MCTV Exclusive: James Duff Previews Major Crimes Winter Premiere, the Race for Chief, and Why He Prepared Alternate Scripts For This Season

By M. Sharpe


514- duff raydorAfter a five-month hiatus, Major Crimes returns tonight with the first of eight all-new episodes of its winter season. MajorCrimesTV.net spoke to series creator and executive producer James Duff to find out just what fans can expect from these upcoming episodes, including how Chief Taylor’s death continues to impact the team and the LAPD at large, what we can expect from two major new additions to the cast, and how the long wait for a season six renewal affected how the writers approached the season finale. And stay tuned for after the episode for our special postmortem with Duff on a few of the jaw-dropping turns tonight’s episode delivers.

MajorCrimesTV: It’s great to have you and the team back. It’s been far too long, and with everything that has been going on in the world, it feels very comforting to have Major Crimes, and these familiar characters back in our lives.

James Duff: Thank you, it’s good to be back. I will say, in our present day lives, the world suddenly seems less stable than it used to. I do think having these familiar characters come back for eight episodes right now is something that offers people a little happy familiarity. And people who like the show, I think they’ll like it even more than usual, because they want a little stability somewhere, and the show does, in its own way, foster that stability in the world. It’s a continuance, and no matter what changes in the world, or how it changes, MC is still here, doing its thing. And we’re very glad to be back for that.

MCTV: You’ve mentioned before going into this season that the team was in for a big shakeup, but what struck me even more than that watching the winter premiere was the feeling that this was a bit of a rebirth for the show, and that things are headed somewhere different. Camryn Manheim as Winnie Davis comes onto the scene like a bull in a china shop, butting up against Raydor. It’s very reminiscent of how Sharon really came onto the scene in The Closer and butted up against Brenda. Are we going to see that parallel continue?

JD: Yes. That is a parallel, but there is a difference, in that Brenda handled Sharon’s presence much differently than Sharon is going to end up handling Winnie’s presence. You’re going to see in this episode, Sharon’s first reaction is, ‘may I please go back to work’. But later the later reactions are going to be much different. Sharon is struggling to find a way to deal with Winnie that’s professional, and Winnie knows that, so she goes for the personal. She tries to get some personal antagonism going between her and Sharon, and Sharon does not take the bait. She keeps everything as cool and professional as she can, although she does eventually lose her patience.

MCTV: We see in tonight’s episode that Wes Nolan, who was the undercover cop from the three part finale from summer, is now working with the team. Has he become a permanent addition?

JD: You know, that’s still a question. He’s going to be testifying for years against the white power organization in which he was an undercover agent for five years.  And while he’s testifying against Zyklon B he’s going to be attached to Major Crimes. And he may ultimately end up somewhere else, but he does seem to fit in, and I will tell you that the cast loved Daniel. They adore him and I think he’s a great addition to what we have. But a lot of it depends on our story-telling needs next season and how his career path goes.

MCTV:  Part of this episode focuses the team going through training exercises, and all that’s involved in that. How did that come about being part of this, as we’ve really not seen that before on the show?

JD: No we haven’t, and active shooter training is a big thing that started with the actual LAPD. There wasn’t any active shooter training like this for a very long time, and also the training has now changed. In the past, the police were told to wait for SWAT. But now, you can’t wait for SWAT, and you have to go right in. Your job as a first responder now is to get in there and try to stop it any way you can.

I felt like I didn’t want to do an actual active shooter story, because we did one already last season, but I did want to show how these episodes are disrupting our society, and I also wanted to show how we are training to deal with it. Additionally, it takes a lot of resources to continue this sort of training. A lot of time, a lot of effort and everybody must go through it. Since our show is largely about the lives of police officers, I felt like it was a great way to start our season, by showing them still training. Even the most successful of them still are training to do better.

MCTV: One thing that really hit me in this episode was that, as we’ve seen for the life of the show, the Major Crimes division has always been the darling of the LAPD. It’s the elite division, they’ve been supported by the brass, etc. But it seems that perhaps in this episode, and moving forward, I’m feeling like we might have just seen the first crack in that armor?

