such shows as The Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweet Charity, Tarzan, Finian’s Rainbow, Catch Me if You Can and Anything Goes.
Graham Patrick Martin
Graham Patrick Martin was born in Thibodaux, La. He attended French Woods Festival for the Performing Arts in Hancock, N.Y., in the summer of 2000, where he first appeared on stage as Louis in The King and I.
Back in Louisiana, Martin signed up for an after-school drama program and performed lead roles in such productions as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Huckleberry Finn and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While participating in the program, he went on to perform in four other Shakespeare plays.
In 2003, Martin auditioned for his first professional stage role and was cast as Young Ebenezer and Cratchit Child #2 in Christopher Durang’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, for which he was nominated for Best Performance by a Child Actor Award at the 2004 Big Easy Awards. In 2004, he played the role of Chips in Tennessee Williams’ A House Not Meant to Stand.
Martin has performed in more than 24 stage productions, landing lead roles as Danny Zuko in Grease, Bugsy in Bugsy Malone, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and other featured roles like Rum-Tum Tugger in Cats, Young Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, Bill Sykes in Oliver and Kenny in Fuddy Meers.
Martin made his feature film debut in Jack Ketchum’s Girl Next Door and has guest-starred on such series as Law and Order: Criminal Intent, iCarly, Jonas, Good Luck Charlie and Love Bites. He earned a Young Artist Award for his performance on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show. He has also played a recurring role in Two and A Half Men and was a series regular in Monster of the House.
Special Guest Stars
FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard
Jon Tenney’s professional career includes extensive work on stage, as well as in feature films and television. He launched his TV career with a guest-starring role on Murphy Brown and has been a series regular on several shows. He has also had recurring roles on CSI and Will & Grace.
Tenney can be seen in one of the year’s most anticipated films, the comic-book action flick Green Lantern, with Ryan Reynolds. He also recently co-starred in Legion, opposite Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany and Tyrese Gibson; the thriller The Stepfather, with Sela Ward, Penn Badgley and Dylan Walsh; and the film adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole, with Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest.
Tenney has been successful on the big screen, beginning with his debut in Watch It, opposite Tom Sizemore, John C. McGinley and Peter Gallagher. He went on to appear in Fools Rush In, co-starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek, and Albert Brooks’ Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, the Western drama Tombstone and Oliver Stone’s Nixon.
For television, Tenney co-starred in the Showtime films Twilight of the Golds, co-starring Jennifer Beals, Faye Dunaway and Brendan Fraser, and Homecoming. He has also appeared on the series Crime & Punishment, Equal Justice and The Division.
Robert Gossett was born in the Bronx, and landed his first professional gig in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Mercer Arts Center in Greenwich Village. He went on to perform in Lloyd Richard’s Broadway production of Fences, Hal Scott’s production of A Raisin in the Sun and Donald McKayle’s production of The Last Minstrel Show. Other notable theater performances include Manhattan Made Me, Sons and Fathers of Sons, A Soldier’s Play and Colored People’s Time, all of which were performed with the famed Negro Ensemble Company of New York.
Gossett’s awards include the NAACP Theater Award for Best Performance by a Male and the Dramalogue Best Actor Award for his performance in Indigo Blues, directed by his wife, Michele Gossett. He also earned the LA Weekly Theater award for Washington Square Moves.
In film, Gossett has starred in Irwin Winkler’s The Net, alongside Sandra Bullock; Tim Hunter’s The Maker, with Matthew Modine; Arlington Road, with Jeff Bridges; White Man’s Burden, with John Travolta; The Spring in Her Step; and Flying By, with Heather Locklear and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Anger Management (FX)
Premieres: Thursday, June 28 at 10/9c
He’s baaack! Charlie Sheen returns to TV as ex baseball player Charlie (can he ever play someone not named Charlie?) who overcomes his own anger issues to become an anger management therapist himself. (Do his methods involve tiger blood?) The series is based on the Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler flick of the same name and also stars Selma Blair (as his therapist and possible love interest), Shawnee Smith (as his ex-wife) and fellow Chuck Lorre antagonist Brett Butler (as a bartender). Sheen’s ex-wife Denise Richards — never one to turn down a chance to appear on one of his shows (see: Spin City, Two and a Half Men) — will guest-star as a business partner of Smith’s character. And if the test audience is any indication, Sheen may be winning once again.
Around the World in 80 Plates (Bravo)
Premieres: Wednesday, May 9 at 10/9c
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if The Amazing Race and Top Chef had a baby, this would be the answer. Hosted by Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, the culinary competition series features 12 chefs traveling across 10 countries in 44 days to whip up local cuisines. Seeing as The Amazing Race and Top Chef are the only shows to ever win the reality-competition series Emmy Award, perhaps we ought to keep a close eye on this one.
Baby Daddy (ABC Family)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 20 at 8:30/7:30c
Think Raising Hope meets Three Men and a Baby. Twentysomething Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeu) becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she’s left on his doorstep by a former gal pal. He decides to raise the baby with his motley crew of helpers: mom Bonnie (Melissa Peterman), his brother Danny (Derek Theler), his best buddy Tucker (Tahj Mowry) and his pal, Riley (Chelsea Kane), who has a secret crush on him. And no, the baby news does not diminish her feelings.
