We are currently in the midst of the seventh and final season of “Rizzoli & Isles” on TNT, and in one way or another, you could argue that this sets the precedent for another show on the network in “Major Crimes.” We’re in the midst of the fifth season right now, and when you consider that these episode orders for this show continue to get extended, of course you would see this as a good sign that it will last a while.
However, you never quite know what TNT is going to do since they have been quick to cancel shows before, and they’ve also adopted a new programming strategy where they are emphasizing more serialized shows and fewer crime-based ones. There’s a case from their standpoint to both keep it or move on in another direction, so we’re going to try to analyze each one.
The case for many more seasons – For one, “Major Crimes” still performs very well in the ratings by TNT standards. So far, it is averaging close to a 0.5 in the 18-49 demographic, and is down less than 8% versus the prior season. What’s even more remarkable is that at 3.76 million viewers, so far the show is ahead of the season 4 pace. Sure, these numbers are slightly misleading since we’re only getting a summer sampling so far (the winter portion of the show’s run tends to bring down the averages), but it’s still impressive that it is picking viewers back up who may not watch in December or February.
As for another argument, it still seems like the cast all seem to enjoy being a part of the show, and there are still plenty of stories left to tell. This series has a huge legacy that dates back to “The Closer,” so keeping it around further preserves that legacy for a little while longer.
The case for ending it – We really don’t think there’s a great one; the only two arguments we could see are that you want the show to end on a high note creatively and in the ratings, or that you really want to focus on some different kinds of programming. Ultimately, though, we think that if the latter is the case, shouldn’t you use “Major Crimes” as an anchor to promote other shows? That seems to be the best move.
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