Mary McDonnell

Brenda Leigh Johnson is by no means done squeezing confessions out of criminals on The Closer, but already the TNT show, which premieres its seventh and final season on July 11, is setting the scene for its new spinoff, Major Crimes.

"We've talked about Major Crimes on the episodes we've already shot," Raymond Cruz, who plays Detective Sanchez, told TV Guide Magazine exclusively at the Falling Skies premiere on June 13. The transition from one show to the other should be nearly seamless. "The storylines, I think, will carry through into the new show," adds Philip Keene, who plays tech expert Buzz Watson.

Mary McDonnell, who has been recurring on The Closer as Captain Sharon Raydor, will star on the new show, but according to Cruz and Keene it appears that Major Crimes will be more of an ensemble series than its predecessor. "She's part of the group," Cruz says of McDonnell. "You get to see more of everybody's lives and how they react to certain things." Adds Keene, "The dynamics are going to change a little bit. I think it's going to be more focused on the group rather than the single individual."

Though both actors find it difficult to imagine the show without Sedgwick, they're hopeful their old boss will come back for a visit. "She's been such a big part of the show, she is The Closer," says Keene. "It's like having your favorite relative move away and hoping they'll come back for dinner. So, we have hopes, yes."

For now they're just happy to keep going. "We're really excited," says Keene. "To be working with these guys for however much longer, it's a great thing."

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