The Closer is an American television drama series created by James Duff, Michael M. Robin and Greer Shephard which chronicles the cases of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, who comes from Atlanta to Los Angeles to head up a special unit of the LAPD that handles sensitive, high-profile murder cases.
Johnson's quirky personality and hard-nosed approach often rub her colleagues the wrong way, but her reputation as one of the world's best interrogators eventually wins over even her toughest critics.
The series premiered in the USA on TNT on 13 June, 2005.
The Closer originally premiered in South Africa on M-Net on Wednesday 16 November 2005, at 19h30. After the first season the show was moved to DStv's actionX channel, which became M-Net Action in 2008. After the fifth season the show was moved to DStv's M-Net Series channel. The show also aired on TopTV's Top One channel.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times by channel.
Season 5 originally aired on M-Net Action from 11 October, 2010 to 17 January, 2011, on Mondays at 19h00. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Season 5 later aired on Top One from 20 December, 2012 to 28 March, 2013, on Thursdays at 21h00. There are 15 episodes in the fifth season.
It's going to be a year of change for Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson and her Major Crimes unit as The Closer returns for its fifth season.
Kyra Sedgwick stars as Deputy Chief Johnson, a former Atlanta detective brought to Los Angeles to head a special LAPD homicide unit. She is a top-notch investigator with unparalleled interrogation skills and a track record for closing nearly every case with a suspect's confession.
On the home front, she's not quite as adept at handling her personal relationships. Instead, work tends to take first priority in her life and even threatened to derail her wedding in the season-four finale.
Corey Reynolds co-stars as Sgt. Gabriel, who was once a rising star in the department but now feels as if his career is stalling after an inter-office romance and breakup.
Tony Denison and G.W. Bailey play Lt. Flynn and Lt. Provenza, a pair of solid investigators who have a penchant for goofing around at the risk of endangering the integrity of the squad's investigations.
Michael Paul Chan is Lt. Tao, the squad's computer expert who tends to go overboard explaining the minutia of the latest technology used to help solve a case.
Raymond Cruz plays Det. Julio Sanchez, a passionate and intense gang expert who recently recovered from a gunshot wound and endured the loss of his brother.
The series also stars Jon Tenney as Brenda's husband, FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard, who finally managed to get her to the altar after much resistance; J.K. Simmons as Brenda's demanding boss, Assistant Police Chief Will Pope, who endures constant pressure from his superiors to make budget cuts and create more synergy among the divisions; Robert Gossett as head of Robbery-Homicide Commander Taylor, who frequently serves as the press liaison on Brenda's cases; and Phillip P Keene as Buzz Watson, whose video surveillance footage is often essential to Brenda's investigations.
For the fifth season, The Closer explores the issue of change. Just as Brenda starts adjusting to married life, she loses someone very dear to her.
In addition, the intra-office conflict between Sgt. Gabriel and Det. Daniels is resolved for good and another squad member goes through a complete attitude change after falling in love.
The economy forces one of Brenda's detectives to take a second job, while the fatal shooting of a suspect leads to career complications for another.
Even through the changes, Brenda and her Major Crimes unit will be hard at work tracking down some of Los Angeles' toughest criminals.
This year they'll tackle such cases as the possible kidnapping of a corrupt financier, a multiple homicide involving a family, the killing of a security guard at a gang rehabilitation centre and the shooting death of a white supremacist.
Assistant Police Chief Will Pope
As the Assistant Police Chief of the LAPD, Will Pope is Brenda's boss. Before joining the department he worked for the CIA in Washington D.C. during which time he had an extra-marital affair with Brenda.
Pope commands the authority of his team and his department detectives generally respect him.
Closing cases and convicting criminals is his frist priority, even if it means taking the heat from his superiors.
He's always willing to defend his team and is more than willing to take the blame for them.
He can be a chameleon though and often plays both sides of the fence to get what he wants and to keep everyone happy.
As far as his relationship with Brenda goes - he still has feelings for her and always wants to please her. He constantly defended her against the other detectives when she first arrived - this despite him ending their affair.
After he broke it off with Brenda he left his first wife for his current, soon-to-be ex second wife Estelle. As a result of all this he's jealous of Fritz Howard's relationship with Brenda.
