5:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
TNT's 'Rizzoli & Isles' Renewed for Abbreviated Seventh Season
TNT is bringing back one of its most valuable series.
The Turner-owned cable network has renewed Rizzoli & Isles for a seventh season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Sources tell THR that season seven, set for summer 2016, will consist of 13 episodes — down from its series-high 18 in season six and its lowest order since its 10-episode freshman run. There is currently no talk about season seven being its last. The supporting cast is expected to renegotiate contracts for season seven.
The early renewal for the Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander cop series comes as the summer show is less than halfway through its sixth run. The drama, based on Tess Gerritsen novels, most recently drew 6.3 million total viewers in live-plus-three viewing — making it the most-watched show on cable at the moment. The series ranks as TNT's second-most-watched show in history, behind only The Closer, and ranks as one of basic cable's top five series every year in total viewers. It was last summer's top show on basic cable in the metric.
Jan Nash, who took over as showrunner after creator Janet Tamaro's departure, will return.
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The renewal should come as no surprise given former TNT and TBS programming president Michael Wright was in the midst of renegotiating a new licensing deal with producers Warner Horizon Television that also included salary bumps for Harmon and Alexander, who negotiated together. The season six pickup came in December after prolonged renegotiations with Warner Horizon.
Rizzoli joins a lineup that includes The Last Ship, Major Crimes, Legends, Murder in the First, The Librarians, Public Morals, Proof, Agent X, Transporter: The Series and also True Detective Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga's Alienist, as new programming topper Kevin Reilly looks to double the number of originals at both TNT and comedy-focused TBS.
On the pilot side, TNT recently picked up its first roster of dramas from Reilly, including William Shakespeare entry Will, Chad Hodge's Michelle Dockery starrer Good Behavior and a remake of feature Animal Kingdom to go with the previously developed Titans, Lumen and a cocaine drama from Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay.