Kyra Sedgwick, <EM>The Closer</EM> Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

"We're trying to make it so you never know what kind of show you're tuning in to," says The Closer creator (and celebrity blogger) James Duff. And his formula — unexpected moments of comedy, plucked heartstrings and a dash of gore — is working: The Closer is the top-rated basic-cable series ever.

For the two-part, two-night finale, the police procedural heads to the courtroom after a high-profile divorce attorney is found dead in his swimming pool and the crime-solving methods of LAPD deputy chief Brenda Johnson (Emmy-nominated Kyra Sedgwick) are called into question. Keep an eye out for real-life law-and-order pundits Dominick Dunne from Vanity Fair and CNN's Larry King, as well as California congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who all weigh in on the controversy. "It's about, ‘Did Brenda catch the right killer?' " Duff says. And when his brainy, often persnickety heroine isn't testifying on the stand, she's at home busily cross-examining her fiancé, FBI agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney), over a domestic dispute: "It starts out over car insurance and explodes into a major test of character. She finds out something that he should have told her. She accuses him of lying. He accuses her of lying. And that's all I can tell you."

OK, but it doesn't take an expert crime solver to figure out that the Brenda-Fritz love connection recovers, since Duff himself drops a few clues about a two-part Christmas special. The couple will take a multitasking trip to Atlanta to celebrate the holidays with Brenda's parents while tracking a suspect in an armored-car robbery that left two guards dead. "The most interesting thing about it is that at one point in the story, Fritz, Brenda, her mother, her father, Flynn, Provenza and a suspect all end up in an RV traveling from Atlanta to Los Angeles," Duff says. "It's both funny and very emotional."

A perfect formula.

For more on The Closer's two-part season finale, return to Interviews & Features on Monday for our Q&A with guest star Steven Culp (Traveler, Desperate Housewives).

The Sept. 3 issue of TV Guide features loads of NFL previews, as well as sneak peeks at many of your favorite returning showsTry four risk-free issues now!

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