Kyra Sedgwick is leaving, ending the longtime TNT drama; fitness trainer Jillian Michaels is departing NBC's "The Biggest Loser" -- which gets TV Watch's mind working in mysterious ways. Why are these things happening?
TNT's "The Closer" has been the network's -- and perhaps cable's -- biggest ad-supported drama hit to date. After six seasons, it is still on top of the leaderboard (along with TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles") at around 8 million viewers for its original first-run episodes. "Closer" will end with the show's 2011 season.
Still, seven seasons and out? Seems kind of quick. What happened? Money problems? TNT and its TV producing studio, sister company, Warner Bros, didn't elaborate on production budgets or casting costs or network licenses fees structures. That's typical television M.O.
Little secret: Many cable dramas like "The Closer" have viewers that skew way older than many broadcast network shows. Brad Adgate, senior vp and corporate research director for Horizon Media, says many cable dramas/comedies are not strong in the 18-49 demo or 25-54 demo. Many cable series' best numbers are in the "50 plus" viewer category -- typically the least desirable for TV advertisers.
The goods news was, "Closer" was still big among all viewers -- which is always worth something to marketers. The show was also a launching pad for a number of TNT dramas, including now top-rated "Rizzoli & Isles."
In Michaels' case, NBC's strong-performing reality show, "The Biggest Loser," already has some replacement trainers waiting in the wings. After eleven editions of the show that started in 2004, Michaels has been branching out -- with fitness DVDs, and last summer the weak-rated health-fitness NBC show, "Losing it with Jillian." "I want to take a year off TV and focus on becoming a mommy and doing more charity work," she tweeted.
OK it must be a good time of year to make changes -- New Year's resolutions and all. In this iffy economy we always worry about pressing money and health issues -- for the networks, actors, producers -- and, sometimes, for older, out-of-shape viewers.