Detective Sergeant David Gabriel
Brenda's right-hand man, Detective David Gabriel started off as a rookie cop and moved on to work in Robbery/Homicide under Commander Taylor.
With Taylor's support he received a Masters in Public Administrtion from USC and enthusiatically campaigned to get his current position on the Priority Homicide Squad.
Friendly and polite, Gabriel is one of the only detective's who's been kind ot Brenda since joined the Squad.
He's eager to please her but is also out-spoken and isn't afraid to tell her what he thinks.
He can be too polite and loyal and is regularly labelled a "suck-up" by his colleagues. He doesn't take criticism well and craves constant acknowledgement and reassurance from his superiors.
FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard
A close friend of Brenda's now living in L.A., Special Agent Howard received his training from the FBI in Washington DC.
He's been working for the Los Angeles FBI for three years where he specializes in gangs.
Smart and well-liked Howard's got many law enforcement connections and knows how to track down information in criminal cases.
He would do practically anything for Brenda and understands and accepts her addiction to work to the extent that he'll wait hours and even days for the opportunity of seeing her.
He's head-over-heels in love with her and is often willing to put his professional career at risk in order to help her with hers.
He has a shady past with alcohol though.
Head of the LAPD Robbery/Homicide unit, Commander Taylor was head of the Priority Homicide Squad before Brenda arrived.
He was removed from the position after too many celebrity cases were handed to the DA with what was termed "less than compelling" evidence.
Taylor was with the LAPD for 21 years before becoming a Commander is highly ambitious.
He's also very resentful of Brenda and will do practically anything to undermine her authority.
Detective Lieutenant Provenza
Provenza's an LAPD old timer who's been on the force for many years. A seasoned veteran of the Robbery/Homicide unit he was selected to join the elite Priority Homicide Squad.
Because he's seen it all, nothing gets to him. He's tough-as-nails and a self-proclaimed SOB who always has a witty one-liner.
He's also chauvinistic and politically incorrect which results in him being forced to attend sensitivity workshops.
He resists change and has a hard time accepting new investigation and interrogation techniques.
There is a softer side buried deep down beneath his surface though - which slowly but surely starts to emerge as he starts respecting Brenda more over time.
Detective Lieutenant Andy Flynn
Flynn was a member of the Robbery/Homicide Unit until he was "loaned out" to assist the Priority Homicide Squad.
When he returned to Robbery/Homicide Captain Taylor accused him of botching an old case, Brenda stood for him and Flynn asked for a permanant transfer to the Priority Sqaud, which is where he's remained.
He's influential and has the ability to persuade other detectives into taking his side on political matters.
He also prefers taking the easy way out when it comes to solving crime which often leads to mistakes.
He's also disloyal, often fails to keep his word and can't keep secrets.
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 16 Nov 2005 | Finale: 8 Feb 2006 | Wednesdays, 19h30
Channel: Top One | Premiere: 2 May 2010 | Finale: 21 Jul 2010 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 2 (15 episodes)
Channel: actionX | Premiere: 12 Feb 2007 | Finale: 21 May 2007 | Mondays, 20h00
Channel: Top One | Premiere: 28 Jul 2010 | Finale: 3 Nov 2010 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 3 (15 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 21 Apr 2008 | Finale: 28 Jul 2008 | Mondays, 20h00
Channel: Top One | Premiere: 17 Aug 2011 | Finale: 23 Nov 2011 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 4 (15 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 22 Jun 2009 | Finale: 28 Sep 2009 | Mondays, 19h00
Channel: Top One | Premiere: 11 Jan 2012 | Finale: 18 Apr 2012 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 5 (15 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 11 Oct 2010 | Finale: 17 Jan 2011 | Mondays, 19h00
Channel: Top One | Premiere: 20 Dec 2012 | Finale: 28 Mar 2013 | Thursdays, 21h00
Season 6 (15 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 5 Apr 2011 | Finale: 12 Jul 2011 | Tuesdays, 19h30
Season 7 (21 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 27 Mar 2012 | Finale: 28 Aug 2012 | Tuesdays, 21h30