JD: Yes, and that is it exactly. Every time new management comes in, there are changes. They look to see where changes can be made, on all sides. It may surprise you to hear that detectives are not the most popular people inside the LAPD, or inside any police department, usually. Everybody feels they get special treatment, especially homicide detectives. The resources that are detailed to Homicide are always envied by other divisions. It’s natural, of course, because you want your money to go in support of people tracking the most violent offenders. But everybody considers their job important, too. And there’s always a question of balance. How much does any one division get, as opposed to another division, and could some of the crimes that are ultimately solved by our detectives have been prevented by resourcing some of these other departments? Those are legitimate questions. Allocation of resources, that’s always a big deal inside bureaucracies. And the LAPD is no different.

MCTV: We don’t see him until next week, but what can you tell us about the other person who’s going to be in the running for the Chief position?

JD: Commander Davis is also in charge of a division that the LAPD supports and that causes a lot of anxiety among other divisions, which is Criminal Intelligence Division, the LAPD’s own CIA. People’s big complaint about Criminal Intelligence is that they swoop in, they get information, and it goes away and it never comes back. And they never share anything they’ve learned with the rest of the department. I mean, these are the rumors and the complaints that you hear from other LAPD officers, that CI is the sinkhole of all relevant information. And that they would rather hold on to their sources and methods than assist in solving crimes. So Commander Davis will have his own issues in terms of the Chief position, and Winnie Davis is going to have issues with him as well.

MCTV: We were all thrilled and relieved by the recent renewal announcement for season 6, but it came pretty late in the game in terms of where you were in the production schedule of these episodes. Did the delay in renewal affect the storytelling and how you wrote this winter arc, not knowing if there would be another season after this?

JD: I was preparing to do the last eight episodes as if we were going to do no more, but we also planned it so the last episode could go a multitude of ways depending on what happened. The word came down [that the show was renewed] before we started shooting the last two episodes. So as things turned out, we were prepared for the renewal with an alternate script, and the renewal came, and so we had that script ready to shoot.


The winter premiere of Major Crimes airs tonight at 9PM/8C on TNT, and don’t forget to come back to MajorCrimesTV.net after the episode as James Duff breaks down two of the most shocking moments of the night.

Thursday morning, delve even deeper into the new episode with a brand new edition of Mary McDonnell’s “What Would Sharon Raydor Do?” Podcast, guest hosted by the editor of MajorCrimesTV.net. Find out just what Sharon Raydor was thinking during tonight’s episode, from the woman who knows her best, actress Mary McDonnell.

MCTV Exclusive: James Duff Previews Major Crimes Summer Finale and ‘Delicate Dance’ of Replacing Taylor

By M. Sharpe



Major Crimes Executive Producer and Co-Creator James Duff. Photo Credit: Mark Hill, Courtesy TNT When we last spoke to James Duff at the beginning of season five, he alluded to how the theme of this season of Major Crimes, balance, would have repercussions for everyone in the team. As the summer season wraps up tonight with part three of the summer finale, we caught up with Executive Producer James Duff to shed some light on some of the biggest changes we’ve seen so far this season (RIP Chief Taylor), and what we can expect both in tonight’s finale, and for the winter season of Major Crimes, and beyond.

MCTV: I would be remiss to start this off without asking about Taylor, and the shocking decision to kill him off in part one of this three-part summer finale. What lead you to making the decision to have Taylor’s death be such a catalyst in this arc, and as part of the season as a whole?

James Duff: There’s two things to discuss with this. Part one of that is, opening Taylor’s office was always my plan, so that was always going to happen at some point. Part two is that balance is the theme of all thirteen summer episodes – it links them all together. I couldn’t do a study on balance without including the balance of power, and without completely removing the balance of power and forcing a new center of gravity into the circumstances around which Major Crimes revolves. And this new center of gravity that the team is now looking to f26135_011 Major Crimes Ep 511 White Lies Pt. 1ind is going to be the subject of the next eight episodes–how we adjust to changes, who becomes the center, and how everyone must adjust to accommodate that new center.

