The Closer ended because of Kyra Sedgwick, here's why she left

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The Closer came to Peacock on June 30, giving fans of the hit TNT series the opportunity to revisit it. There's the added benefit of newcomers tuning into the show as well. The television landscape has changed so much since the show began its run in 2005. The most popular programs tend to be on streaming but sometimes they don't even crack the teens when it comes to episode count per season so when subscribers are looking for lengthy binges, we turn to older broadcast and cable shows.

The Kyra Sedgwick-led procedural is one such drama that's captured viewers' attention again as we burn through the summer and wait for our favorite series on network TV to return, whilst also sampling what originals streaming has to offer, too. I'm betting right now there's someone eating their favorite snack and going on yet another case with Sedgwick's Brenda Leigh Johnson.

The CIA trained detective, who becomes the deputy chief of the Major Crimes Division of the LAPD, is a skilled interrogation specialist known to close cases through her ability to get the truth out of her suspects. With seven seasons and 109 episodes, anyone who sits down to watch The Closer will have plenty to delve into but, as is the case whenever we're watching an older program, there's curiosity on why the show ended. Was it cancelled? Did it get a planned ending? Did the show runs its course or did someone pull the plug on it?

Interestingly, The Closer is that rare show that wasn't ended because ratings declined, or the network wasn't willing to pay the licensing fee anymore, or the cast got too expensive because the series reached its seniority. The show was brought to an end because Sedgwick decided to leave. She was open about her decision to do so.

Why Kyra Sedgwick left The Closer

Now, before you go thinking that there might have been behind the scenes drama, let me dispel that suspicion. That wasn't the case. Sedgwick simply felt that it was time to retire her character. She spoke with the Associated Press on the matter:

In an interview with The Tampa Bay Times, she also stated:

"It weighed on me heavily at first, that awareness. One of the reasons why, you know, I wanted to end the show when I did was because I would just never want to go over the same ground. And I feel like we (avoided) that; we did give her an honorable and interesting sendoff, and I feel like that was my job."

Sedgwick is clearly an actress who sees her work as a craft while still recognizing that it's a job as well. We all, at some point as TV lovers, have seen what it looks like when actors begin to fade or worse phone their scenes in because they're on long running shows and their characters have become stagnant. Procedurals are difficult because they can tread well-trodden road the longer they're on which is frustrating for the actors and the audience at home.

As she explains, The Closer hadn't reached that point and that's not something she ever wanted for herself or the show. Of course, then you add in the fact that she was bicoastal. The Closer filmed in Los Angeles but her husband, Kevin Bacon, and their children lived in New York City. And you can see why, after seven seasons, Sedgwick was ready to give the procedural a proper send-off and move on to the next chapter in her career.

She did, however, fulfill her contract first which The Closer co-creator James Duff made clear when being interviewed by The Tampa Bay Times:

"I want to emphasize this: She didn't quit. She had a contract, she fulfilled it brilliantly. She had the largest speaking role on television for a long time and that's hard. It's like running a marathon."

Personally, I admire creatives that know when to walk away from the story they've been telling. Yes, it does mean that those of us tuning in who weren't ready to say goodbye must then mourn the loss of something we loved. But, it also means that the story can either go out on a high, still beloved and lauded or it can reach a planned conclusion rather than an abrupt one due to a cancellation.

The Closer was critically acclaimed, Sedgwick won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role, and the series spawned a spin-off in Major Crimes which ran for six season and 105 episodes. That's quite the run. An impactful one, to be honest.

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