'The Closer' Series Finale Brings in 9.1 Million Viewers, 'Major Crimes' Premieres Huge
UPDATED: TNT's longtime champ, just shy of its series high in 2007, offers a solid lead for its spinoff -- now the year's strongest cable debut.
One of TV's biggest success stories wrapped up Monday night, with Kyra Sedgwick's The Closer coming to an end after seven seasons.
Cable's most consistent ratings performer pulled in 9.1 million viewers during the two-hour series finale. It marked a summer high for the TNT series, which returned to 6.1 million viewers in July, subsequently topping all other cable series every week since.
The numbers are are the highest the series has seen in five years, nearly matching its 2007 heyday when the third season finale brought in a massive 9.2 million viewers. With the demos, The Closer brought in 2 million adults 18-49 and 2.7 million adults 25-54.
If TNT is concerned about losing cable's gold standard, the premiere numbers for Closer spinoff Major Crimes should give it some confidence. The Mary McDonnell starrer, which follows her Closer character, debuted at 10 p.m. ET to 7.2 million viewers.
The strongest cable premiere of the year, Major Crimes tops previous record holders (and TNT neighbors) Dallas and Perception. The episode also brought in 1.7 million adults 18-49 and 2.0 million adults 25-54.
Whether or not it has what it takes to be an heir to The Closer's ambitious ratings throne will be decided in the coming weeks when Major Crimes airs without its high-profile lead.