TNT Press Release
TNT’s Landmark Series The Closer Reaches Powerful Conclusion
With Six Final Episodes, Beginning Monday, July 9
Series Finale to Air Monday, August 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT),
Followed by the Launch of New Series Major Crimes
For seven memorable seasons, Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson and the LAPD’s Major Crimes unit have closed some of television’s most intriguing, mind-bending and surprising cases. This summer, Johnson and her team will face their last cases together as TNT airs the final six episodes of the record-breaking blockbuster series The Closer. The acclaimed series, starring Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick, will return Monday, July 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) with all-new episodes, leading to the unforgettable series finale on Monday, August 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).
The endearing Brenda Leigh Johnson, seamlessly brought to life by Sedgwick, has brilliantly solved puzzles, interrogated criminals, elicited confessions and closed complex cases for more than seven years with vigor, wit and a whole lot of southern charm. The dedicated detectives working under her have investigated their way through mishaps and successes, creating an indelible cast of characters that have engaged audiences since the beginning.
In addition to Sedgwick, The Closer’s extraordinary Screen Actors Guild Award–nominated cast includes Jon Tenney as Brenda’s husband, FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard, who worries the stress of the job may be too much for her; J.K. Simmons as interim Police Chief Will Pope, whose career has undergone several seismic shifts; Corey Reynolds as Brenda’s right-hand man, Detective Sergeant David Gabriel; Robert Gossett as Commander Taylor, whose role in the department is constantly being redefined; G.W. Bailey as Lieutenant Provenza, a seasoned veteran who serves as Brenda’s second in command, despite a record of embarrassing blunders; Tony Denison as Lieutenant Andy Flynn, whose sarcastic comments have frequently landed him in sticky situations; Michael Paul Chan as the squad’s tech guru, Lieutenant Mike Tao, whose obsessive attention to detail can try his colleagues’ patience; Raymond Cruz as gang expert Detective Julio Sanchez, who often allows his emotions to get the better of him; and Phillip P. Keene as audio-visual technician Buzz Watson, who demands the utmost respect for the department’s equipment.
Two-time Oscar® nominee Mary McDonnell joined The Closer as a regular cast member last summer in the role of Captain Sharon Raydor, the role that had previously earned her an Emmy® nomination as a guest star. McDonnell will continue to play Raydor in TNT’s new series Major Crimes, which is slated to premiere August 13, right after The Closer's series finale.
As The Closer winds down with its final six episodes, Brenda thinks she has finally cornered her longtime nemesis, lawyer and suspected rapist and murderer Philip Stroh, played by returning guest star Billy Burke. Brenda has been haunted for years by her obsession with putting Stroh behind bars, and this could be her last chance to close this open case. But her reckless fixation on Stroh could put the case – and Brenda's career – in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Capt. Raydor (McDonnell) and Chief Pope (Simmons) will continue investigating a mysterious leak in the department that fueled a federal lawsuit against Brenda. Although the lawsuit was eventually dropped, Pope was forced to put a new policy in place called “The Johnson Rule," which unfairly tied Brenda’s last name to a requirement concerning the release of suspects in a dangerous environment. The new rule may have effectively ended the case against Brenda, but the new rule back-handedly incriminated her for transgressions she believes she did not commit. It also made Brenda realize that there are people in the department she simply cannot trust.
Brenda’s parents, played by guest stars Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin, will also make a return visit this summer, distracting Brenda further and making decisions about her future with the department all the more difficult. In addition, Jon Tenney will take a turn in the director's chair when he helms a light-hearted episode airing July 16. The episode will introduce viewers to Lieutenant Provenza’s first ex-wife, Liz (guest star Diedre O'Connell), who ropes her former husband into helping recover her wedding ring from a shady gold buyer. But Provenza will once again find himself stuck in a professionally embarrassing situation, this time involving a robbery, a felony murder and an evidence-swallowing dog.
Since its premiere in 2005, The Closer has garnered numerous ad-supported cable viewership records, including being the only series in cable history to rank #1 for five consecutive years. In its seventh season so far, the show is averaging 8.3 million viewers.
