Cable is boomig, but Kyra is leaving


Tonight (Monday, July 9) is a boom time for TNT's scripted dramas. "The Closer" returns at 9 p.m., starting its final six episodes; then comes the debut of the terrific "Perception."

My previous blog has the story I sent to papers on Eric McCormack and "Perception"; here's the one I sent on Kyra Sedgwick and "The Closer."

By MIKE HUGHES

These are visions of cool confidence:
Brenda Johnson striding into an interrogation room … Kyra Sedgwick
striding into a role,

Brenda is the lead character in “The
Closer,” which is now returning for its final six episodes.
Sedgwick is the actress who seems to play her so effortlessly.

So it's interesting to see tiny cracks
in Brenda's world … and to hear of ones (long ago) in Sedgwick's.

Brenda, Los Angeles' deputy police
chief, has been facing intense investigations. “In the last year,
she's had doubts about the choices she's made,” Sedgwick said.

Adding to that are deep tragedies
involving the health of her parents. “It gives you so much more to
play off,” Sedgwick said.

And for Sedgwick's own life? On the
surface, it seems to have always been blessed and breezy.

Sedgwick is descended from people who
signed the Declaration of Independence, started Groton School, owned
and edited Atlantic Monthly. Her mother was a speech teacher and
family therapist, her father was a venture capitalist, her
step-father was an art dealer.

She went to good colleges (Sarah
Lawrence, University of Southern California), also becoming a soap
star at 16. She married well; next year, she and Kevin Bacon have
their 25th anniversary.

Her world was broadened by the years at
the Friends Academy. Her own roots aren't Quaker, but she admired the
concepts. “The philosophy was that God is with all of us, that you
have something to say.”

Still, she recalls somber moods. “I
was sort of a complex, sad child,” Sedgwick said.

There was no specific reason, but you
could include divorce (she was 4 when her parents separated, 6 when
they divorced) and high expectations. Not yet a teen-ager, Sedgwick
was already being asked what she was going to do with her life. “I
was in this point where I needed a creative outlet.”

And then, at 12, she found acting. “It
was like joy – pure joy.”

She obsessed on it, in school and
beyond. At 16, she became the first Julia Shearer on “Another
World.” After college, she did two PBS “American Playhouse”
films,“The Wide Net” and “Lemon Sky” (where she met Bacon).
She did movies and starred in TV's Emmy-winning “Miss Rose White.”

Sedgwick and Bacon lived in the East,
flying off to roles. Then came the script for “Closer,” which
would be filmed in California.

“I said, 'Kev, I think it's great,
but I can't do it.' He said, 'Why not? We'll make it work.'”

They did, for seven years. She spent
half of each year in Los Angeles, focusing on the work; he watched
the kids (now 23 and 20), sometimes flying out there.

“The Closer” piled most of the
drama onto Brenda. “We used a single character to refract all the
points of view …. She acted as a prism,” said James Duff, the
show's creator.

It was an ideal blend of actress and
role. Sedgwick won an Emmy and Golden Globe; for five-straight years,
she drew best-actress nominations in both and frothe Screen Actors
Guild.

As her contract expired, Sedgwick
decided this would be the final season. That impacts:

– Her co-stars. They move directly to
a show that starts Aug.13, as soon as this ends. “'Major Crimes'
picks up where 'The Closer' leaves off,” said Michael Wright, head
of TNT and TBS programming.

– Her family life. As soon as
Sedgwick ended her series, Bacon landed “The Following,” an
ambitious show that will start mid-season on Fox.

Now these two Easterners are becoming
part of Los Angeles. “We bought a house there, after renting for
seven years,” Sedgwick said. She'll keep bouncing between two
homes, two coasts, two lives. It's a natural extension of that “pure
joy” she first found in acting.

– “The Closer” returns July 9 for
its final six episodes; 9 p.m. Mondays, TNT

– That episode reruns at 11:02 p.m.,
then at 11 a.m. Saturday (July 14) and 8 p.m. July 16

– Other episodes rerun at 2 p.m.
weekdays