Why Kyra Sedgwick decided to end 'The Closer'

Claudine Zap
Yahoo! TV

"The Closer" is coming to a close. Kyra Sedgwick, who plays deputy chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, will leave the hit show, and the main character, behind. TNT obviously would like to keep the show going; they're even spinning off the rest of the "Closer" cast (minus Kyra) into a new series, "Major Crimes." So why would an actress leave a popular, female-driven drama? We track down the clues.

Sedgwick wants to do other things. Her character, Brenda Leigh Johnson, was so good at her job, it inspired Sedgwick to change hers. Time after time, usually by the end of each show, the crack deputy chief solves the case. After all, the show is a procedural, as the actress told TVLine, "and I think that probably fit into my decision a bit. Even though there's all this amazing character stuff, that's still what it is."

She didn't make the decision lightly. The star told TVLine, "I thought about it for about a year, and it finally came down to the fact that I really want to do other things, creatively. I'm an artist, and I want to express myself in other ways and other places." Sedgwick has had a long film career, including, most recently, "Man on a Ledge," "Gamer," and "The Possession," out this month.

Kyra wanted to go out on top. After seven seasons, the ratings keep going up. For some people, this would mean staying until viewers stopped watching. But Sedgwick was happy that fans are still begging for "The Closer" not to end. The 46-year-old admitted to the L.A. Times, "People come up to me all the time and go, 'Please! Don't! Why?' It's heartbreaking, and I feel badly about it, but I'm also thankful they're saying that and not, 'You're still doing that show? Oy!' It's so much better to leave having people want more."

Kyra Sedgwick tells the ladies of "The View" why she's saying goodbye to "The Closer":

The show has already left a legacy. Sedgwick was 39 when the series started, leading the way for female-led dramas like "The Good Wife" and "Saving Grace." She told the Hollywood Reporter, "It certainly wasn't intentional for me to have a groundbreaking show. It just happened to be. The idea that I can have anything to do with the possibility of more opportunities opening up for women is wonderful."

There will be a spinoff. Starting now. Before fans have a chance to be too broken up over losing "The Closer," they can tune in to the spinoff, "Major Crimes," which debuts on TNT immediately after the "Closer" finale. Mary McDonnell takes the helm as Capt. Sharon Raydor, with many of the same cast members back at their same desks, including G.W. Bailey as Detective Lt. Louie Provenza, Tony Denison as Detective Lt. Andy Flynn, Michael Paul Chan as Detective Lt. Michael Tao, Phillip P. Keene as Buzz Watson, and Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez. Instead of jury trials, the new boss will focus on cutting plea deals.

TV is now a family tradition. Just as Sedgwick prepares to leave TV behind, her husband, actor Kevin Bacon, is getting ready to sign up. Bacon will star in the new Fox drama "The Following," debuting early next year. And get this: Bacon plays a cop, too -- a former FBI agent who gets called out of retirement to catch an escaped serial killer he helped put away. Hmmm, wonder if he'll ask his wife for any pointers?

The series finale of "The Closer" airs Monday, 8/13 at 9 PM on TNT.