History itself is the story of a succession of one center of gravity replacing another, and how people must adapt constantly to that sort of change. People either adjust, or they crash and burn. That’s just how it works. And so, Major Crimes is adjusting. And that will be the back eight episodes we’ll see this winter. That’s always what I meant to happen. And beyond that, there is a world beyond the adjustment of gravity, and so that would be our next season, if we end up getting one.

It’s also important to remember that the LAPD is a dangerous place to work, and police officers have an extremely dangerous job in this day and age. The Los Angeles Police Department trains hard to do the right thing, and to bring policing into the twenty-first century, but it’s still every bit as vulnerable as the bad police departments are. There’s no discrimination, apparently, between good police officers and bad police officers. Taylor also encompassed the essence of the blue/black divide, because he’s both. And both sides are damaged by this divide. And I’m not taking sides, I’m just dramatizing the divide that exists, and he was a very good way to dramatize that nobody wins when violence is the answer.

So Taylor’s death accommodated the two things I needed. One was to explore the balance of power and how it affects our daily lives, which is what part two of the finale was about. But, any meditation on the balance of power in our human life would require us to take into account religion, and its force in the world and on our leading characters. So both of these major events, Taylor’s death, the shooting of Dwight Darnell, the balancing of what we owe to our spiritual selves and what we owe to our professional selves, all of that was meant to create special circumstances for Sharon Raydor. And I think we did that.

MCTV: Speaking to that examination of religion, last week was a departure for the show, in that it both took on a different structure in how it was framed from Sharon’s confession, but also gave us a much closer look at Sharon than we’ve seen for a while. There has been hints that Sharon has this strong religious part to her, but this was the most overtly we’ve seen it, and also gave a bit more insight into the state of her relationship with Andy, and what she feels like she can and can’t talk to him about.

JD: To be clear, it’s not that she can’t rely on Andy to talk to, it’s just as she says, she can’t rely on Andy to talk to about the death of Dwight Darnell. And truly, she couldn’t rely on a lot of the audience, either. A lot of the audience would tell her, ‘Look, you did the right thing. Get over it.” I heard that from people after the episode aired. 512- priest raydor

But taking a human life is complicated, no matter the circumstances. For example, with the military, we have 20 veterans a day committing suicide, and a lot of it has to do with loss of life they are involved in. We train people to believe that murder is wrong, and then we send them out to kill people, and don’t understand why they’re confused afterwards. And so I thought it would be important to show Sharon in a moral quandary – wanting to feel grief for having stopped Dwight Darnell from killing anybody else through violence, which she’s always been hesitant to use, unless absolutely necessary. And she’s never killed anyone, and I wanted to explore that aspect of her personality.

Also, she’s very Catholic. That has been mentioned throughout the series. She was so Catholic she didn’t divorce her husband for over thirty years. She loves angels, that’s an established fact, and she sent Rusty to a Catholic school. She’s been very serious about her religion, although, this is a murder show, not “True Confessions” or anything like that, so we just haven’t seen it more than that. But if she and Andy were to perhaps want to do something more than just live together, that would create conflict for her. And so maybe there’s a reminder there, maybe I’m setting something up for the future, by reminding everybody about how Catholic she is.

MCTV: Going back to Taylor for a moment, we’re heard through some casting announcements that we’re going to see the power shift, and we’re going to see some new people come in to be in the running for his job. Are we going to get closure on the loss of Taylor at all, and the impact that death itself has on the team?

JD: Well, we will be talking about Taylor for ages to come. And there is an attempt to honor him in the summer finale in the first act. Not at a funeral, because we’ve already done that, when we went to the funeral of the Chief of Police. I don’t want to give away too much, but he will not be gone completely. He’s a member of the Major Crimes family and he’ll be treated that way throughout.

