Major Crimes Cancelled; TNT’s Top-Rated Series to End with Upcoming Sixth Season

By M. Sharpe

blue cast promoAfter six seasons, TNT has announced it has cancelled its number one drama series, Major Crimes. The announcement came this afternoon, while filming began on what will now be the series finale episode of the show.

A spin-off of the TNT series The Closer, Major Crimes debuted on August 13, 2012, as the most-watched scripted cable series premiere of that year. Led by two-time Oscar and Emmy Award nominee Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor, the series went on to clinch the top spot as TNT’s highest rated series for the past three seasons, has ranked in the Top Five most-watched scripted cable series of the year for each of its past five seasons, and last year ranked as the 2nd most watched cable series, behind only AMC’s The Walking Dead.

The series from Creator/Executive Producer James Duff brought the familiar characters of the LAPD’s elite Major Crimes Division into all-new situations as they adjusted to being led by Captain Sharon Raydor (McDonnell), while still trying to close the department’s highest-profile cases. Bringing dedicated fans of her previous roles (most notably the critically acclaimed and award winning Battlestar Galactica) with her, McDonnell added welcome depth that placed Major Crimes well past standard police procedural territory. The series also starred G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Kearran Giovanni, Graham Patrick Martin, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene with a strong recurring cast including Kathe Mazur, Jon Tenney, Robert Gossett, Jonathan Del Arco, Ransford Doherty and more.

Despite strong ratings and a devoted following, Major Crimes had been on borrowed time at the network since new TNT network head Kevin Reilly took over in November of 2014. A holdover and product of previous chief Michael Wright’s focus on more light-hearted procedurals, Reilly made no secret of the fact that he wanted to rebrand the network away from its core viewer base, and into darker, edgier programming to attract younger viewers. Despite this focus, Reilly’s new slate has had a hard time finding its footing, with Major Crimes outperforming all three of his current new series (Animal Kingdom, Claws and Good Behavior) by more than 70% in total viewers. A fourth series, the high-budget, high-concept, much-hyped Will, was cancelled during its freshman run, after bringing in only 380,000 viewers to its first season, compared to the 3.2 million from season five of Major Crimes. 

While Major Crimes made great pains to adjust to new marching orders, adapting both its tone and structure to fit the new Reilly regime, ultimately those changes, and its ability to retain a vast majority of its audience despite multiple scheduling shakeups and extremely poor promotion on the part of the network, were not enough to ensure a seventh season pickup.

Major Crimes thirteen episode final season premieres on October 31, 2017, as the series endures one last schedule change to Tuesday nights. The final season also marks the long-awaited wedding between now-Commander Raydor, and original The Closer cast member Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), as well as the series landmark 100th episode, airing December 19, 2017.

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Major Crimes Renewed for Season 6

s3 cast2Break out the party hats, because Major Crimes has been renewed for Season 6!

The long-awaited announcement came this morning from TNT, which has ordered 13 episodes for the sixth season. In past seasons, this order has been increased, so it is widely expected this may happen again for Season 6.

The news comes just over a month before the premiere of the second-half of Major Crimes Season 5, and only a few days before the end of principal photography for the season.

Major Crimes is TNT’s Number 1 series in total viewers, and has been on of cable’s most-watched drama series since its premiere in 2012.

The renewal comes as TNT has continued to try and revamp its image, moving away from the procedurals that Major Crimes, and its predecessor, The Closer, hailed from.

Season 6 will also welcome Major Crimes 100th episode, a welcome milestone for the series.

Read TNT’s full press release about the renewal below:

TNT’s Hit Series Major Crimes Renewed for Season Six

Top 10 Cable Drama Returns for Season Five Winter Premiere
Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)

Turner’s TNT has picked up a sixth season of the hugely popular crime-drama Major Crimes, from Warner Bros. Television, which has consistently ranked as one of cable’s most-watched drama series since its chart-topping debut in 2012. The show’s stellar ensemble cast – including two-time Oscar® nominee Mary McDonnell, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene, Kearran Giovanni, Jonathan Del Arco and Graham Patrick Martin – will return for the 13-episode sixth season. Major Crimes will close out its fifth season with an eight-episode run that begins on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

This past summer, Major Crimes reached an average of 10 million viewers per episode across TNT’s multiple platforms and finished the third quarter ranking as one of cable’s Top 10 dramas with adults 18-49. Initially launched as a follow-up to TNT’s long-running hit The Closer, Major Crimes quickly established itself as a must-see drama in its own right. In its first season, it ranked as cable’s #1 new drama of 2012, and it has remained among the most-watched dramas on cable ever since.

