TNT has announced that the upcoming seventh season of its hit crime procedural Rizzoli & Isles will be its last.
The thirteen-episode final season, set to premiere this summer, was revealed to be the swan song for the series by Turner Entertainment’s Kevin Reilly at the annual winter press tour for the Television Critics Association.
“It felt like it was time,” he said. “Everybody felt good about that.”
“Rizzoli & Isles hit a cord with audiences the moment it aired, which is unusual and special,” noted series star Sasha Alexander in a statement to Variety. “And it has remained so for almost seven seasons thanks to the passionate commitment of our amazing fans. In this world, that’s a huge success. I believe we have two eyes so one can look back to the past as the other turns its gaze to the future. As R&I comes to a close, I am deeply grateful and inspired by the work we have done and the friendships we have forged but also am excited to see what the future will hold.”
Developed by Primetime Emmy Award nominee Janet Tamaro (Bones, Lost) and based on Tess Gerritsen’s book series of the same name, Rizzoli & Isles stars Angie Harmon (Law and Order, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker), Sasha Alexander (NCIS, Mission Impossible III), Jordan Bridges (Show Me a Hero, Phantom), Bruce McGill (Run All Night, Law Abiding Citizen), Academy Award nominee Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas, The Sopranos) and Idara Victor (Turn, Grey’s Anatomy).
In happier news, TNT also revealed its intention to create a two-hour block of horror programming set to launch in the fall of this year. While one half of the programming block has yet to be revealed, the other is a very pleasant surprise.
The network has partnered with two-time Academy Award nominated director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) to reboot HBO’s classic horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt, which ran for 93 episodes from 1989 to 1996 and was in turn inspired by the 1950’s comic series of the same name. The series has had considerable cultural staying power, in particular with it’s wonderfully creepy skeleton presenter The Cryptkeeper, and has spawned several spin off films, two of which (Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood) recently received excellent Blu-ray editions from distributor Scream Factory.
“This is a new genre for us in our series efforts and a great chance to partner with M. Night Shyamalan, whose blockbuster hit The Visit reminded movie audiences and critics this past summer that he truly is a master of horror,” said Sarah Aubrey, the executive vice president of original programming at TNT. “This two-hour horror block demonstrates not only TNT’s commitment to working with today’s top talents, but also our strategy to stand out in today’s marketplace by challenging the conventional rules of programming and scheduling.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to be teaming up with Kevin Reilly, Sarah Aubrey and the entire TNT team in this unique endeavor,” added Shyamalan. “To be part of such a beloved brand like Tales from the Crypt, something I grew up watching, and to also have the chance to push the boundaries of genre television as a whole, is an inspiring opportunity that I can’t wait to dive into.”
Considering the fact that TNT is a basic cable network rather than a premium one like HBO, and as such is subject to stricter regulation as to the type of content it can broadcast, it remains to be seen if the reboot will retain the notorious violence of the original. But hey, if NBC can get away with airing Hannibal for three seasons, I doubt TNT will have much of a problem here.