TNT Announces Fall/Winter Schedule, Including Return of "The Closer," "Rizzoli & Isles," "Leverage" and "Southland," Plus Launch of "TNT Mystery Movie Night"
After scoring its most successful summer of original programming ever, including the launch of mega-hit Falling Skies, TNT is set to heat up the fall and winter with a terrific lineup of popular and acclaimed original series and a showcase of new original movies. The drama network's slate includes the return of basic cable's top two series of all time, The Closer, starring 2010 Emmy(R) winner Kyra Sedgwick, and Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; all-new episodes of the hit caper series Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and a new season of the critically acclaimed Southland.
TNT has also unveiled the slate for The TNT Mystery Movie Night, a new showcase of contemporary procedural dramas set to launch Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The showcase will kick off with Scott Turow's Innocent, starring Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Torchwood), Marcia Gay Harden (Pollack, Damages) and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Law & Order: LA).
The TNT Mystery Movie Night will also star Kathy Najimy (Sister Act, TNT's Franklin & Bash), Scottie Thompson (Star Trek, Skyline) and Jane Alexander (Testament, Warm Springs) in Deck the Halls, based on the book by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. John Corbett (Sex and the City, Northern Exposure), Julie Benz (Dexter), Kelly Overton (The Ring Two) and Gary Cole (Midnight Caller, TNT's Wanted) have been cast in Ricochet, based on the bestseller by Sandra Brown.
In addition, Catherine Bell (JAG, Army Wives) is set to star in Good Morning, Killer, which is being adapted by April Smith from her own novel. Dermot Mulroney (Zodiak, Copycat) and Michael Cudlitz (TNT's Southland) will star in Silent Witness, based on the book by Richard North Patterson. And Hide, based on a book by Lisa Gardner, will star Carla Gugino (Californication, Entourage), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (TNT's Franklin & Bash, NYPD Blue) and Kevin Alejandro (True Blood, TNT's Southland).
Among other programming highlights, TNT will present the 30th annual Christmas in Washington concert in December and will once again team up with TBS on the live simulcast of the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(R) in January.
TNT's fall-winter slate will follow on the heels of a hugely successful summer for the network. Among TNT's summer victories, Rizzoli & Isles and The Closer are leading the pack as basic cable's #1 and #2 dramas among total viewers, while new international hit Falling Skies ranks as basic cable's #1 drama among key adult demos and the top new series in total viewers. TNT has also garnered remarkable success this summer with Leverage, which is enjoying its best season ever, and freshman legal drama Franklin & Bash, which ranks as one of basic cable's Top 5 new series of the summer.
Below is a complete rundown of TNT's original programming highlights for fall and winter.
TNT Original Series
Leverage - Season 4 returns Sunday, Nov. 27 - Season 4 Winter 2011: 8 Episodes
Television's coolest gang of thieves, grifters and con artists are ready to freeze out the bad guys this winter as this fast-paced, light-hearted caper series returns to wrap up its fourth exciting season. Academy Award(R) winner Timothy Hutton stars, along with Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge. Leverage premiered in 2008 and is currently averaging more than 4.8 million viewers in its fourth season, up 10% over last season.
The Closer - Season 7 returns Monday, Nov. 28, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) - Season 7 Winter 2011: 5 Episodes
TNT's The Closer, starring Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick, will be back this winter as the blockbuster series' seventh and final season continues. This year, Mary McDonnell has joined the cast of The Closer as Capt. Sharon Raydor, the role she will continue to play in TNT's upcoming new series Major Crimes. In its seventh season, The Closer has averaged 8.6 million viewers, while its performance among key adult demos are up significantly over last season. The Closer will return to wrap up its seven-season run with six episodes in summer 2012, followed by the premiere of Major Crimes.
Rizzoli & Isles - Season 2 returns Monday, Nov. 28, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) - Season 2 Winter 2011: 5 Episodes
Topping the charts for the second consecutive year as basic cable's most-watched drama, Rizzoli & Isles will return this winter with Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as Boston's top crime-solving duo. Developed for television by executive producer Janet Tamaro and based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles is currently averaging 8.8 million viewers for its second season.
Southland - Season 4 premieres Jan. 17, 2012, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) - Season 4: 10 Episodes
This critically acclaimed drama series takes viewers directly to the streets of LA to present an intensely personal, first-person look at cops and detectives on the beat. The extraordinary show - starring Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King and Ben McKenzie - has redefined the police drama genre with a raw, authentic look at the lives and work of detectives and beat cops. Special guest star Lucy Liu will appear throughout the season as a member of the LAPD. In its third season, Southland grew its audience by 8% over the second season.