The Closer is produced for TNT by The Shephard/Robin Company, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The series was created by James Duff, who serves as executive producer with Greer Shephard, Michael M. Robin, Kyra Sedgwick and Rick Wallace. The show is produced by Andrew J. Sacks. Gil Garcetti, Los Angeles district attorney from 1992 to 2000, serves as consulting producer.
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle; Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells, as well as the upcoming series Major Crimes, Dallas and Perception. TNT also presents compelling original movies, including a slate of thrillers set to premiere this fall in the TNT Mystery Movie Night showcase. TNT is the cable home to powerful dramas like The Mentalist, Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting next year, Castle; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.
"Hostile Witness" – Monday, July 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Brenda thinks she has finally cornered her longtime nemesis, lawyer and suspected rapist and murderer Philip Stroh (guest star Billy Burke), when his latest client shows signs of cracking under pressure. But a shocking courtroom maneuver by Brenda puts the entire case in jeopardy, which does not sit well with new D.A. Claire Baldwin (guest star Amanda Mason Warren).
Directed by Steve Robin
Written by Steven Kane
Created by James Duff
"Fool's Gold" – Monday, July 16, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Provenza gets trapped into helping his first ex-wife, Liz (guest star Diedre O'Connell), recover her wedding ring after she got ripped off by a shady gold buyer. But he once again finds himself stuck in a professionally embarrassing situation, this time involving a robbery, a felony murder, an evidence-swallowing dog and a frantically desperate appraiser (guest star Reg Rogers). John Tenney directs.
Directed by Jon Tenney
Written by Ralph Gifford & Carson Moore
Created by James Duff
"Drug Fiend" – Monday, July 23, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
In a case that hits too close to home for Brenda, a well-liked cancer doctor is brutally killed and his drug supply wiped clean. But the case could have a much wider reach than anyone suspects. To make matters worse, Captain Raydor has a new assignment that leaves Brenda questioning her loyalty to Pope. And Gabriel makes a significant life change.
Directed by Paul McCrane
Written by Duppy Demetrius
Created by James Duff
"Last Rites" – Monday, July 30, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
The murder of a priest puts the squad on a collision course with the Catholic Church and drives a wedge between Brenda and Chief Pope. Meanwhile, Brenda's parents are in town while her father continues his cancer treatments.
Directed by David McWhirter
Written by Leo Geter
Created by James Duff
"Armed Response" – Monday, August 6, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
A young couple hanging out in someone else's house find themselves in hot water when a security guard and decorated veteran winds up dead in the street outside. But Brenda finds her investigation stifled by the watchful eye of the District Attorney's office. Meanwhile, Raydor and Pope finally pinpoint the leak in the department.
Directed by Michael M. Robin
Written by Steven Kane & Jim Leonard
Created by James Duff
Series Finale: "The Last Word" – Monday, August 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
A young street hustler (guest star Graham Patrick Martin) sees what appears to be a man burying a woman in Griffith Park, prompting an investigation Brenda is convinced will lead to Philip Stroh (guest star Billy Burke). But Brenda's obsession with Stroh threatens not only her career, but also her life.
Directed by Michael M. Robin
Written by James Duff & Mike Berchem
Created by James Duff
Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson/Executive Producer
With powerful performances on the stage, screen and television, Kyra Sedgwick is an established actress that as endeared herself to audiences and received critical acclaim for her various roles.
This summer, Sedgwick will star in the final six episodes leading up to the series finale of TNT's first original show The Closer. Her role as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson has earned her both a Golden Globe® and Emmy®, as well as seven Golden Globe® nominations, four Emmy® nominations and seven SAG Award® nominations.
Next, Sedgwick will be seen in Ole Bornedal's The Possession, opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan in August 2012. The film follows a divorced couple (Sedgwick and Dean Morgan) whose daughter becomes obsessed with an antique wooden box she bought at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit that has put a curse upon the girl.
Sedgwick will soon begin production on the thriller Kill Your Darlings, opposite Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Michael C. Hall and Ben Foster. Written and directed by John Krokidas, the film tells the story of a murder that brought together Beat Revolution architects Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs at Columbia University in 1944. The film is currently in pre-production and set for a 2013 release.