MCTV: In terms of the power vacuum, the Sharon of a few years ago had a lot of desire to move up the ranks. But now that we’re seeing this job having opened up, it’s hard to envision Sharon wanting to leave Major Crimes now that she’s established this great team, and everyone works together so well. How is this power vacuum going to affect her, in a desire to move up the ranks, or lack thereof? MAJOR CRIMES (TNT)

JD: It’s a delicate dance inside the LAPD when one of these positions opens up. If you get considered for a promotion, you have to try to get it because if you fail, you’ll lose what you have. And that happens all the time. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but when new people move in to positions of power, then the people underneath them, who were also trying to get that position of power, end up with a lot of ‘freeway therapy’. They get transferred to Harbor Division or they end up at SOB (Special Operations Bureau) or teaching at the Police Academy. So in terms of a career path, it’s dangerous.

On the other hand, you don’t get to decide this. The Police Chief job is decided by the Mayor in concert with the city council and the police commission. The job of Assistant Chief is decided entirely by the Chief. There’s no one else to ask. So if he interviews you, and everybody knows you’re up for the job, then you’re exposed. That’s why we’re bringing on Camryn Manheim, and another actor I can’t announce yet, to all be in play for the job. But the struggle to replace Taylor, will also be a struggle to protect Major Crimes. Because a new Assistant Chief comes in, and the division changes. So Sharon is given a lot to think about in these back eight episodes this winter, and that influences how she has to react to being considered for the position. 504- buzz lr

MCTV: Switching just quickly over to Buzz, and his journey this season. We saw last episode that he’s really stepped up in this investigation and come into his own. Are we going to see more of that now that he has had a taste of being part of this side of the police work?

JD: Well, you’re going to see his realization that things are not over. That’s going to come back. So the conclusion of Buzz’s story is both final, and ambiguous. And Phillip has done an amazing job this season, and in the last scene of the case, he does an amazing job, and in the scene after the case, he does an amazing job. And also stepping up and showing he’s capable has been Julio Sanchez, as a foster parent. And we’re going to see just how much this new experience has meant to him in the finale.

MCTV: Finally, you mentioned that a potential season 6 would have a focus around the adjustment to whoever becomes the new chief, and how that appointment could change Major Crimes. There hasn’t been an announcement yet for season 6 from TNT. Any updates there?

JD: It’s impossible to know what the network consider their needs to be right now, and I can’t say for sure anything. They have not indicated a pickup for next season to me yet, so I really don’t know. I’m very happy overall with how we’ve managed our numbers this season, especially given the switch to 10pm. We did much better than we thought we would do and I think better than TNT thought we would do. It’s a bit of a win-win for us and hopefully the network will want to solidify their gains here and do it again.


The summer finale of Major Crimes airs tonight at 10pm/9c on TNT.

MCTV Exclusive: On the Case – Michael Paul Chan & Raymond Cruz Tease Major Crimes Summer Finale Arc

By M. Sharpe


sanchez tao

The summer season of Major Crimes begins to wrap up tonight, with part one of a three-week summer finale arc. MajorCrimesTV caught up with Michael Paul Chan and Raymond Cruz on their last day of summer filming to get the scoop on their characters, how this season has changed both Mike and Julio, and find out just how intense we can expect these last few episodes to get!

MajorCrimesTV: I just finished watching last week’s episode, and I’m really loving where this season has brought things to at this point, and the showdown it is leading up to.

You both have also been exploring some new sides and moments with your characters. For Raymond, there have been some really interesting changes we’ve seen in Julio over the last 6 months or so, from the unfortunate way that his relationship with worked out in the 5-episode arc with Stephanie Dunn, to wanting to become a foster parent and potentially having this very difficult boy live with him. How has this been for you to explore this other side of Sanchez?

Raymond Cruz: It’s been interesting to get to see the softer side to Sanchez. You get to see him care for this child and protect him and he goes to some real interesting places as it moves forward.

Michael Paul Chan: That we can’t talk about.

RC: MPC loves my tough side.

MPC: *singing* Softer-side… softer-side

MCTV: I like it! Julio’s new theme song! So having this child, Mark, who’s obviously been raised in a terribly racist homes, is definitely a interesting dynamic to have Sanchez dealing with, because knowingly or not, the what Mark says to Julio is insulting and is degrading. How does that work with Sanchez’s anger issues? Does it test what he has learned about controlling his temper?

