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TV's Smartest Detectives

by AOL TV Staff, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:00AM
Magnum P.I.Ready to sharpen your armchair detective skills?

TNT is kicking off a new Mystery Movie Night, starting with Scott Turow's 'Innocent' (premieres Tues., Nov. 29, 9PM ET), starring Bill Pullman as a man charged with murdering his wife, played by Marcia Gay Harden, and Alfred Molina as his defense attorney. In honor of this series of best-selling whodunit stories brought to the small screen, we rounded up the smartest detectives in TV history.

From an OCD gumshoe-for-hire to a no-nonsense Scotland Yard sleuth, a sassy high-school snoop and a P.I. with facial hair as famous as he was, check out our gallery of the top 20 smartest TV detectives of all time.

Do your keen powers of perception tell you we've missed someone? Add your own favorites in the comments.

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What to Watch: TV Picks for November 28 - December 4

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 27th 2011 2:00PM

'Gossip Girl' (8PM ET, The CW)

Lily, Charlie and Serena eagerly anticipate the Studio 54 party being thrown in CeCe's (guest star Caroline Lagerfelt) honor. Nate takes on a new role at the Spectator, but his first big story turns out to be about someone he knows all too well. Blair turns to an unlikely person for help.

'House' (9PM ET, Fox) midseason finale
In the fall finale, a prosecutor suffers from what he believes to be cardiac arrest during an interrogation at the witness stand. The team's preliminary diagnosis is hyper-anxiety, but when Adams and Park investigate the patient's home and find a hidden arsenal of firearms, they uncover a more alarming and deep-seated psychological disorder. Also, Wilson becomes obsessed with proving that House is hiding something in his home, Park slowly comes out of her social shell and Foreman's lack of romantic relationships piques the interest of Taub and Chase.

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Elizabeth Perkins Books 'The Closer' Role, 'New Girl' Enlists Lake Bell and More TV Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 20th 2011 4:30PM
Elizabeth Perkins'Weeds' star Elizabeth Perkins will guest star on 'The Closer.'

According to EW, Perkins will play Gail Meyers, the wife of the LAPD commissioner. In the Dec. 19 episode, Gail gets into some trouble when she tries to cover up potential scandal.

Mark Moses will play the commissioner and Maggie Wheeler will play a friend of Gail's.

'The Closer' returns to TNT on Nov. 28.

In other casting news ...

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Fred Willard Books 'The Closer' 100th Episode, 'Game of Thrones' Grows and More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 29th 2011 3:00PM
Fred WillardFred Willard is stopping by 'The Closer' just in time to celebrate the TNT drama's 100th episode.

According to EW, Willard will play Santa. Sort of.

Willard's character is the owner of a Christmas village and he has delusions he's the real Santa Claus. Look for a serious casualty to happen -- via a zip line -- at the character's village.

The veteran actor was last seen on TV making a cameo on 'Franklin & Bash.'

In other casting news ...

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Kyra Sedgwick Talks About the Final Season of 'The Closer' With Regis and Kelly (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 11th 2011 1:45PM
Krya Sedwick talks about the final season of 'The Closer' on 'Live With Regis and Kelly'Kyra Sedgwick plays the often frazzled Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, the title role on 'The Closer.' Monday night marks the premiere of show's final season, and Sedgwick said on 'Live With Regis and Kelly' (weekdays, syndicated), that things will get worse for her character before they get better.

Regis Philbin set up a clip by saying Johnson was "really getting frustrated about the way things are going at the department, but that's always been, more or less, her little angst, right?"

"She really gets hammered this season," said Sedgwick. "It'll be good."

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Summer TV's Most Stylish Ladies

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jul 5th 2011 3:15PM
Kyra SedgwickKyra Sedgwick is back for the seventh and final season of 'The Closer' (premieres Mon., July 11, 9PM ET on TNT), which means we only have 21 more episodes of Brenda Leigh Johnson's fabulous fashions.