Sedgwick laststarred in Asger Leth's Man on a Ledge, with Elizabeth Banks, Sam Worthington and Jamie Bell, as well as Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's Gamer, opposite Gerard Butler. Sedgwick also starred in The Game Plan, alongside Dwayne Johnson, and in ThinkFilms's Loverboy, directed by Kevin Bacon. Sedgwick helped develop and co-produced the latter film, which co-stars Matt Dillon, Campbell Scott and Marisa Tomei and which premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2004, Sedgwick starred in Nicole Kassell's The Woodsman, produced by Lee Daniels, opposite Kevin Bacon and Mos Def. The film had its world premiere at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival (in competition), receiving rave reviews and was also showcased in Cannes as part of the 2004 Director's Fortnight line-up, where it won the Jury prize at the Deauville Film Festival.
Sedgwick received a 2005 Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in Lisa Cholodenko's Cavedweller, which aired on Showtime. She also developed and produced the film. Among Sedgwick's additional credits are Joseph Sargent's Emmy®-nominated Something the Lord Made for HBO; Rebecca Miller's independent film Personal Velocity, which won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival; the Peabody Award-winning TNT movie Door to Door, opposite William H. Macy, Helen Mirren, and Kathy Baker; Fisher Stevens' Just A Kiss; Showtime's Behind the Red Door, opposite Keifer Sutherland and Stockard Channing; and Secondhand Lions, co-starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment; John Turteltaub's Phenomenon, opposite John Travolta; and What's Cooking, which opened the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Other credits include Born on the Fourth of July, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Singles, Lemon Sky, Heart and Souls and Showtime's Losing Chase, which she also executive-produced.
Sedgwick's theater credits include The Culture Project's New York production of The Exonerated; a triumphant run of Nicholas Hytner's Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center; Ah Wilderness!, for which she won the Theater Award; and David Mamet's Oleanna, which garnered her a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award.
Captain Sharon Raydor
Mary McDonnell is renowned for her work in film, television and theatre. As a two-time Oscar®-nominee, McDonnell has transformed both period and present-day screen roles into dynamic character portrayals.
McDonnell’s first Oscar nomination was a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Stands with a Fist, a white woman raised by the Sioux in Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. She also received her first of two Golden Globe nominations for her performance. McDonnell garnered a Best Actress Academy Award® nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of a paraplegic soap-opera star in John Sayles’ critically acclaimed Passion Fish, a story portraying the relationship between a woman and her taciturn caretaker.
Some of the films in McDonnell’s extensive filmography include acclaimed cult film Donnie Darko; Nola with Emmy Rossum; two Lawrence Kasden films, Grand Canyon and Mumford; Roland Emmerich’s Sci-Fi blockbuster Independence Day, with Bill Pullman and Will Smith; William Friedkin’s Blue Chips, with Nick Nolte; and Sneakers, with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier and Ben Kingsley.
McDonnell has two films out this year. In Margin Call, a behind-the-scenes look at an investment bank over a 24-hour period right before the financial crisis, she has a pivotal cameo role opposite Kevin Spacey. And in Scream 4, which takes moviegoers back to Woodsboro for more terror, McDonnell portrays Sidney Prescott’s aunt Kate.
McDonnell received outstanding reviews for her portrayal as President Laura Roslin in the Peabody Award-winning series Battlestar Galactica. McDonnell also garnered an Emmy nomination for her recurring guest role on the television series ER. Some of her other television credits include TNT’s adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock; the CBS series High Society and the critically acclaimed television movies Behind the Mask and Two Small Voices. She also co-starred on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Virginia Dixon, a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon battling Asperger’s Syndrome.
McDonnell began her career in theatre and has starred in a wide variety of both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. She received an Obie Award for her performance in Emily Mann’s Still Life and has starred in such Off-Broadway productions as Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo, John O’Keefe’s All Night Long, Michael Cristofer’s Black Angel, Kathleen Tolan’s A Weekend Near Madison, Paula Cizmar’s Death of a Miner and Dennis McIntyre’s National Anthem. Her Broadway credits include Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles and Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice.
FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard
Jon Tenney’s professional career includes extensive work on stage, as well as in feature films and television. He launched his TV career with a guest-starring role on Murphy Brown and has been a series regular on several shows. He has also had recurring roles on CSI and Will & Grace.
Tenney can be seen in one of the year’s most anticipated films, the comic-book action flick Green Lantern, with Ryan Reynolds. He also recently co-starred in Legion, opposite Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany and Tyrese Gibson; the thriller The Stepfather, with Sela Ward, Penn Badgley and Dylan Walsh; and the film adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole, with Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest.