Major Crimes centers on a special squad within the LAPD that deals with high-profile or particularly sensitive crimes. Led by Captain Sharon Raydor (McDonnell), the squad includes Lieutenant Provenza (Bailey), Lieutenant Andy Flynn (Denison), Lieutenant Michael Tao (Chan), Detective Julio Sanchez (Cruz), tech expert and reserve officer Buzz Watson (Keene) and Detective Amy Sykes (Giovanni). Collaborating on many of their cases is medical examiner Dr. Morales (Del Arco). The squad’s work has also become a source of inspiration for Rusty (Martin), Sharon Raydor’s adopted son, who hopes one day to have a career as a lawyer.

In addition to the main cast, Major Crimes features recurring appearances of Emmy winner Camryn Manheim as Deputy Chief Winnie Davis, Jon Tenney as Deputy Chief of the Special Operations Bureau Fritz Howard, Kathe Mazur as DDA Andrea Hobbs, Jeri Ryan as Linda Rothman, Ransford Doherty as Coroner’s Investigator Kendall, Rene Rosado as Gustavo Wallace, Leonard Roberts as Commander Leo Mason, Dawnn Lewis as Patrice Perry, Daniel DiTomasso as Detective Wes Nolan and Jason Gedrick as former Detective Mark Hickman.

In the upcoming run of episodes, the squad will move inexorably to fill the vacant Assistant Chief post that Fritz Howard has been temporarily filling, a position that Sharon is considered for as well – whether she likes it or not – creating tension within the department. In addition, Sanchez will try once again to become a father; Flynn and Sharon will continue down the path to matrimony; Provenza will consider retirement; Rusty will intern for DDA Hobbs as he looks toward attending law school when he graduates from UCLA; Buzz will attempt to help the family of the man who murdered his father; Sykes will confront an old foe in Mark Hickman; Tao will be instrumental in solving a case dealing with plastic explosives; and Dr. Morales joins the squad for the entire investigation of a very personal mystery.

This spring, Major Crimes will mark a significant milestone for members of the cast and production team who have been working together since the very first episode of The Closer. With the Major Crimes season finale in April, they will celebrate their 200th episode together.

Major Crimes was created by James Duff, who also serves as executive producer with Greer Shephard & Michael M. Robin, Rick Wallace, Adam Belanoff, Mike Berchem and Duppy Demetrius. The series is produced by The Shephard/Robin Company and Walking Entropy, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television.


An Open Letter to TNT President Kevin Reilly Regarding the Season 6 Renewal of Major Crimes

By Mina Sharpe, Editor -


An Open Letter to TNT President Kevin Reilly Regarding the Season 6 Renewal of Major Crimes

Mr. Reilly,

Firstly, let me say welcome, and congratulations on taking over as President of TNT. I’m sure the transition has been trying, and I know it must be satisfying to see the fruits of your first development year finally reaching the airwaves. While you continue to develop your slate for next year and beyond, I wanted to take a moment to talk about one thing that hasn’t been addressed yet for next season – the renewal of Major Crimes.
While you prepare to launch your new shows, and have been busy organizing the renewal of Animal Kingdom and The Last Ship, fans have noticed that announcements regarding the future of Major Crimes have been alarmingly absent. And as the summer finale of Major Crimes prepares to air tonight, I wanted to reach out to you and make a few points about why Major Crimes has been, and continues to be an asset to TNT, and as such, suggest why it more than deserves a season 6 renewal.

1. Ratings
I know that TV is a numbers game, and that decisions regarding renewal are ultimately about finances, advertisers and ratings. So first and foremost, here are some numbers I ask you keep in mind as you consider the future of Major Crimes. While your publicity department hasn’t shared any multi-platform numbers from this season (or for that matter, almost any of the numbers for Major Crimes performance this season) has been keeping track of the numbers that have been released from other sources, and has noticed a few important trends about Major Crimes performance this season worth bringing to your attention.

  • While the rest of your slate has seen double-digit losses in their average viewership from 2015 to 2016 (The Last Ship: -24%, The Librarians: -45%, Murder in the First: – 33%)1 Major Crimes has been the only TNT series (aside from the now-defunct Rizzoli & Isles) to grow from 2015, adding 5% total viewers this season over last year. While this increase, and the ratings as a whole for Major Crimes have always been very strong (last year it was the #1 program on your network, and has never fallen below 2nd place as the most-watched program on TNT), this summer’s growth has been all the more impressive because of several unique factors. Continue reading