James Duff


The Closer Creator James Duff Previews "War Zone"

J.K. Simmons and Kyra Sedgwick

Creating and maintaining our individual identities might possibly be the single most attractive force of daily life. Defining who we are is not only the central challenge of individuality, it is also a continuous trial following us by every mirror we pass, every relationship we form and every decision we make, from the cradle to the grave.

Somewhat counter intuitively, however, personal identity can also be forged through an association with a specific organization... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Breaks Down the American Dream in "Jumping the Gun"

The Closer

Over the past two-and-a-half centuries, the American Dream has lost little of its attractive power. Do you want to reach for the stars? Are you willing to work hard enough to do it? And, most importantly, do you want to live in a just nation where everyone has the right — and even the responsibility — to pursue their own version of happiness?
 
As of late, however, the American Dream seems to have morphed read more

Closer Creator James Duff Previews "Off the Hook"

Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, The Closer

Of all the attractive evils in the world perhaps none is more insidious than the desire to blame others for our own misfortunes. If history is any judge, scapegoating never loses its appeal and, especially in economic downturns, it can be extremely dangerous for those poor souls (or social groups) blamed for events over which they had no control. What's tragic about falsely assigning responsibility for disasters (like lost wars and financial collapse) is that pointing fingers and screaming does nothing to address the real problems. But gleaning what I can from cable news shows, determining who is to blame for a calamity is more important than getting out of one. Which is exactly where we find Assistant Chief Will Pope in The Closer's next episode, "Off the Hook" ... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Previews "Heart Attack"

Kyra Sedgwick

The idea of right and wrong plays a huge role in our everyday lives. Most of us agree to let the criminal codes handle grievous assaults on individuals, but reserve for ourselves the right to govern our own homes. But there are stringent moralists among us who believe their own rules should apply to everyone, or who wish to impress their own concepts of good and bad on the whole world. Crypto-fascists of the right and the left increasingly fan the flames of intolerance. I can't help but wonder what would happen if either side were to literally take the law into its own hands... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff: Our Show Is "Ruthlessly Apolitical"

The Closer

The Closer is ruthlessly apolitical. The writers have opinions on national affairs, of course, but we don't think our little show is a place to air them. I mention this as preamble to one of the very best episodes we've ever produced because, between the time "Help Wanted" was written and shot, and it's date-of-air, the state of Arizona passed a new law dealing with the hot button issue of illegal immigration. And many people who watch the show might suppose we are commenting — one way or another — on this deeply problematic issue. We are not; we wouldn't even try.... read more

Celebrity Blogs: The Closer Creator James Duff Previews "The Big Bang"

The Closer

Those audience members familiar with The Closer's dedication to authenticity will not be surprised to find that several things have changed from Season 5 to Season 6. The LAPD moved into new headquarters, and so have we; their Chief-of-Police retired and so will ours; the race to fill this all-important post consumed the city's police department for a time, as it will also completely consume Assistant Chief Will Pope, who hopes to claim this position as his own. Pope's ambitions will forever alter his relationship with his subordinate, friend and ex, Brenda Leigh Johnson. And so, because the center of gravity completely changes for all our characters this year, we adopted the theme of attraction.

This topic suggests... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Talks Season Finale

It seems somehow fitting that we end our season about change by examining what happens to people when they refuse to accept it. But before we go into the ins and outs of this specific episode, I owe a few congratulations to our cast.

First, I speak for everyone here at The Closer when I congratulate Kyra Sedgwick on her Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Drama Series. For the fifth year in a row, Kyra also got a nom from her peers at the Screen Actors Guild in the same category, making her five for five as an invited guest at both ceremonies. read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Previews "Make Over"

It is cliché to point out that each of us must play many roles in life: father, mother, brother, sister, wife, husband, student, professional. But these are only parts of a greater whole, bits and pieces of a mirrored mosaic we must continually rearrange in hopes of catching a brief, fractured glimpse of our own reflection. In our next case, Beau Bridges plays Det. George Andrews, Provenza's old partner, who returns to help Major Crimes close a case that was overturned on appeal. And, quite suddenly, settling on a true identity becomes not only the key to solving a mystery, but a personal crisis for Lt. Provenza. Who we are can also depend, somewhat, on how others see us.

In keeping with the more experimental nature of our three-episode winter season, character matters almost as much as the crime. We spend a lot of time learning new things about the curmudgeonly Lt. Provenza, such as his first name, what his living room looks like and how he feels about certain surgical procedures.

read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Previews Winter Season

Jon Tenney and Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Change can be both necessary and extremely hard to accept, especially when we have a say in the matter. If you don't believe in destiny, it's possible sometimes to escape it, but the required effort can seem almost worse than the fate we're trying to avoid.

In our more experimental winter season, Brenda starts out even more resistant to change than usual, especially when Fritz confronts her with a little rescue kitten named Joel. To the unpracticed eye, Joel might appear irresistible; to the scarred heart of Brenda Leigh Johnson, however, the tiny orange-and-white kitten looks less like change and more like the repetition of a journey that ended with her beloved Kitty's ashes in an urn on the mantle. Saying no to Joel's cute, little face might seem difficult, but Brenda believes she has a choice in the matter. Fritz employs some interesting relationship maneuvers in an attempt to convince her otherwise. The past does not necessarily dictate the future... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff: "Terms of Extradition"

It's the end of our summer season and, regretfully, it's time to say good-bye. Coincidentally, our finale — a longer version of which will be available on-line and on iTunes after-air — seems mostly about going away. That's not only a clue to Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson's personal life, but also to solving the mysteries confronting Major Crimes.

I say mysteries because I like to remind people that The Closer is not merely about catching the criminal, but also getting the confession. This task ... read more

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