509-sanchez1-lrRC: He really has to exercise patience which he learned at anger management so it helps and the kid. When you just decide to put the kid first, it really makes it easy.

MCTV: It’s amazing how quickly he’s gone from being a little taken aback by the child, to being protective, and ultimately, very fatherly.

RC: Yeah when he was trying to get the child to be a witness I was all over G.W.

MCTV: I know you guys can’t much about the upcoming summer finale episodes, but what I am interested in is that James Duff has said before that the theme this season is balance and rebalancing and we are obviously seeing that in a lot of different ways. Overall how have you seen that theme playing into your characters?

RC: As far as my character is concerned I feel that he has had to learn how to balance his emotions. And balance his work life with his home life, and having to deal with personal issues and not having that bleed into work. And all of that requires having to walk a very tight balance to keep everything from not merging too much.

MPC: In regards to balance-

RC: Badge of Justice!

MPC: Yeah there is that side story of the influence of Hollywood and how it affects Tao-

RC: Corrupts!

MPC: And it brings on certain jealousy within our squad.

RC: Denison!

MPC: With a bit of humor, yes, but I am interested to see where it can go. Something might you know, bite him seriously as a result of all that.

MCTV: A couple weeks ago we saw Tao go undercover – tell us about that?

MPC: I hate to use the word fun but it was fun and it was uncomfortable. Anytime an actress, a serious actress, has to disrobe it’s a bit uncomfortable.

RC: Not for me!

MPC: It was good stuff.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 2.18.47 AMMCTV: It was nice to see Tao in a different realm taking over and stepping up for the undercover operation.

MPC: It’s been a while since I’ve done that. I think the last time I was undercover was when I dressed up as a biker dude when we did The Closer.

MCTV: So, I know details about the summer finale are really tightly wrapped, but anything you can let us know about these final three episodes without giving too much away?

RC: Well I can just say without revealing anything is that I actually got injured from filming these episodes. I’m okay now. I can’t really say much, but yeah on a personal note, I was physically tested.

MCTV: From stunts?

RC: Yes.

Major Crimes Season 5MCTV: Well I’m glad you’re better now.

MPC: We really can’t say anything. Not even a tickle! Ok, one thing. There’s three parts.

RC: You can’t say that!

MPC: There’s three episodes left right? So that means there’s three parts!

RC: I can say that the audience is going to be frightened.

MPC: After one, comes two. And after two, three!

MCTV: That’s a tease if I ever heard one! We’ll just have to tune in and find out!


Part one of the three-part Major Crimes summer finale airs tonight at 10pm/9c on TNT.

MCTV Exclusive – Inside the Fitting Room with Greg Lavoi – “Off the Wagon”

By M. Shape



508 lavoi goldstorm

Major Crimes costume designer Greg LaVoi with actor Brian Boarello as he fits the Gold Storm coat for the first time. Photo Credit: Mike Zara

As part of our weekly series “Inside the Fitting Room” we spoke to Major Crimes costume designer Greg LaVoi to get an inside look at the fashion and costumes behind this week’s episode, “Off the Wagon.”

MajorCrimesTV: This episode was so fun and different, with the faux-trailer for the Gold Storm TV show, and the show-within-a-show you created. Tell us about how you designed “Gold Storm.”

Greg LaVoi: Mike Zara wrote this episode, and Stacey K. Black directed. And it seems like every time Stacey directs, it turns out to be an episode where I get to do a fun costume design. This one, when I read it, I was so excited, because we got to do a superhero!