You'd think -- based on what TV has taught us -- that the lead detective of L.A.'s Major Crimes Division would not be gorgeous, put-together or a woman for that matter. But 'The Closer' has defied all expectations, and has single-handedly put TNT on the map for quality female-led dramas.

As we prepare ourselves to say goodbye (and hope that 'Major Crimes,' the spinoff starring Mary McDonnell, is a hit), we thought we'd take a look at all the summer TV ladies who are looking good while helping us beat the heat.

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Mary McDonnell Talks 'The Closer,' 'Major Crimes' and the 'Return' of 'Battlestar Galactica'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jun 9th 2011 12:45PM
Mary McDonnell has a full agenda these days: The actress has been recurring on 'The Closer' for a couple of seasons, and she'll be a series regular when the TNT drama returns July 11. That job will keep her busy well into next year: The network recently announced that, after Kyra Sedgwick ends her run on 'The Closer' in 2012, McDonnell's Sharon Raydar character will be the lead of a spinoff titled 'Major Crimes.'

Though McDonnell was eager to talk about those new developments in a recent interview, it was actually a past project that prompted the conversation in the first place. McDonnell played Laura Roslin on 'Battlestar Galactica' for four seasons, and when she heard that BBC America was going to start re-airing the entire series starting 10PM ET June 11, she was happy to promote the "return" of the groundbreaking drama.

"I think it's perfect timing," McDonnell said. "'Battlestar' is so rich and relevant that one time through is not enough."

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TNT Announces 'Closer' Spin-off Starring Mary McDonnell, New Programming Slate

by Chris Harnick, posted May 18th 2011 11:00AM
Mary McDonnellMary McDonnell will star in 'Major Crimes,' a new spinoff from TNT's wildly successful police drama 'The Closer.' Can we get a "frak yeah," 'Battlestar Galactica' fans?

'Major Crimes' will launch after 'The Closer' wraps its final season with 15 episodes in 2011 and six during the summer of 2012, the network announced this morning. TNT also introduced several new projects, such as 'The TNT Tuesday Night Mystery' series, at its Upfront presentation.

'The TNT Tuesday Night Mystery' -- a working title -- will showcase six crime dramas, including both true crime and fiction mysteries. As part of the new movie block, TNT is working on an adaptation of Scott Turow's novel 'Innocent,' Richard North Patterson's 'Silent Witness,' Sandra Brown's 'Ricochet,' Lisa Gardner's 'Hide,' 'April Smith's 'Good Morning, Killer' and Mary and Carol Higgins Clark's 'Deck the Halls.'

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Spoilers Anonymous: 'Fringe,' 'Gossip Girl,' and More!

by Isabelle Carreau, posted May 10th 2011 1:00PM
Spoilers Anonymous logo This is Spoilers Anonymous, a weekly column here at TV Squad where we supply you with the dirt on some of the more popular shows on the air. We'll never put spoilers up here on the main page in order to help the reformed stay unspoiled. If you have anything to add to the group, feel free to step up and let yourself be heard, either with our tips form or by emailing us. Your anonymity is guaranteed, if you wish to remain as such.

This week we have spoilers for: 'Californication,' 'Dexter,' 'Fringe,' 'Glee,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent,' 'Parks & Recreation' and 'The Closer.'

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Mary McDonnell Joins 'The Closer' Full-Time, Will She Star in the Spinoff?

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 7th 2011 11:15AM
Mary McDonnellFrak yeah! Mary McDonnell has joined the cast of TNT's 'The Closer' as a series regular.

According to TVLine, McDonnell, who has recurred on the long-running TNT drama as Captain Sharon Raydor, will be a full-time cast member when 'The Closer' returns for a final "super-sized" season.

McDonnell, who wormed her way into the hearts of fans as President Laura Roslin on 'Battlestar Galactica,' could headline TNT's 'Closer' spinoff once Kyra Sedgwick leaves the franchise.

