TNT Renews 'The Closer,' 'Leverage,' 'Rizzoli & Isles'


TNT has ordered a trio of series renewals, adding new campaigns of The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage.
The renewals come as no surprise considering that The Closer, now in its sixth season, ranks as ad-supported cable's top show ever, while Rizzoli & Isles is setting the pace among the medium's new shows this year.Now airing on Sundays, Leverage has improved its performance among young demos during its third season.
"TNT has enjoyed tremendous success on Sunday and Monday nights with Leverage, The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles," said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, in announcing the pick-ups. "All three shows feature terrific casts, sharp writing and top-notch production teams. We look forward to continued success with new seasons in 2011."
TNT has ordered 15 more installments of The Closer and Leverage, and a baker's dozen episodes of Rizzoli & Isles.
No word on yet whether the "drama" network will bring back Hawthorne for a third run, or if newcomer Memphis Beat will see a sophomore season.
The Closer is averaging 7.1 million viewers in its sixth season, up 7% compared to last season. The July 12 season premiere of the Kyra-Sedgwick-starrer was watched by 7.7 million viewers and ranks as ad-supported cable's top scripted series telecast for the year-to-date.
During the network's upfront presentation to advertisers in Manhattan on May 12, Wright called detective/medical examiner series Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, the most compatible lead-out ever for The Closer.
The executive's words proved prophetic: Averaging 7.1 million viewers, Rizzoli & Isles currently ranks as cable's No. 1 new series year-to-date, as its bow on July 12 was watched by 7.6 million viewers. That ranks as cable's top commercial-supported series launch of all time.
For its part, Leverage has averaged 4.1 million viewers during the first five installments of its third season, scoring well with time-shifted watchers and exhibiting gains among young adult demos over its second campaign: up 101% on a live-basis, 45% among live and same-day viewers with persons 18 to 34; up 77% live and 41% live and same-day with persons 18 to 49; and 72% live and 39% live and same-day among adults 25 to 54.
The fast-paced series follows the adventures of a highly skilled team, led by Timothy Hutton as Nate Ford, out to settle scores against those who use power and wealth to victimize others.