508- gold storm composite

LaVoi’s concept sketch for Gold Storm, and the final product

Once I had an idea in mind, and did a few sketches of what I wanted to do, then it was a matter of deciding if we were going to go with pieces that already existed and turn them into one outfit, or make our own, especially with the gold leather coat. So we sourced swatches of fabrics, and compared them to what was available for actual gold leather raincoats. Ultimately we decided to make it ourselves because it would both be easier to construct, and much more fun. So once we had the fabric swatch of what we wanted to do, and the sketch, I took that to the show-and-tell with the creative team for the episode, and they loved it, so it was created from there. And once the actor was cast he had some ideas about wanting it to flow and be more like a cape, so then it became a little bit more designed by committee. But the actual end result was just so cool, and to see it shot in the rain at the Paramount Studios backlot was just amazing. I loved it.

MCTV: And the mask?

GLV: That was bought on-line. My shopper on this episode googled “masks” and found it. It’s custom-made for us by a mask-maker, but we had no idea what it was going to be like. We had instructions from James about what it should and shouldn’t cover on his face, so to find all those things in one was hard, Terry on my team found it and delivered it and it was amazing. It had an ominous but also powerful look to it.

The rest of the outfit came together great as well. We found the lightning bolt buckle on line, and the sneakers were shiny gold leather with white soles and studs on them. All the pieces just came together so well on the end product. I love it.

MCTV: The trailer they released for the Gold Storm opening was great, and such a departure for the show. What went into creating the look for the rest of the characters in that?

GLV: To dress those folks in the trailer in the very retro Clark Kent-Lois Lane type stuff was amazing because they enhanced the colors for those shots. Stacey wanted us to play up some of the red and pop some of those colors because then when the girl was shot with the little white sundress on, the red would pop out of there. The other patron had a polka-dot sweater which was a J. Crew, that we shortened and totally re-made. So I think the sweater was white with navy blue dots and her purse was navy with white dots. The purse was my mom’s, a vintage Kate Spade that I put into stock.

508- sykes compositeMCTV: Another character who had a bit of a departure in their regular clothing this episode was Sykes. How did her undercover look come together?

GLV: Well, it was written as she was going undercover as an actress, so in the show and tell, we showed them a black leather jacket. And Stacey thought that since we had showcased red in the beginning of the episode, it would be great to put Sykes in red as well. Kearran originally wasn’t so happy about the red as it isn’t her favorite color, but once I let her know that the director had requested it, she was more willing. So we found this great IRO red leather biker jacket with silver-studded trim, then I put her in a tight little Bebe skirt and a Chanel bag and Christian Louboutin heels, so she looked the part of a Beverly Hills actress that’s coming in for what the doctor can give her (laughs).

MCTV: I love seeing these glimpse of Sykes all dolled up, and letting Kearran shine. This season has been great for that. Now, lets talk about Sharon’s outfit. To me, it seemed like her look was a bit different than what we usually see from her.

508- raydor2 lrGLV: Yes. For her first home look, we had a beautiful emerald green Stella McCartney sweater in the opening, which was so beautiful with her coloring. It’s the first time we’ve used this sweater, but I just love it.

Then for her second look, she wore a tan chiffon, light gray and pink striped Theory blouse, and the jacket was a Rag & Bone denim blue that we’ve seen before, with the Alexander McQueen pants we’ve seen a few times this season. I wanted her to be a little more colorful, a little more “up” in this comedy episode, and I think it did the trick.

MCTV: It was interesting, because the only shots of her that came out ahead of the episode were the ones at home with Rusty without the jacket, and from those, it was surprising because it looks so different without the jacket.

508 - raydor compositeGLV: Exactly. On its own it’s kind of causal but then you dress it up with a jacket and it’s great in the workplace. It’s fun to put Mary in blouses because we get to see them both ways often, with and without the jackets.

MCTV: And it seems like this time, instead of a color matching, she had a bit of stripe-matching going on with Andy Flynn?

GLV: Yes, indeed. The Shandy match!

MCTV: Then towards the end we had another totally different look for her.

GLV: Yes, back to the classic Raydor look. A navy The Row, three-quarter sleeved single button sport coat, and then just an Armani lavender scoop t-shirt and her Armani pants.

MCTV: We got our first look at Sharon Beck being noticeably pregnant in this episode. How was that accomplished?

