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TNT orders new seasons of three hit series: 'The Closer,' 'Rizzoli & Isles' and 'Leverage'

by jmaloni
Sat, Jul 31st 2010 11:00 am
The stars of `Leverage,` from left, are Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Timothy Hutton, Aldis Hodge and Beth Riesgraf. (photo by Richard Foreman)
The stars of "Leverage," from left, are Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Timothy Hutton, Aldis Hodge and Beth Riesgraf. (photo by Richard Foreman)

TNT has ordered new seasons of three of the network's hit series. "The Closer," which continues to rank as ad-supported cable's No. 1 series of all time, will return for its seventh season. "Rizzoli & Isles," which currently ranks as cable's No. 1 new series for the year-to-date, will return for a second season. "Leverage," which is performing exceptionally well in its new Sunday timeslot, will be back for a fourth season. 

TNT has ordered 15 episodes each of "The Closer" and "Leverage," along with 13 episodes of "Rizzoli & Isles," with all three slated to start their new seasons in 2011.

"TNT has enjoyed tremendous success on Sunday and Monday nights with ‘Leverage,' ‘The Closer' and ‘Rizzoli & Isles,' " said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "All three shows feature terrific casts, sharp writing and top-notch production teams. We look forward to continued success with new seasons in 2011."

The Closer

"The Closer," which is enjoying growth this year as it continues to rank as ad-supported cable's No. 1 series of all time, stars Golden Globe winner and current Emmy nominee Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, head of the LAPD's major crimes unit. Through the show's first five seasons, Sedgwick has garnered five Emmy nominations and five SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.  The show has also earned three SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series for Sedgwick, Corey Reynolds, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Raymond Cruz, Michael Paul Chan and Phillip P. Keene, as well as Jon Tenney, J.K. Simmons and Robert Gossett.

"The Closer" is averaging 7.1 million viewers in its sixth season, up 7 percent compared to last season. The July 12 season premiere was watched by 7.7 million viewers and ranks as ad-supported cable's top scripted series telecast for the year-to-date.

The Shephard/Robin Company, in association with Warner Bros. Television, produces "The Closer" for TNT. The series was created by James Duff, who serves as executive producer with Greer Shephard, Michael M. Robin, Rick Wallace and Kyra Sedgwick.

Rizzoli & Isles

"Rizzoli & Isles," which is based on the crime novels by best-selling author Tess Gerritsen, stars Angie Harmon ("Law & Order") as Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander ("NCIS") as medical examiner Maura Isles.  These two close friends -- and complete opposites -- work together to solve crimes and bust some of Boston's most notorious criminals.  Lorraine Bracco co-stars as Jane's demanding and intrusive mother.  "Rizzoli & Isles" also stars Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges.

With 7.1 million viewers, "Rizzoli & Isles" currently ranks as cable's No. 1 new series for the year-to-date. The July 12 premiere of "Rizzoli & Isles" was watched by 7.6 million viewers and holds the record as cable's No. 1 commercial-supported series launch of all time.

Warner Horizon Television, Janet Tamaro's Hurdler Productions and Bill Haber's Ostar Productions produce "Rizzoli & Isles" for TNT. Tamaro ("Bones," "Lost") and Haber (TNT's "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King"; TCM's upcoming "Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood") serve as executive producers, along with Joel Fields ("Ugly Betty"). Michael M. Robin ("The Closer") is a consulting producer.

Leverage

"Leverage" stars Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton ("Ordinary People"), Gina Bellman ("Coupling"), Christian Kane (TNT's "Into the West"), Beth Riesgraf ("Alvin and the Chipmunks") and Aldis Hodge ("Friday Night Lights"). The fast-paced series follows the adventures of a highly skilled team out to settle scores against those who use power and wealth to victimize others.

"Leverage" is currently averaging 4.1 million viewers in its third season, showing growth among young adult demos when compared to the second season. The series boasts a loyal following, as indicated by its strong performance in time-shifted viewing.  For the first five episodes this summer, "Leverage" has grown its total audience by 60 percent when compared to live viewing (33 percent compared to Live + Same Day). The growth is particularly strong among key demos, with adults 18-34 rising 101 percent vs. Live (45 percent vs. Live + Same Day); adults 18-49 up 77 percent vs. Live (41 percent vs. Live + Same Day); and adults 25-54 rising 72 percent vs. Live (39 percent vs. Live + Same Day).

Leverage is executive-produced by Dean Devlin ("Independence Day," TNT's "The Librarian" trilogy) and creators John Rogers ("Transformers") and Chris Downey ("The King of Queens"). Devlin's Electric Entertainment produces the series for TNT.

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