Beverly Hills Nannies (ABC Family)
Premieres: Wednesday, July 11 at 9/8c
Yep, it’s another reality series in the most famous zip code in the world. This one is, as the title suggests, about nannies who work for well-off families in town. Unsurprisingly, the show comes from the producers of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of Orange County. Can you say “crossover”?
Breaking Pointe (CW)
Premieres: Thursday, May 31 at 8/7c
Sadly, this is not a Grosse Pointe sequel. This reality series, from the producers of Big Brother and Dancing with the Stars, goes behind the scenes of the uber-competitive Ballet West company in Salt Lake City. If it’s anything like Black Swan, we’re there!
Bunheads (ABC Family)
Premieres: Monday, June 11 at 9/8c
Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster makes her TV debut as a disgruntled Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man and moves to his small hometown, where she becomes a ballet teacher at her mother-in-law’s dance school. Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is the mastermind behind this, so expect lots of rapid-fire wisecracks. So you think you can dance, Breaking Pointe? We can speak fast!
The Catalina (CW)
Premieres: Tuesday, May 29 at 8/7c
Snooki & Co. may be back on the Jersey Shore, but that doesn’t mean reality TV is done with South Beach. This docu-series follows the young staff at The Catalina hotel in Miami who work by day and party as hard as you’d expect them to by night. As long as they don’t have their own “GTL” slogan, we’ll be good.
The Choice (Fox)
Premieres: Thursday, June 7 at 8/7c
The Dating Game meets The Voice — spinning chairs and all! (no word on Purrfect the Cat yet, though) — in Fox’s new celebrity dating series. Four single celebs will sit in rotating chairs in front of a live studio audience, with their backs to a bunch of singles. The contestants can describe their life, their interests and their turn-ons — but the celebrities can only rely on their voice and their answers before spinning around. The star bachelors and bachelorettes include Joe Jonas, Tyson Beckford, Dean Cain, Jersey Shore‘s Pauly D and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Rob Kardashian and chef Rocco DiSpirito, Carmen Electra and Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk. We just hope someone will recite Meredith Grey’s “choose me” speech.
Common Law (USA)
Premieres: Friday, May 11 at 10/9c
USA already has a football player seeing a therapist, so why not cops too? Odd couple detective partners Travis (Michael Ealy) and Wes (Warren Kole) loathe each other and are ordered into couples counseling by their captain (Jack McGee) to work out their differences. Lost‘s Sonya Walger plays their therapist. But all of this begs the question: Wouldn’t it be easier to assign them new partners?
Premieres: Wednesday, June 13 at 9/8c
Ready to head back to Southfork? This is no reboot, but rather a continuation of the original CBS soap — so much so that original players Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy will reprise their roles. But Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe will primarily be the ones getting knee deep in oil drama as dueling cousins John Ross Ewing III and Christopher Ewing, respectively. Jordana Brewster and Brenda Strong round out the cast. Fingers crossed for no dream season.
Dogs in the City (CBS)
Premieres: Wednesday, May 30 at 8/7c
Watch out, Cesar Milan! Dog-training guru Justin Silver plays mediator for New York City dog owners who are having various problems with their pooches. But don’t automatically blame the dogs! Sometimes it’s the two-legged creatures who are at fault.
Premieres: Thursday, May 24 at 8/7c
You can never have too many singing competition shows, right? Mentors John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke and Kelly Clarkson (wonder what Idol thinks) travel the country to search for a singer to duet with them. They will each choose two singers to be his or her partner, and will perform in front of a live audience each week. The winner will get a record contract at Hollywood Records.
Premieres: Sunday, June 3 at 10/9c
Geek babes Katee Sackhoff and Cassidy Freeman on the same show?! Yep! But this is anything but a nerd’s wet dream. Based on Craig Johnson’s mystery novels, the series stars Robert Taylor as the newly widowed Walt Longmire, who, at the behest of his daughter Cady (Freeman), decides to run for re-election as sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyo., against Branch (Bailey Chase), a young deputy. Sackhoff plays Vic, a new deputy, and Lou Diamond Phillips plays Longmire’s confidant Henry Standing Bear.
Major Crimes (TNT)
Premieres: Monday, Aug. 13 at 10/9c
The Closer will (finally) wrap its seventh and final season this summer, but it’s never truly going away. Mary McDonnell will star in this spin-off focused on Captain Sharon Raydor, who takes over as the head of the Major Crimes division. A bevy of Closer stars will join her too: G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene. See? The Closer is here to stay.
Men at Work (TBS)
Premieres: Thursday, May 24 at 10/9c
The men are Danny Masterson, James Lesure, Adam Busch and Kyle Cassidy. The work is at a magazine. The latter three’s characters help their pal/co-worker Milo (Masterson) re-enter the dating scene after he got dumped by his girlfriend. Breckin Meyer is the creator and executive producer.