TNT Mystery Movie Night
Scott Turow's Innocent - Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Bill Pullman stars as Rusty Sabich, a judge charged with the murder of his wife, a situation that comes 20 years after he was cleared in the death of his mistress. During this latest trial, a secret affair from Rusty's recent past threatens to hamper his defense and fracture his relationship with his son. Oscar(R) winner Marcia Gay Harden plays Rusty's wife, while Alfred Molina is his friend and defense attorney. Emmy(R) winner Richard Schiff (The West Wing, The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Callard Harris (TBS's Glory Daze, Intermedio) and Mariana Klaveno (True Blood, While the Children Sleep) also star. Scott Turow's Innocent is a sequel to Turow's bestseller Presumed Innocent. The movie is written and directed by Mike Robe (TNT's HawthoRNe, Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King), with Robe and Frank von Zerneck (We Were the Mulvaneys, Miracle on Ice) serving as executive producers.
Ricochet - Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Two homicide detectives find their careers - and lives - on the line when they get caught up in a case of murder and betrayal in high-society Savannah. Emmy nominee John Corbett is set to star in this atmospheric tale based on the book by #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown. Corbett plays Det. Sgt. Duncan Hatcher, who is investigating a corrupt judge (Gary Cole) while also becoming romantically involved with his wife (Julie Benz). Kelly Overton plays Det. Deedee Bowen, Hatcher's blue-collar partner; Kadeem Hardison (Panther, Made of Honor) is Detective Bob Worley; and Haaz Sleiman (The Visitor, Nurse Jackie) is drug dealer Robert Savich. Nick Gomez (Dexter, Drowning Mona) is directing Ricochet from a script by Donald Martin (The Craigslist Killer). Howard Braunstein (The Informant!) and Jim Head (On Strike for Christmas) serve as executive producers.
Hide - Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
In this movie based on Lisa Gardner's book, Carla Gugino plays Boston Police Detective D.D. Warren, who is called to the grounds of an abandoned mental hospital where a buried chamber is discovered. Inside are the mummified remains of six young women, who have all been missing for years. The case leads D.D. to Annabelle, a young woman who spent her childhood moving from city to city, from identity to identity, hiding from someone or something totally unknown to her. D.D. uses clues from Annabelle's secret past to unravel the mystery behind her twisted family history. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kevin Alejandro also star. Hide is written by Janet Brownell (Eloise at the Plaza), directed by John Gray (Ghost Whisperer, Helter Skelter) and executive-produced by Stephanie Germain (The Day After Tomorrow).
Silent Witness - Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
This legal drama based on Richard North Patterson's novel stars Dermot Mulroney as prominent defense attorney Tony Lord, who returns to his hometown to defend an old friend, played by Michael Cudlitz. The friend is a teacher accused of murdering one of his students, and the case re-opens the heartache from Tony's own high school days, when he was a student falsely accused of murdering his first love. Lizzie Friedman and Greg Little, the team behind One Lucky Elephant, Whiz Kids and Sex and Death 101, serve as executive producers along with Howard Braunstein (The Informant!). Peter Markle (Bat*21, Flight 93) is set to direct from a script by Thomas Michael Donnelly (Our Fathers).
Good Morning, Killer - Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Adapted by April Smith from her own novel, this thriller stars Catherine Bell as FBI Special Agent Ana Gray, an undercover operative tracking down a serial kidnapper. As Ana develops a rapport with the kidnapper's latest victim, the suspect suddenly changes his pattern. Now Ana must race to find him before he strikes again. Cole Hauser (Chase, K-Ville) co-stars as Detective Andrew Berringer. In addition to writing the screenplay, Smith is set to executive-produce Good Morning, Killer with Frank von Zerneck (We Were the Mulvaneys, Miracle on Ice). Maggie Greenwald (Songcatcher, The Ballad of Little Jo) will direct.
Deck the Halls - Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Based on the first book in Mary Higgins Clark and daughter Carol Higgins Clark's series of holiday mystery novels, this warm-hearted story brings together two of the authors' most popular characters: Cleaning-woman-turned-private-eye Alvirah Meegan (Kathy Najimy) and Detective Regan Reilly (Scottie Thompson). The women investigate the kidnapping of Regan's father and a young female driver just before the holidays. The race is on to rescue the pair and get them home in time for Christmas. Two-time Emmy(R) winner Jane Alexander plays Regan's mother, famed mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly. Ron Underwood (Tremors, City Slickers) will direct from a script by Howard Burkons (John Q, TNT's The Ron Clark Story), who also serves as executive producer with Brenda Friend (Joan of Arc, TNT's The Ron Clark Story) and Frank von Zerneck (We Were the Mulvaneys, Miracle on Ice).
Christmas in Washington - Annual special airing Friday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011, this holiday concert is a star-studded musical celebration benefiting the Children's National Medical Center. Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, the spectacular concert takes place at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. This marks TNT's 13th year presenting Christmas in Washington.
18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(R) - Live simulcast with TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)
One of the industry's most respected award presentations, this prestigious industry event honors performances in five film categories and eight television categories, including the unique Ensemble Award and an award for stunt performers.