James Duff on Rusty Beck and ‘Thrown Away’ Children

2.02-rusty2 lrA new article in the New York Times looks at some of the current films and TV shows that are exploring the issues surrounding children in foster care, and spoke to Series Creator James Duff about Rusty Beck and Major Crimes.

“Another cable series takes a grittier approach to a similar subject. In the Los Angeles police procedural “Major Crimes” on TNT, the main character, Capt. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) becomes an unofficial foster mother to Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), a gay, homeless teenager and former sex worker who is a key witness in a case. “Major Crimes” treats Rusty with sympathy without glossing over his past. That’s because the character comes from a deeply personal place for the show’s creator, James Duff, who is gay.

“I ran away from home when I was 17,” said Mr. Duff, who said he is hoping to raise awareness of runaways or, as he called them, “thrown-aways,” by providing a window into a little-seen world.

“When I see what goes on now with thrown-away children in our own culture, I think Dickens would have blushed,” he said. “ ‘Oliver Twist’ is actually an uplifting story compared with the horrors that the unattended children of Los Angeles are suffering now.”

Read the full article here



Mary McDonnell Savors her Star Role, but Must Work to Reshape it, in ‘Major Crimes’

The press coverage for season two begins early, with this great article in the New York Daily News:

sharonMillions dream of becoming the star of a major network drama, but for one actress, the dream come true led to some bittersweet moments.

With the first season of “Major Crimes” under her belt, two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell is now the star of one TNT’s most-watched dramas. But she’s working hard behind the scenes to transform her role from being a part-time pain in the neck into full-time fan favorite by next summer.

“There are moments when I’ve gone, ‘What have I gotten myself into?” McDonnell says. “It was a bit frightening at times.”

Read the whole article here.

MORE Magazine “Investigates Mary McDonnell from ‘Major Crimes”

Finally, More Magazine has interviewed Mary McDonnell about Major Crimes, and there is a lot of wonderful new insight!

Hey, Kyra Sedgwick, there’s a new boss in town—or rather, a familiar face that is taking over TNT in a big way. Mary McDonnell is proud and honored to move up the ranks and star in the network’s new series “Major Crimes,” which might look a lot like “The Closer.” We’ll clue you in to why.


More: I get the impression Mary and Sharon can really relate to one another?
MMD: I can totally relate to her. The more I got to know her the more she revealed to me. In the beginning I just came to know her as an antagonist. Now I have had the opportunity to see so many aspects of her that I never knew existed. There is the mother in her, and I myself am a mother. We didn’t know she was into the ballet, and is a natural leader.

Read the entire interview here.

Mary McDonnell’s New “Major” Gig”

“There are a handful of actors whose presence alone transforms a television show into a Can’t Miss TV Event! Such was the case when Mary McDonnell joined The Closer in 2009 for a three-episode arc. The response to her character, Captain Sharon Raydor, was so strong (both behind the scenes and in the real world), that producers wisely extended her time on the show — and then crafted a spin-off explicitly for Mary to carry.”

Read the whole article from theInsider.com here.

Major Crimes Carries on The Closer’s Legacy

A great new article from the Sioux City Journal about Major Crimes, including some interesting notes about Sharon Radyor.

“Among the biggest surprises? Her home life. During preparations for the new series, Duff consulted McDonnell and let her help choose some of the set pieces in Raydor’s apartment. Among the obvious? Watercolors everywhere. “I’m not good at painting but I decided she did them herself,” McDonnell says. “It shows another side of her personality.”

Full Article Here


Case Closed? That Squad Looks Familiar

A great article about The Closer and Major Crimes in the New York Times

When “The Closer” fans tune in to “Major Crimes” on Aug. 13, familiar faces typically relegated to reactive status when Brenda was in the room will be taking charge and getting close-ups. In fact the only thing that might confuse viewers is TNT’s label of “Major Crimes” as a spinoff. In the land of narrative television a successor to an original show typically involves a move, like to Seattle (“Frasier”) from the bar stools of Boston (“Cheers”).

“It’s not really what we consider a spinoff historically,” said G. W. Bailey, who over the years has turned his fuming and unfiltered Lieutenant Provenza into a fan favorite. “It’s a new kind of hybrid. I’m at the same desk. I park in the same spot. I haven’t moved an inch.”

Call the show what you will, TNT’s job is to let viewers know that “Major Crimes” will offer everything its predecessor did in terms of a murder mystery solved and a workplace group examined, just without the workaholic Brenda leading the charge. To help ease the transition, TNT is unveiling “Major Crimes” at 10 p.m., right after the series finale of “The Closer.” This strategy provides instant gratification for the curious. A “Closer” fan hoping to reflect on Brenda’s dramatic exit will barely have time to tweet “@Kyrasedgwick thx 4 FUN TIMES” before heading straight into the new show.

Whole article here