The Newsroom (HBO)
Premieres: Sunday, June 24 at 10/9c
Aaron Sorkin returns to TV with this behind-the-scenes look (what other kind would he do?!) at fictional cable news network ACN. Jeff Daniels plays anchor Will McAvoy, who after a Howard Beale-like meltdown, sets out to put on News Night with his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (Alison Pill, John Gallagher, Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski) and their boss (Sam Waterston). Jane Fonda, in her first major TV role, will recur as Leona Lansing, CEO of ACN’s parent company. Surely, she must’ve learned a thing or two from Ted Turner.
Premieres: Monday, July 9 at 10/9c
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: A quirky genius with a keen understanding of the mind and human behavior consults with the federal government to solve cases. No, it’s not Patrick Jane, but Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), whose team includes FBI agent and former student Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook), his teaching assistant Max (Arjay Smith) and Natalie (Kelly Rowan), his best friend. The difference between Jane and Pierce? Pierce is a neuroscientist. And he’s insane. (Yeah, The Crazy Neuroscientist doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as The Mentalist.)
Political Animals (USA)
Premieres: Sunday, July 15 at 10/9c
The six-part miniseries stars Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish, a former First Lady and current Secretary of State, who struggles to keep her family together as she deals with the State Department’s crises. She strikes an unlikely friendship with a journalist (Carla Gugino) who has spent her career tearing Elaine down. (Isn’t that always the case?) The project comes from Brothers & Sisters Greg Berlanti and also stars Ellen Burstyn, James Wolk, Adrian Pasdar, Sebastian Stan and Brittany Ishibashi.
Saving Hope (NBC)
Premieres: Thursday, June 7 at 10/9c
Another Smallville hottie is back on TV! Erica Durance stars in this Canadian import as a surgeon whose life is turned upside down after her fiancée Charlie (Michael Shanks), the Chief of Staff at Toronto’s Hope-Zion Hospital, ends up in a coma. Little do she and the staff know, Charlie is roaming the halls in spirit form. The Vampire Diaries‘ Daniel Gillies also stars as new hot-shot surgeon Joel Goran. Can you say “supernatural love triangle”?
The Soul Man (TV Land)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 20 at 10/9c
Do you have faith in Cedric the Entertainer? The comedian headlines this Hot in Cleveland spin-off as Rev. Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, who takes over his father’s church. Niecy Nash co-stars as his wife Lolli. So when will Betty White and the ladies drop by?
Sullivan and Son (TBS)
Premieres: Thursday, July 19 at 10/9c
Look! It’s another show about a son taking over the family business. Big city lawyer Steve Sullivan (Steve Byrne) abruptly decides to run his parents legendary Pittsburgh bar Sullivan & Son when he learns that they are planning to sell it during a visit. Let’s see how well this goes over with his girlfriend Ashley (Brooke Lyons). Dan Lauria and Jodi Long co-star as Steve’s Irish-American father, Jack Sullivan, and Korean mother, Ok Cha.
Take Me Out (Fox)
Premieres: Thursday, June 7 at 8/7c
If The Choice is not your speed, Fox has another dating show for you. Based on the popular Australian and British series, this fast-paced show features 30 single women who go through four rounds of speed-dating to find their soul mate. George Lopez will host and facilitate the matchmaking. Because if there’s anyone who should be playing cupid, it’s George Lopez.
Trust Us with Your Life (ABC)
Premieres: Tuesday, July 10 at 9/8c
Don’t worry — this isn’t some stunt-heavy trust-fall show. It’s actually an improv series from the Whose Line Is It Anyway? guys. Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie Jonathan Mangum will act out key moments in a celebrity’s life that they have just described. Fred Willard will host, and the participating stars are David Hasselhoff, Jerry Springer, Florence Henderson, Mark Cuban, Jack and Kelly Osbourne, Ricky Gervais and Serena Williams. (Quick! Count all the Dancing with the Stars alums.)
TNT’s forthcoming Closer spinoff, Major Crimes, has collared its first high-profile guest star: Michael Weatherly.
The NCIS vet will appear in an early Season 1 episode as Arthur “Thorn” Woodson, a charming con artist who currently works as an ”intuitive life strategist” for a group of Israeli mob wives (all of whom he is bedding). Described as a “Peter Pan with an A.D.D. problem,” Thorn previously held down jobs as a hand model, a ventriloquist and a black jack dealer. His dream is to someday land his own show on Oprah Winfrey’s fledgling cable net OWN.
“Arvin Brown is directing [the episode] — he’s done many NCIS episodes,” Weatherly tweeted of the gig.
Major Crimes is set to premiere on Monday, Aug. 13 at 10/9c immediately following the series finale of The Closer.
The news comes as Weatherly continues to negotiate a new contract to continue playing Tony on NCIS. His current deal expired at the end of the just-wrapped ninth season. (His co-stars, Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray, are also hammering out new pacts.)
Earlier this month, NCIS exec producer Gary Glasberg expressed confidence that “it will all work out.”