June 2014 Archives  

27 June 2014

Jan Nash on Saying Goodbye to Frost and the Heartbreaking Cameo

ImageRIZZOLI & ISLES tacked its most difficult episode on Tuesday night as the show said goodbye to Detective Barry Frost — following the real-life death of Frost’s portrayer, Lee Thompson Young.

“It was very important to [series stars] Angie [Harmon (Jane)] and Sasha [Alexander (Maura)] that the death of Barry Frost be handled in a way that was very respectful,” R&I showrunner Jan Nash explained. “When you start seeing things through that prism, the decisions [become clear] that in retrospect almost seemed inevitable. If you’re going to try and deal with the things that were left over from season 4, you don’t want to add the death of a character on top of that, because then everything’s fighting each other. So that led to us dealing with [Frost’s death more fully] in episode 2.” “And we didn’t want to have the death of that character be a case, because that felt exploitative,” she added. “And so you end up with an accidental tragedy, and the decision of how to handle that unfolds…we’re a cop show, so we didn’t want to just do a Very Special Episode of RIZZOLI & ISLES, because then the people who aren’t fans of the show who might come to it for episode 2 would be confused because there is no crime. Which led us to a crime story that thematically resonated with the planning of Barry Frost’s funeral, in way that hopefully makes the episode feel even fuller. While it was a challenge to work on it, when you start laying out what your goals are, you do almost end up in an almost inevitable place. And then you have a great writing staff, which we do have, and a great story, and you end up with a script that is acted by incredible actors, with a crew that was very invested in doing not just a good job, but a great job. And you end up with what I feel is a very compelling episode of television…And that’s where it was. It started in a place of very much wanting to respect and honor this person who was such an important member of the family.”

And during the course of the characters saying goodbye to Frost, Jane — in a moment of denial/grief — saw a vision of her former partner…and viewers saw a brief glimpse of Young, too.

“I can’t remember where that idea came from, but the notion of a person who had died being that present in your life was something that very much resonated with Angie and very much resonated with me,” Nash shared. “It made the episode [complete] – it gave it a fullness that seemed like a good choice. Initially, some of the discussions we had were about doing clips, but that seemed almost like people were sitting in chairs going, ‘Remember when?’ It didn’t seem like the tone we were going for. And when we landed on this idea – which our special effects department executed very beautifully – it seemed right. It’s like Maura said: there are studies of women who have lost their husbands, and like 60% of them actually reported seeing their husbands in the months after their death. It’s a real thing. So once you kind of ground it in reality, you think that this is a thing you can do, we just had to figure out how to do it. And boy, didn’t Angie Harmon act the hell out of it?” - See more at:

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27 June 2014

Egglesfield comes home for triathlon

ImageActor and Chicago native Colin Egglesfield will be back in Chicago this weekend to participate in the ITU World Triathlon, taking place along the lakefront. The “Rizzoli & Isles” star called to chat about how he got into marathons and triathlons, his popular TV show and how he uses a T-shirt company to support the charity causes he loves.

