James Duff


The Closer Creator James Duff: "Change"

Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Welcome back to Season 5 of TNT's The Closer, starring my friend, my collaborator and my partner-in-crime, the always amazing Kyra Sedgwick. Also back...

Ah, well, that would give away some mysteries prematurely. Regular viewers might recall that Irene Daniels and David Gabriel both applied for the same promotion to the Criminal Intelligence Division of the LAPD. One of them succeeded; one of them stayed in Major Crimes. Who did what will become immediately obvious, but we will not remark on this during our premiere. Fallout will ensue in succeeding episodes.

Meanwhile, there is a mystery to solve. A family of four is shot to death during breakfast while the father, rather conveniently ... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff: Relationships

The Closer

Monday, February 23, at 9 o'clock, we air the finale to our fourth season of TNT's The Closer (and bring down the curtain on our 15-episode exploration of the concept of power) by examining what I personally consider the most important part of our daily lives: the human relationships we count on to survive.

Yes, I said survive. For while a solitary life is possible, the better part of humanity needs another voice, another hand, another heart to thrive. Whether it's a friend, a romantic partner, a parent or a partner, few of us have ... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff: "Fate Line"

I don't want to rain on anyone's favorite shows, and I've watched several episodes of Medium and Ghost Whisperer and enjoyed them very much. But if you ask our resident law enforcement experts on The Closer, former Det. Mike Berchem from the LAPD's famous Robbery/Homicide Division, and our consulting producer, former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, they will both tell you that psychics have been useful in exactly zero cases. As much as we want to believe in ESP, there is more of the magician than of magic in your local fortune-teller.

But not everything that affects our lives can be immediately seen, nor is every clue to a murder visible. In fact, the deductive process is often used to reveal that which might otherwise remain concealed. Intuitive leaps and good hunches are sometimes all a good investigator has to go on. And so, in the penultimate episode of our Fourth Season ... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff: "Power of Attorney"

Kyra Sedgwick and JK Simmons, The Closer

Of all those forces through which we must navigate during the ebb and flow of our daily lives, none is more persistently prevalent than the power of manipulation. Storytelling, for example, depends on it. Advertisers bombard us with it. Journalists and politicians, actors and ministers, magicians and salespeople: all are manipulators by profession, each conspiring to change our behavior or redirect our attention.

And then there are the lawyers.

Here I will make a confession ... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff: Fantasy and Reality

Action often begins with a dream. Achieving our heart's desire requires us to fully envision exactly what we want. Ambition, drive, discipline: these are only the byproducts of what we imagine possible.

Unfortunately, goals sometimes turn into expectations. Our insistence on fulfilling specific dreams, in spite of altered circumstances or misfortune or the onslaught of nature (deciding you want to play professional baseball at the age of 50, for example or applying to the American Ballet Theatre at 40), can lead to dire ... read more

James Duff, Creator of The Closer: Back for Five-in-a-Row

Jon Tenney and Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

On Monday, January 26, at 9 pm/ET, The Closer returns for the final five episodes of our fourth season, concluding our meditation on power.

How do these shows differ from what we do during the summer? They are both more personal and more experimental.

During our regular season last year, we concentrated on the story with the slow but steady deterioration of Det. Sanchez's life, the difficulty Brenda was having with following through on her commitment to get married to her long-time boyfriend, Special Agent Fritz Howard of the FBI and the sniping Gabriel and Daniels employed in the workplace as they failed to gracefully let go of their relationship. But, for the most part, these personal issues always took a back seat to the necessary business of the justice system.

Not anymore.

In our premiere ... read more

Nature vs Nurture

The Closer by Andrew Eccles/TNT

Scientists, theologians and philosophers have been discussing it for years. Which is more powerful in the formation of our character: nature or nurture? Are we the product of our genes? Or are our personalities the end result of parenting and environmental conditions?
read more

On the Fringe

First up this week, congratulations to our leading lady and my partner in crime, Kyra Sedgwick, for her third Emmy nomination. Everyone at The Closer is already so proud of Kyra that it’s hard to know how much higher she might climb in our esteem, but it’s good to know that other people share our admiration for her incredible work.This Monday’s episode, "Speed Bump," explores the justice system’s response to people with no power whatsoever. I refer to those poor parolees for whom the doors of prison open into airless halfway houses and the Sisyphean struggle of rebuilding an entire life while clutching a resume featuring crimes against the state. Don’t get me wrong. I am an advocate for our overworked and underappreciated law enforcement agencies, and my sentiments are always, first and foremost, with the victims they work so hard to represent. But our prison system (especially here in California) doesn’t work very hard to reintegrate prisoners into soc... read more

The Fire Next Time

Unbelievably, The Closer returns this Monday for its fourth season and I don’t know what’s been more amazing, the actual joy of working on something you love (with people you admire), or the challenge of creating, writing and performing fresh stories that entertain our audience. Personally speaking, these are the two things I consider most every day: gratefulness and responsibility. We believe our viewers depend on us for great performances in authentic crime stories with several twists and turns featuring a good look at the curious personal life of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson of the LAPD; the cast, crew and writers concentrate on delivering episodes that fulfill these requirements. My partners, Michael Robin, Greer Shepherd, Andy Sacks and Kyra Sedgwick hope and pray we won’t disappoint.This year’s series theme is all about power. Hence, we begin with the primal force of nature. Fire burns through LA’s Griffith Park, killing five people and leaving Br... read more

Many Thanks

Many, many thanks to Matt and those of you who have posted such positive feedback about The Closer, our most recent episode and our new season. You can't imagine how encouraging it is to have so much good credit from those who follow the show. On behalf of Mike Berchem, Steven Kane and our resident genius, Michael Robin, who directed "Ruby" and brought it to vivid life, and an amazing cast led by Kyra Sedgwick, I send you back our most sincere thanks. On a personal note, I have been home sick for the last five days recovering from a ridiculously serious cold, so all of your messages mean even more to me than usual. So, so kind of everyone to take time from their busy lives to post their thoughts. I'm being rather sternly ordered back to bed as I type this, but expect to hear from me again this weekend on the subject of criminal interviews and just why The Closer feels a little retro to some journalists. 'Til then, again, our thanks. — James Duff read more

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