GLV: They made a prosthetic belly for that, to do the ultrasound. That wasn’t us, but then we had to worry about what clothes to put over it. But that was an actual prosthetic belly that was made for her pregnancy.

508 - fenn compositeMCTV: This episode had some wonderful guest stars, and very memorable characters sprinkled throughout. How did you design those different looks?

GLV: For Sherilyn Fenn, that was an amazing outfit on her. She was in a sleeveless blouse, red and black polka dot blouse, and then a Theory black skirt with black jacket that she just adored. It was so fun to work with somebody iconic like Sherilyn Fenn.

And Missi Pile, that was a fantastic 508 - pyle compositelook too, and getting to design that whole pool party scene was a blast. The bathing suit was an Emilio Pucci bathing suit, and the shoes were Rene Caovilla that were amazing, and so fun to have that kind of look poolside. For her other scene, she was dressed in a Marie France Van Damme tank, silver lame, J brand jeans, and a Kooples jacket. I’m really loving Kooples this year for a lot of the different characters.

508 - courtney compositeAnd Stephanie Courtney, who we all know as Flo from the Progressive commercials. She was a hoot to meet, and so iconic. I had her in a Bebe blouse and a Bebe skirt and a Calvin Klein jacket, and I love her because she’s curvy and she’s fun, and she was playing a great character.

508 - script

LaVoi’s initial sketch for the design of the pool scene in the episode.

This really was just a fun episode to design, and the guest cast was wonderful. So many big personalities, and they all got along great, and were lovely to work with.

 

 

 


We’ll be back next week with more from the costume department, and a discussion of the fashion from the next new episode of Major Crimes. For more information about Greg LaVoi’s career, check out our in-depth 2013 interview here, and follow him on twitter @GregLaVoi.

Special thanks to TNT, Warner Bros, Greg LaVoi and the Major Crimes costume department for making this segment possible.

MCTV Exclusive: All That Sass – Kathe Mazur and Jonathan Del Arco Dissect Their Characters

By K. Black and M. Sharpe


hobbs morales

Over the years, DDA Andrea Hobbs and Dr. Fernando Morales have become valued parts of the Major Crimes team, and massive fan-favorites along the way. We chatted with Kathe Mazur and Jonathan Del Arco to find out just what makes their characters tick, and what all that sass is really about.

MajorCrimesTV: You guys are just about at the halfway point of filming for this season – how’s it all been going?

Jonathan Del Arco: I think we’re having an amazing season this year. I feel like the work is getting deeper and deeper for all of us, in different ways. And from my end, the work we do aside, I have gratitude to the fans right now for having continued to find us. The times keep changing, and you guys find us, the days change, and you find us, and I feel like that fed a lot of our enthusiasm to come to work, and the writers to write, and James to do all that he does because he knows you guys get it. And so, it’s very gratifying. Vis-a-vis the ratings and the fact that we’re crushing it, as it were, that way makes me very happy.

Kathe Mazur: I agree! I couldn’t have said it better.

MCTV: It seems like this move to 10pm this season has allowed the show to change tone a little bit, and allowed the show to explore some things a little more deeply.

KM: Well, to me, the very best of life is when you’ve taken an obstacle or something that you thought was going to be a problem and somehow it ends up creating a whole new opportunity. I think that in the work, and I think that in everything, that that’s the highest level because life is filled with obstacles. So, the thing that keeps amazing me about this crew, is that no matter what the obstacle is, it sort of ends up leading to something fantastic and unexpected, and I continually am amazed at how at every single step along the way of this journey that has happened.

504- morales raydor sanchez lrJDA: We all have had our share of anxiety about the change, because we were in the same time slot for so long. But, we have such great leadership in James Duff and Mike Robin, and we were all encouraged by them early on to say, “You know what? Let’s just hit it out of the ballpark and have the best year ever, and just focus 100% on creating an amazing work.” A “if you build it they will come” mentality. And it’s so great to actually see that happen, and it’s so rare, because television is not being viewed as much as other mediums these days, so it’s great to know that we were able to meet the challenge, and we were able to bond together to get through it, and here we are! It’s been fantastic. We’re very lucky.