Tenney has been successful on the big screen, beginning with his debut in Watch It, opposite Tom Sizemore, John C. McGinley and Peter Gallagher. He went on to appear in Fools Rush In, co-starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek, and Albert Brooks’ Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, the Western drama Tombstone and Oliver Stone’s Nixon.
For television, Tenney co-starred in the Showtime films Twilight of the Golds, co-starring Jennifer Beals, Faye Dunaway and Brendan Fraser, and Homecoming. He has also appeared on the series Crime & Punishment, Equal Justice and The Division.
Assistant Police Chief Will Pope
J.K. Simmons has appeared in diverse projects spanning motion pictures, television and stage performances on and off Broadway. He played J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. His motion picture credits include Hidalgo, The Ladykillers, The Mexican, Off the Map, For Love of the Game, The Gift, Thank You for Smoking, Rendition, Burn After Reading and, memorably, as offbeat father Mac McGuff in the hit comedy Juno.
Simmons’ latest films include The Words, The Music Never Stopped, Jennifer’s Body, Extract, The Vicious Kind, I Love You Man, Beginner’s Guide to Endings and the Academy Award-nominated film Up in the Air. Additionally, he recently finished shooting Contraband, which will be released in 2012.
On the small screen, Simmons played Vern Schillinger on HBO’s acclaimed drama Oz and had a recurring role as Dr. Emil Skoda on NBC’s Law and Order.
Simmons has appeared on the Broadway stage in such shows as Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, A Change in the Heir, Peter Pan and A Few Good Men.
Detective Sergeant David Gabriel
Corey Reynolds is one of the most versatile performers working in the business today. His performance on The Closer has garnered him a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2009, five Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble and a NAMIC Vision Award nomination for Best Actor.
Prior to The Closer, Reynolds made his Broadway debut playing Seaweed in the Tony-winning musical Hairspray, a performance that garnered him a 2003 Tony nomination, a Drama Desk nomination and an Outer Circle Critics Award nomination. After seeing Reynolds’ star-making turn in Hairspray, Steven Spielberg personally cast him in the 2004 film The Terminal, with Tom Hanks.
Reynolds was born and raised in Richmond, Va., beginning his professional career at age 16 performing around his hometown. His other theatre credits include Smokey Joe’s Café, Saturday Night Fever, Parade and Avenue X.
Robert Gossett was born in the Bronx, and landed his first professional gig in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Mercer Arts Center in Greenwich Village. He went on to perform in Lloyd Richard’s Broadway production of Fences, Hal Scott’s production of A Raisin in the Sun and Donald McKayle’s production of The Last Minstrel Show. Other notable theater performances include Manhattan Made Me, Sons and Fathers of Sons, A Soldier’s Play and Colored People’s Time, all of which were performed with the famed Negro Ensemble Company of New York.
Gossett’s awards include the NAACP Theater Award for Best Performance by a Male and the Dramalogue Best Actor Award for his performance in Indigo Blues, directed by his wife, Michele Gossett. He also earned the LA Weekly Theater award for Washington Square Moves.
In film, Gossett has starred in Irwin Winkler’s The Net, alongside Sandra Bullock; Tim Hunter’s The Maker, with Matthew Modine; Arlington Road, with Jeff Bridges; White Man’s Burden, with John Travolta; The Spring in Her Step; and Flying By, with Heather Locklear and Billy Ray Cyrus.
G.W. Bailey, who plays the cantankerous Lieutenant Provenza on TNT's hit series The Closer, has a career that spans four decades and is packed with memorable and distinctive characters. A native Texan, he began his training at Texas Tech University and started his professional career at the prestigious Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Ky.
Bailey later moved to Los Angeles, where he started his television career in a string of guest-starring roles on episodic series, in addition to continuing his stage work. He later played a recurring role on M*A*S*H as well as regular roles on The Jeff Foxworthy Show and St. Elsewhere. Bailey also starred in several TV miniseries, such as the award-winning Double Crossed and The Siege at Ruby Ridge.
