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Major Crimes TV Series
American television police procedural series 2012-2018
In January 2017, during Major Crimes fifth season, TNT renewed the series for a 13-episode sixth season. On October 3, the network announced the sixth season would be its last. Series star McDonnell commented on Instagram, "as many of you have stated, this was not a surprise. The writing was clearly on the wall. Trying to make sense of TNT's choices is an activity that James Duff and Mike Robin and all of us have been engaged in for a long time." The final season premiered on October 31, 2017, and ended on January 9, 2018, wrapping the series with 105 episodes.
With the sudden departure of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson sending tremors throughout the entire Los Angeles Police Department, Captain Sharon Raydor faces difficult challenges as she assumes Johnson's former post as head of the Major Crimes Division. For one, as a former internal-affairs officer, many of her squad members do not trust her. Additionally, the controversial new rules she had instituted as head of the Force Investigation Division (FID) are reaping unintended consequences at crime scenes. Finally, the LAPD's new cost-saving policy of striking deals with violent criminals instead of extracting confessions from them is generating additional rancor among the rank and file, particularly with Major Crimes' senior officer, Lieutenant Provenza.
Raydor's foster son Rusty Beck (whom she later adopts) adds more drama to Raydor's personal life, but it bleeds into her professional life as well, since Rusty is the key eyewitness in the trial of serial killer Philip Stroh (Billy Burke). Rusty ends up attending the same Catholic school Raydor's grown children once attended.
Mary McDonnell as Captain (later Commander) Sharon Raydor, lead officer of the Major Crimes Division. As a well-known (and somewhat controversial) internal-affairs officer, she is initially distrusted by other members of the squad when she is named head of the division. She takes in and later adopts Rusty Beck, a material witness in a murder trial, and in the course of the series she falls in love with her subordinate, Lt. Andy Flynn.
G. W. Bailey as Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza, second-in-command of Major Crimes, primary incident commander, and a vocal critic of Capt. Raydor--though the two come to an understanding and learn to work together. One of the LAPD's most senior officers, he is known for his four ex-wives, whom he detests. In the series he begins to date a woman who becomes his fifth wife. He also takes a role in assuring Rusty's well-being, grudgingly at first.
Tony Denison as Detective Lieutenant Andy Flynn. He has a history with Lt. Provenza and is a recovering alcoholic. He eventually marries Cdr. Raydor.
Michael Paul Chan as Detective Lieutenant Michael Tao, who specializes in some of the more technical aspects of crime investigations. He is a consultant on the fictional crime show Badge of Justice.
Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, an ambitious new officer in Major Crimes. She is derided as a "suck-up" by Lt. Provenza, and is often seen complimenting Capt. Raydor.
Phillip P. Keene as Civilian Surveillance Coordinator Buzz Watson (later Reserve Officer/Reserve Detective). Although himself white, he and Det. Sanchez are the only members of the squad who speak Spanish.
Graham Patrick Martin as Russell "Rusty" Beck, Sharon Raydor's adopted teenage son. A former child-sex worker, he witnessed a serial killer dumping the body of one of his victims in Griffith Park, and from then on became the ward of the LAPD and Capt. Raydor. He initially resists Captain Raydor, though he comes to love her. He also struggles with sexuality issues. In the fourth season Rusty starts dating Gus.
Jonathan Del Arco as Dr. Fernando Morales, Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner (season 2-6; recurring season 1). As a gay man he occasionally educates squad members about gay culture.
Robert Gossett as Assistant Chief Russell Taylor, Assistant Chief of Operations (seasons 2-5; recurring season 1). An antagonistic character in The Closer, Chief Taylor has a much better rapport with Capt. Raydor.
Jon Tenney as Deputy Chief Fritz Howard, retired FBI Special Agent; currently Deputy Chief of the LAPD Special Operations Bureau, who served temporarily as the Acting Assistant Chief of Operations (season 3-6; recurring seasons 1-2). He is the husband of The Closer's Brenda Johnson, the previous commander of the Major Crimes squad, who is never seen in Major Crimes.
Leonard Roberts as Assistant Chief Leo Mason, Taylor's replacement as Assistant Chief of Operations (season 6; recurring season 5)
Daniel Di Tomasso as Detective Wes Nolan, an undercover detective on temporary duty with Major Crimes (season 6; recurring season 5)
Jessica Meraz as Detective Camila Paige, a new recruit to Major Crimes who has a past with Provenza (season 6)
Recurring cast and characters
Kathe Mazur as Deputy District Attorney Andrea Hobbs
Ransford Doherty as Medical Examiner's Investigator Kendall
Ian Bohen as Daniel Dunn, Rusty's biological father (season 1)
Billy Burke as Phillip Stroh, a cunning lawyer and serial killer who resurfaces periodically (season 3 and 6)
Rene Rosado as Gustavo "Gus" Wallace, Rusty's boyfriend (seasons 4-6)
Garrett Coffey as Greg "Slider" Rasenick, the murderer of Gustavo Wallace's sister, Mariana (aka Alice Herrera) (seasons 3-4)
Development and production
Series promotional poster
On December 10, 2010, TNT announced that the upcoming seventh season of The Closer would be the show's last. The channel said the decision to retire the show was made by Kyra Sedgwick. On January 30, 2011, it was announced the final season would add six episodes to the usual 15-episode order, the final six being the build toward a possible spin-off series. On May 18, 2011, TNT announced the spin-off, entitled Major Crimes and starring Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor, had been picked up for a 10-episode season.
Following an average of over 7 million viewers for its first season, TNT renewed Major Crimes for a 15-episode second season on September 27, 2012, which the network increased to 19 episodes in April 2013. Season 2 premiered on June 10, 2013. The series was renewed for a third season of 15 episodes on August 15, 2013, which aired from June 9, 2014, through January 12, 2015. On July 18, 2014, TNT renewed Major Crimes for a 15-episode fourth season, later expanded to 23 episodes, which aired from June 8, 2015, to March 14, 2016. On December 15, 2015, TNT renewed the series for a 13-episode fifth season, On June 22, 2016, TNT ordered eight additional episodes for season five, bringing the total to 21. On January 18, 2017, the series was renewed for a 13-episode sixth season, clarified in October as the final season, which aired from October 31, 2017, to January 9, 2018.
As of January 9, 2018,[update] 105 episodes of Major Crimes have aired.
Major Crimes received a score of 65/100 and "generally favorable" reviews based on 17 critics at Metacritic.
Newsdays Verne Gay gave the series a B+ grade, calling it "sharply written, acted and directed", adding "producers now have to turn an (occasional) antagonist into a full-time protagonist. Let the metamorphosis begin."
Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times called the series a "nice balance between the tragic and comic", citing Mary McDonnell's performance as "modulated and cool, but with a blue-flame intensity".
Entertainment Weeklys Ken Tucker thought there were "fundamental distinctions" between The Closers Brenda Leigh Johnson and Major Crimes Sharon Raydor that "render the shows very different", adding "I've always found Raydor's serene assurance a palliative to the twitchy eccentricity of Kyra Sedgwick's Johnson."
Mike Hale of The New York Times thought the series "[made] the dullest character from the old show the central figure of the new one," adding "Major Crimes feels like a reasonably sharp black-and-white copy of The Closer, but fans of the franchise are likely to miss the color provided by Ms. Sedgwick's vivid performance."
The first episode, helped by the final episode of The Closer airing beforehand, had 9.5 million viewers, the largest viewership for a series premiere on basic cable. Its first season ratings were the highest for any new show on cable.