Final Season for ‘The Closer,’ the Show That Gave Kyra Clout

Kyra Sedgwick in "The Closer" (Photo: TNT)

“The Closer” is coming to a close, but it’s taking a year to do so.

Still, star Kyra Sedgwick already has her eyes on her post-“Closer” future, even as production on “The Closer’s” final season – it’s seventh – is still in its early stages. The new season, which will eventually come to 21 episodes, premieres Monday night at 9/8c on TNT.

Production ends on Dec. 21, Sedgwick told us in a recent interview on the phone from California early one morning before filming was set to start on episode six of the final season. (The series’ final episodes won’t be seen on TV until summer 2012, however, as this series gets ready for the longest good-bye in television history.)

Sedgwick expects that December end-date to be a very emotional day. “Oh, yeah, for sure,” she says when asked about the emotional cost of shutting the series down – a decision she made last year. “This is my family. I’ve been acting with these people for seven years, for half the year for 15 hours a day, and it’s a seriously intimate emotional connection that you forge and there’s really no way around it.”

“The Closer” has dominated Sedgwick’s life since 2005, ever since it premiered to rave reviews and then set viewership records for original dramas airing on basic cable. After “The Closer,” the business of producing original hours for basic cable exploded (you’re seeing the results mainly on TNT and USA Network) and Sedgwick, now 45, became an A-list TV star.

She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the brittle, southern-accented LAPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. And now, when Kyra Sedgwick calls, Hollywood picks up the phone.

“On an artistic level, it’s been so incredibly fulfilling creatively,” she told us. “There’s nothing like growing up with a character and getting to know them as intimately as I’ve gotten to know Brenda. . . . And I certainly am much more on the list [of people] who [other] people go to for parts, and I’ve made money for a network and that’s important in show business.”

Savvy Kyra just put her finger on the one thing Hollywood respects – clout at the proverbial box office. She reported that she has two movies coming out next January and is also producing a pilot that she hopes TNT will agree to make into a series. She’s not in the show, but as an executive producer of “The Closer,” TNT wouldn’t dream of not considering her next project, though it’s far different than “The Closer.”

“It’s about a very small town in West Virginia and a family in a coal-mining town,” she said, using the phrase “a little bit crazy ‘Waltons’ ” to describe it further.

Meanwhile, there’s still a final season of “The Closer” to produce, which, at 21 episodes, is longer than the usual season for a drama series on basic cable. Sedgwick says viewers can look forward to a whole host of worries and woes for plucky Brenda. “There’s no peace for her because then that would be really boring!” Sedgwick said. “She has to be constantly in conflict, that’s where the drama lies and I think the fact that she’s really getting hit from all sides this season will be the great thing to watch.”

“The Closer” starts its seventh season Monday, July 11, at 9/8c on TNT, followed by the second-season premiere of “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, at 10/9c.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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