Bailey’s feature career began with the film Police Academy and flourished with starring roles in such movies as Mannequin, Short Circuit, Burglar and Rustler’s Rhapsody, among others. He returned to academia in the mid 1990s and graduated from Texas State University in 1994. Upon graduation, he remained at Texas State and served as artist-in-residence for several years, working occasionally in Hollywood and on the stage in New York.
Bailey’s true passion is his work with The Sunshine Kids Foundation, where he serves as the Executive Director. Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer. Established in 1982, the foundation is committed to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients and their families.
Lieutenant Andy Flynn
In addition to his role on THE CLOSER, Tony most recently completed shooting the feature film Trattoria, in which he plays a chef who starts to recognize what is really important in life. He has also formed a production company with friend and partner Joel Bess called Jucilian Productions.
With New York stage credits under his belt, Tony Denison made his momentous television debut starring in Michael Mann’s critically acclaimed drama Crime Story as Ray Luca. He received a fistful of kudos, including recognition from Time magazine as television’s best villain of the 1980s.
Denison has appeared in more than two-dozen motion pictures, including Art of Revenge and Little Vegas. He was recently cast as Ed Reilly in The Obama Effect directed by and starring Charles Dutton. In addition to Crime Story, Denison has an impressive list of starring roles on series, that includes a special episode arc on Wise Guy, Under Cover, Love and Marriage, The D.A., Playmakers and Prison Break, as well as notable guest-starring roles on such shows as CSI, Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, The District, J.A.G., Cold Case, The O.C., ER, NYPD Blue and Charmed.
Michael Paul Chan
Lieutenant Mike Tao
Michael Paul Chan grew up in Richmond, Calif., and was a musician in several Bay Area rock bands before becoming an actor.
Chan has more than 200 television and film credits, including The Insider, with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe; Spy Game, with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt; U.S. Marshals, with Tommy Lee Jones; Falling Down, with Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall; and the critically acclaimed adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. He has worked under the direction of legendary filmmakers Michael Mann, in Thief and Robbery Homicide Division, and Oliver Stone, in the third of his Vietnam trilogy, Heaven and Earth.
On television, Chan starred in Eddie Murphy’s animated television series The PJ’s, played a recurring role on Arrested Development and recently guest-starred on Bones and The Simpsons.
Detective Julio Sanchez
In addition to playing Detective Julio Sanchez on TNT's hit series The Closer, Raymond Cruz has appeared in more than 30 feature films and has worked extensively in television, playing a wide range of characters. His work in films includes roles in Havoc with Anne Hathaway; Training Day, with Denzel Washington; Collateral Damage with Arnold Schwarzenegger; Alien 4: Resurrection with Sigourney Weaver; and Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford. Other notable films include The Last Marshal, The Rock, The Substitute, Out for Justice and Under Siege.
On television, Cruz has had recurring roles on My Name Is Earl, Breaking Bad, Day Break, The Division, 24 and Nip/Tuck. He has also guest starred on numerous hit shows, including CSI, CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue, The Practice, Star Trek, Boomtown and The X-Files. He recently won an Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on The Closer.
Cruz also has an extensive stage background and is a recipient of the Drama Critics award.
Phillip P. Keene
Phillip P. Keene is excited to be reprising the role of videographer and surveillance expert Buzz Watson on TNT’s The Closer and the upcoming Major Crimes. His previous television experience includes hosting the series Home and making a guest appearance on the ABC limited series, The DA. He made his feature debut in the Tony Alda film, Role of a Lifetime.
Keene, who is fluent in Spanish and German, earned a degree in history/art history from UCLA and a pilot’s license before deciding to go into acting, taking classes from Howard Fine, Heidi Davis, Margie Haber and Tony Sepulveda. His hobbies include surfing, collecting Pan Am memorabilia and renovating older homes.
James Duff began his professional writing career with the Broadway drama Home Front, which was later re-titled The War at Home before having a successful worldwide run in London, Stockholm, Athens, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sydney. The play was made into a feature film starring Kathy Bates, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Kimberly Williams and Carla Gugino. Duff’s play A Quarrel of Sparrows went from regional theater productions to off-Broadway’s Promenade Theatre and won a Dramalogue Award during its run in Los Angeles.