MCTV: It has been! Now, I loving having the chance to talk to the two of you together, because both of your characters have both become such strong fan-favorites. Both of you are also known for your characters’ sass and for having a little bit more attitude than maybe we get to see out of some of the others. Was that something that developed in the characters for you over the years, or was it always sort of inherent in the writing? Continue reading

MCTV Exclusive – 506 Sneak Peek – Downton Abbey’s Julian Ovenden Gives Rusty Vlog Advice


After a pair of British tourists are attacked on their second honeymoon in Venice Beach, the Major Crimes team must find the killers before a smug and dashing English journalist (SAG Award Winner Julian Ovenden, Downton Abbey) can damage the reputation of LA’s tourism industry for good.

In the MajorCrimesTV.net exclusive video below, Ovenden’s reporter also has some advice for Rusty on how to get more hits on his vlog, and more.

Major Crimes airs tonight at 10pm/9c on TNT.

 

 

 

MCTV Exclusive: Major Crimes’ Odd Couple – GW Bailey and Kearran Giovanni Talk Season 5, Relationships and More

By M. Sharpe


KG GW2

After five seasons of Major Crimes, Sykes and Provenza have learned to rely on each other throughout all sort of situations. We spoke to their portrayers, Kearran Giovanni and GW Bailey to get the scoop about this odd-couple’s relationship, and found the great relationship between them extends far past their characters on the show.

MCTV: You guys are about halfway through filming this season. How is it all going?

GW Bailey: All the scenes that Kearran and I are in are quite wonderful. The others…

Kearran Giovanni: We’re not real sure about–

GW: Sort of sucky (laughs) ­

KG: No, we’re having a great time and it’s going well, it’s going swimmingly. By now we’ve got a nice formula going and everyone knows their roles, and–

GW: Yeah, or should! (laughs). We do have… at least it seems to me that Sykes and I are doing more interviews together. We’ve done a few interviews of suspects and witnesses, and it seems to me it’s more than we’ve done before.

MCTV: Sykes and Provenza have always had an interesting dynamic together – do you think that is why?

GW: Well, yeah. It’s always interesting in anything that has partners, it’s always interesting to have opposites…Beauty and the Beast.

(Kearran and GW laugh)

GW: In this case I won’t say which one’s the beauty, but it is Beauty and the Beast, it’s Laurel and Hardy, fat and skinny, I mean, it’s partnerships. It’s interesting, actually…I’m an older white man, she’s a gorgeous young African-American woman. That makes for a visual interest.

KG: Especially from where we started, obviously. Sykes probably wasn’t his favorite person, and now we work really well together.

GW: Exactly. I trust her and like her and it’s good.

MCTV: Speaking to that evolution of KG GW1their relationship, to your minds, how is it that Amy has earned this, this spot with Provenza and his respect after starting off on such rocky footing?

KG: In the beginning, it wasn’t that she didn’t have the drive or the talent or whatever to do well, it was just the way that she went about it. I think she just had to kind of hold her own for a while and show what she really could do the job, and maybe also calm down with her excitement, and then I think he grew to respect her. She’s done a lot, she’s been given a lot of responsibility, she’s taken a lot of responsibility, and she kind of went rogue a few times. And he was one of the ones who always said “Let her do it. She’ll figure it out.” And I did, and I think that’s what garnered that respect.

GW: Well, also, she broke a few rules here and there–not big things, not against the law, but she stretched it and Provenza likes that. A lot. Continue reading

MCTV Presents: What Would Sharon Raydor Do? Podcast with Mary McDonnell – #1


Welcome to ‘What Would Sharon Raydor Do?‘, the podcast devoted to getting an in-depth view at Major Crimes Captain Sharon Raydor by the woman who knows her best, Mary McDonnell.

We will be including a few listener questions on the podcast each week – ask your questions below, or tweet them to us @MaryMcDonnell10 and @MajorCrimesTV using hashtag #WWSRD, and listen next week to see if your question has been answered!

Podcast transcript