Q: You’re coming to town to participate in the ITU World Triathlon this weekend. How many triathlons have you done?
A: This is number three for me, but it’s my first Olympic distance triathlon.
Q: The fifth season of “Rizzoli & Isles” has just begun. What do you love best about being on the show?
A: It’s so amazing how well the show has been doing. It amazes me that people recognize me from that particular show. I love my character because he’s a lovable screw-up. He’s unlike any other character I’ve played before. There’s not many times in this business where you get to run over a priest while you were drunk-driving — then you get out of jail, and you get your father’s fiancée pregnant! Then there’s the issue of not really knowing who the baby’s father is. Plus I’m able to work with two of the most beautiful women in Hollywood [Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander] is not hard to take. Plus when your mom is Lorraine Bracco, it’s kind of a dream role.
Q: Any anecdotes about Lorraine Bracco?
A: Toward the end of last season, Joe Torre, the ex-Yankees manager visited the set, because he and Lorraine, apparently, are very good friends. I don’t really get star-struck about actors, but when it comes to athletes I’m like a little kid. So, when Joe came to the set, Lorraine went to introduce me, and I said, ‘You don’t need to tell me who this is! I know who he is!’
So, I got to meet him. After he left, I went back to my dressing room and she was able to get an autographed baseball for me from him. That’s the kind of thoughtful person Lorraine is.
Q: Talk about how you use your participation in triathlons and marathons to raise funds for charities you care about.
A: Let me tell you, when you’re on mile 15 on the bike in a triathlon and your leg starts cramping up, and you think about the kids who are in St. Jude’s Hospital or L.A. Children’s Hospital or you think about all the kids dealing with all these diseases, it gives you the inspiration to keep going. There’s not one of us who has not bee affected by some sort of cancer challenge. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, my dad just had prostate cancer surgery. … To be able to contribute or help out in some way, is a wonderful thing.
Q: You’re from Chicago — do you still have family here?
A: Yes, my brother lives up near Wrigley Field with his wife and two kids. He’s doing the triathlon with me. He’s the reason why I got into triathlons. He’s my younger brother, Sean, and he’s always trying to one-up me. In high school, we went to Marion Catholic High School in Chicago Heights. My football team was pretty good, and I set a bunch of personal football records. Then he came along four years later and broke all of them except one, and they won the state championship. So, we’re always trying to outdo each other.
Once he told me he was doing all these triathlons, I had to do it. I had been doing marathons, but had never thought about doing triathlons, because they kind of scared me to be honest with you. I’m not a good swimmer and I had never biked that much, but once I got into it a little bit, I realized it was fun. Plus any opportunity to beat my little brother, I’m game.
Q; You mentioned you’re not a great swimmer. Is that the hardest part of doing a triathlon for you?
A: Yes. You got the wetsuit on and the goggles and you feel claustrophobic — and the people are all around you, kicking and punching. I got punched in the jaw during my last triathlon. Things get kind of hectic and crazy in the beginning, but once you get out of the water and on the bike, you feel like a rocket ship on a launch.
Q: Have you ever run the Chicago Marathon? How many marathons have you run?
A: I’ve run the Chicago Marathon three times. I’ve done six altogether. Along with Chicago, I’ve done New York’s once, San Diego’s once, and I did Los Angeles’ last year.
My sister Kerry is the one who got me running marathons. She had been watching Oprah Winfrey’s show, and she saw this special where Oprah had run one. That inspired her to want to do it, and she said, “Want to do it, with me?” Now, the most athletic thing my sister had ever done was be a cheerleader. Not that doing cheerleading is not athletic, but I had never pictured her running 26 miles! So, once she said she was going to do it with her husband, I told her I had to try.
Q: What else do you have coming up, besides “Rizzoli & Isles”?
A: I just finished an independent film, called “The Night Before.” I play a guy whose best friend is getting married, so I throw him a bachelor party to reconsider. I worked with Fred Willard, who’s a comedic genius. You could listen to him read the dictionary and it would be funny!
I’m also have an episode of “Unforgettable” that’s going to be airing on July 17th on CBS, and then I’m working on producing a World War II love story right now. That I’ve been working on with the producer of [my film] “Something Borrowed.”
Q: I know you have a T-shirt company. What’s that all about?
A: Yeah, it’s called Shout Out! The whole concept is the shirts come with Velcro letters so you can create your own message — and shout out, whatever it is you want to say. Whether it’s like birthdays or charity events or sporting events, it all works. [My brother] Sean and I have worn Shout Out! shirts to Cubs games and put the score of the game on the shirt as it was going on! You can buy them online at shoutoutclothing.com. Right now, we’re just doing shirts for kids, but we hope to be doing the adult ones again soon.
They also have provided a platform for me to be an advocate for various causes I really believe in, like education, and empowering kids to achieve what they are capable of achieving.
We have a link on our Shout Out! website where people can donate to various good causes. It allows me to feel like I’m making a difference.
This weekend we’re going to donate proceeds to Ryan Dempster’s Foundation. Through July 15, 10 percent of the proceeds of the sales of the T-shirts will go to Ryan’s family’s foundation’s programs to fight the illness his daughter has, a disease known as 22q.

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26 June 2014

EP502 Overnight Ratings

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RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 9:00 PM

Viewership (000s, Live+SD) - 5.80

Adults 18-49 rating (Live+SD) - 1.0

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26 June 2014

Rizzoli & Isles Scoop

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From Ask Ausiello -

Question: Any scoop you can give us on Season 5 of Rizzoli & Isles would be brilliant — like, will Chris Vance be back at any point as Casey? –Michelle
Ausiello: “It’s all about scheduling,” Vance aka Rizzoli’s baby daddy told us recently, just before heading off to Morocco, the Czech Republic and other far-off locales to resume filming Transporter: The Series (which bows on TNT this fall). “I’m shooting way across the world, but we’re trying to resolve it. There’s no reason there shouldn’t be [an encore].”

 

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25 June 2014

Gallery Update- Episodic Stills EP 504 "Doomsday"

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Added to Season 5 Episodic Gallery

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25 June 2014

Rizzoli & Isles Boss on Frost's Tribute: We Feel We Honored Lee Thompson Young

ImageRizzoli & Isles officially said goodbye to Det. Barry Frost on Tuesday in a moving episode that also paid tribute to late star Lee Thompson Young.

"Our benchmark was, if his family chose to watch it, would they feel like we honored his memory?" executive producer Jan Nash tells TVGuide.com. "His family gets to decide if we did or not, but we feel we honored him and did what we set out to do."