Duff has written three television films: Without a Kiss Goodbye, Betrayed: The Story of Three Women and Doing Time on Maple Drive, which earned him an Emmy® nomination. In series work, he has written and produced episodes for Popular, Felicity, Wolf Lake and The Agency. He also created and produced The Closer and the series The D.A. with Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin. In 2007 he was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award.
Additionally, Duff has written an episode of Enterprise, as well as four pilots: Long Island Fever, Texas Graces, 911 Fifth Avenue and The Travel Agency.
A co-founder of The Shephard/Robin Company, Greer Shephard is former vice president of drama series programming for ABC. In that role, she supervised both drama development and current series programming.
Shephard began her television career in 1989 as a manager of comedy and drama development at Walt Disney Television. She joined ABC in 1991 as associate director of current series programming. She was promoted to director, dramatic series development, in 1993, and then elevated to vice president in 1995.
During her tenure at ABC, Shephard helped develop the Peabody Award-winning Nothing Sacred; the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning The Practice; Robert Altman’s Gun; Cracker; and Relativity. Shephard then served as a producer on Nothing Sacred and C-16 before launching The Shephard/Robin Company. She has since directed episodes of THE CLOSER, Nip/Tuck, Trust Me and State of Mind.
Michael M. Robin
Michael M. Robin is an award-winning producer and director who has worked on such high-profile series NYPD Blue, Nip/Tuck and TNT's The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes and Dallas. He earned Emmys as a co-executive producer of NYPD Blue and producer of L.A. Law.
Robin formed The Shephard/Robin Company with Greer Shephard in 1998, later scoring success with the acclaimed series Nip/Tuck. Additional productions include such series as The DA, Popular and Brutally Normal.
In his more than two decades in the television industry, Robin has directed 11 drama pilots, including the pilots for TNT's The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes and Dallas. He has directed a total of 19 episodes of The Closer and three episodes of Rizzoli & Isles.
Robin began his career as a production assistant on the hit series L.A. Law, where he worked his way up to producer in the fourth season and later received an Emmy for his work on the series. He then segued to Cop Rock as a producer, where he made his directorial debut.
Robin continued directing as the supervising producer on Civil Wars while also evolving into a co-executive producer on NYPD Blue. His four years of work on NYPD Blue earned him a second Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, in addition to a nomination for Outstanding Director for a Drama Series.
After an 11-year association with Steven Bochco, Robin struck out on his own to co-create, executive-produce and direct multiple episodes of the drama series C-16, as well as launch The Shephard/Robin Company with Greer Shephard.
Rick Wallace began his professional career as the artistic director of Pegasus Productions, a theatre company in Los Angeles. He started directing television in 1981 on the much-acclaimed series Hill Street Blues, which began a long association with Steven Bochco that has led to six more series.
Wallace came to THE CLOSER as executive producer having directed five episodes over the first four years of the series. He has directed episodes of more than 35 other series and has won three Emmys® for Outstanding Drama Series. He was nominated twice for Outstanding Directing in a series. His directing credits include episodes of Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, Murder One, Smallville, Law & Order, Law & Order: S.V.U., Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Sleeper Cell. Wallace has served as an executive producer and director on such series as L.A. Law, City Of Angels, Philly, Peacemakers, Commander In Chief, Men In Trees and Women’s Murder Club. Wallace has directed seven television pilots, including Doogie Howser M.D. and The Pretender, which he also executive-produced.
Wallace lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children.
Andrew J. Sacks
Academy Award® winner Andrew Sacks started his career as a project coordinator with Landmark Entertainment Group, helping to create a theme park in Oita, Japan. After returning to the United States, he began his work in television on the series Beverly Hills, 90210.
Sacks continued to work on several projects for Spelling, Touchstone and Warner Bros. Television. His feature credits include The Opposite of Sex; Shirley MacLaine’s directorial debut, Bruno; and Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze. He has worked on several projects for The Shephard/Robin Company, including Brutality Normal, Elementary and Beck and Call, as well as co-producing the series The D.A with executive producer James Duff.
In 2004, Sacks won an Oscar® for producing the short film Two Soldiers. In 2005, he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Sacks is a member of the Board of Directors for the Sunshine Kids Foundation. This non-profit organization, for which The Closer cast member G.W. Bailey serves as Executive Director, serves children with cancer from all over the United States and Canada.
# # #
Check out my blog home page for the latest information at I Like To Watch TV