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Kyra Sedgwick Signs on for Six More Episodes of 'The Closer'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jan 31st 2011 8:10AM
Kyra Sedgwick in 'The Closer'Last week we reported that TNT execs were working feverishly to extend the life of their flagship drama, 'The Closer.' Now, we hear that they may have succeeded.

According to Entertainment Weekly, star Kyra Sedgwick has signed on for an extra six episodes of the final season, which will be used to lay the groundwork for a spin-off series. TNT expects to air the season in blocks: Ten episodes this summer, followed by five in the winter, and the extra six in the summer of 2012.

The final six will reportedly be the swan song for Sedgwick's character Brenda Leigh Johnson, while probably introducing a new central character who will headline the spin-off, which has been tentatively titled 'Major Crimes.'

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'The Closer' to Continue Without Kyra Sedgwick?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jan 24th 2011 7:30AM
'The Closer'Back in December the obits for 'The Closer' were being written after star Kyra Sedgwick announced the end of the series. Now, however, comes news that the farewells may have been premature, and that the drama could be carrying on without her.

'The Closer' is the most-watched basic cable series ever, and according to deadline.com, execs at TNT are unwilling to let their flagship drama go.

One of the scenarios currently being discussed at the cable network is extending the 15-episode (Final) Season 7 to 21 episodes.

However, adding an extra six episodes is contingent on a deal with Sedgwick. Given she's reportedly the one who decided to end the series in the first place, it could be an uphill battle to persuade her to carry on.

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'The Closer': It's a Christmas Miracle! (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 28th 2010 5:02AM
'The Closer':  It's a Christmas Miracle! It's a Christmas miracle on 'The Closer'! Or no, wait. Actually, it's the exact opposite of that. On the new episode (Mon., 9PM ET on TNT), Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson's parents are still in town. Yes, Clay and Willie Rae Johnson (Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin) are still visiting their daughter in Los Angeles.

But then, a sudden robbery of the Johnson's RV means a loss of all their Christmas gifts -- and their beloved microwave. It's a Christmas anti-miracle!

Clay and Willie are shocked by the crime rate in the big city -- now, they're threatening to cut short their endless trip, so that they can return to the safety of their home in Atlanta. Will Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) be able to keep them around? Or will it turn out that the whole theft was an inside job all along?

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A Knife Fight Came to a Quick End Thanks to a Police Car on 'The Closer' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 21st 2010 7:01AM
'The Closer'We may not be able to understand what the knife-wielding assailant was saying in the latest episode of 'The Closer' (Mon., 9PM on TNT) as he was spewing his venom and anger in a foreign language, but we do know what message got lost in translation.

Never bring a knife to a car fight.

The assailant was in pursuit of another man in a crowded shopping mall, surrounded by potential witnesses. This indicates he was probably beyond the point of reasoning, so running became the better option. Eventually, he caught up to his prey near the road, and the two tussled on the ground, and ultimately on the hood of a car.

A fortuitous throw by the victim sent his attacker into the road, where he learned that car beats knife every time. And when it's a police car, you lose twice. It was a quick end to what could have otherwise been a very nasty ending to a holiday shopping trip.

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'The Closer' -- Brenda Faces Some Very High Times (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 14th 2010 10:16AM
'The Closer' -- Brenda Faces Some Very High Times 'The Closer' (Mon., 9PM ET on TNT) isn't really up in the air these days. We now know that the show will come to a definitive end at the conclusion of next season's run. Still, on the latest episode, Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) finds herself up in the air -- in a very literal sense.

The episode is titled "High Crimes" -- and the LAPD must investigate a series of robberies which then lead to murder. The robberies in question take place at a bunch of medical marijuana shops. (So ... high crimes. ... Get it?)

But while trying to apprehend a suspect, Deputy Chief Johnson gets stuck in an attic -- and then the criminal smashes the ladder that she used to get up there. "Oh, for heaven's sakes!" Brenda says in her inimitable Southern accent, as both the ladder and the suspect crash to the floor.

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