Like one relay runner to the next, TNT's police procedural"The Closer" hands its baton, or nightstick, to"Major Crimes" Monday night; the latter series will begin just as the former ends, with the briefest narrative gap between them.
It was star Kyra Sedgwick's desire to move on from playing Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, the head of a fictional LAPD unit devoted to high-profile crimes, that brought down the curtain on "The Closer." But why scuttle the ship just because the skipper's left? Why throw out perfectly good bathwater with the departed baby? It seems likely now that Mary McDonnell's Capt. Sharon Raydor, Brenda's former nemesis and reluctantly accepted ally, was being positioned for this job for perhaps some time.
Significant details aside — new title, characters going or coming, a slight change of focus — this is substantially the same series, maintaining the tone and the pace and the places and many of the faces of its predecessor. As before there is a nice balance between social drama and personal business, the tragic and the comic, exaggeration and authenticity. Los Angeles looks good in close up and long shot.
FOR THE RECORD:
"Major Crimes": A review of the TNT series "Major Crimes" in the Aug. 13 Calendar section failed to include the first name of its star, Mary McDonnell. The article also misspelled the last name of the character she plays, Capt. Sharon Raydor, as Rader. —
Sticking around are G. W. Bailey (as Det. Lt. Provenza), Tony Denison (as Det. Lt. Flynn), Michael Paul Chan (as Det. Lt. Tao), Raymond Cruz (as Det. Sanchez), Phillip P. Keene (as Buzz, the video guy); and Robert Gossett (Commander Taylor, moving up to become assistant chief, as J.K. Simmons' Will Pope is promoted out of the series to be chief of police).