Rizzoli & Isles boss on writing out Lee Thompson Young: "It was very daunting"

Tuesday's episode picked up after the end of last week's season premiere (watch it here) — when Jane (Angie Harmon), Maura (Sasha Alexander), et. al. learned of Frost's fatal car accident — as the squad mourns and helps plan his memorial service to relieve his grieving mother. After solving the case of the week, Jane, who had seen a vision of her former partner during the investigation, delivers a touching eulogy at the service that is clearly rooted in very real and raw emotion. "Angie was absolutely amazing in that scene," Nash says. "She was focused on the eulogy being exactly right, that it be reflective of Barry Frost's character and also be reflective of Lee. It's very lovely."

Set against a slideshow of Frost and some behind-the-scenes shots of Young, Jane highlights Frost's love of and his commitment to his work — elements Harmon asked to be added to also refer to Young, who committed suicide in August at age 29. The challenge, Nash says, was for Harmon to modulate her performance in a way that would speak to both losses.

"I think it's some of the finest work I've seen in television in a long time because it's not just acting," Nash says. "Angie has to act in the context of having had the real experience. She can't let her feelings come through because that becomes too tragic and then we're not actually making good television. She had to balance controlling her own feelings, but yet accessing those same feelings in a way that allows the scene to feel real, and I honestly feel like she did. It was a magnificent job."

Get the scoop on your favorite returning summer shows

The scene didn't require a lot of takes, as Harmon came in with a "very clear sense" of what she wanted to do, according to Nash. "At the end of the day, there's some technical snafu and you end up doing one more [take] than you'd ideally do, but we didn't do a lot," she says. "She nailed it on the first one. The director did an amazing job capturing it. Everybody brought their A game. Everybody knew what they were feeling and what the scene needed. When the director said, 'Action!' they felt that.'"

Moving forward, the show will allude to Frost's absence here and there, but likely won't delve too much deeper. Nash, who had described writing Young out as "daunting" after joining the show in November, wants the series to return to normal as much as possible.

"That said, there is an empty desk. As you get away from the event itself, the emotion diminishes," she says. "The experience of it on camera is not the same as the experience in life. ... By the end of the season, we hope viewers will see that they've had a full arc of mourning the character, but Episode 2 carries most of the water of the story."

Part of that includes a new character, who will be introduced in the eighth episode — but he won't be a direct replacement for Frost.

"He will fill that role of some of Frost's facilities, like computers, but he's not replacing him. We're not talking too much about that right now," Nash says. "There is no replacing Lee."

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25 June 2014

RIZZOLI & ISLES: Sasha Alexander Teases Season 5

ImageRIZZOLI & ISLES‘ fifth season has only started, and already there are massive shifts in store for the characters: on the lighter side, Jane is newly pregnant and struggling to keep her secret. (As far as Jane knows, only Maura knows the truth, but Maura knows Angela has figured it out as well.) And, sadly, the team also recently learned that Detective Frost was in a fatal car accident. (Which was the show’s way of dealing with last year’s tragic real-life events.)

“This season is definitely tonally – it’s the same, but it’s shifting,” RIZZOLI & ISLES star Sasha Alexander ( acknowledged on the show’s set earlier this month.

Among the shifts? Maura’s getting a new man in her life! Alexander teased a bit of what’s in store with that relationship, the cases Maura will be helping with, and more…


We saw a bit of the fallout of the Maura/Frankie kiss in the season premiere, but it was basically dismissed. Will the show touch back on that thread any time soon?
Sasha Alexander: I don’t know if I’d say it’s a fallout, as much as the morning after regrets of some sort. Or not regret, but confusion.

I really do feel that there’s something between Maura and Frankie. Whether it will ever be explored, or whether they will allow themselves to go there – certainly not this season. But I don’t put it off as never happening.

I don’t know why, I feel like his character is really changing and growing: much more of a man and taking control of things.

I think for Maura, she does get a possible love interest/boyfriend, who doesn’t seem to be a crazy person/killer. I think Maura has been burned so many times it’s hard to trust her instincts on who is a good person. Frankie has that. Frankie is a good person, he’s a good man. And she hasn’t seen a lot of that…I think there’s something about that. I think when people fall in love with their brother or sister’s best friend, it’s because they know them. There’s a comfort in that. So, I definitely do feel there’s that element to that.

But this season, Maura meets someone else she likes, and I think she handles it in a very socially awkward way. I think anyone who is a fan of her and when the way she becomes neurotic, it’s pretty funny.

If she does get in a relationship that is longer than a few episodes, how do you think she would actually be?
SA: It’s so funny you ask that, because I feel like this is show is these independent working women who are not married. They don’t have kids [yet]. And that’s OK. It doesn’t mean they’re not looking, and it doesn’t mean they’re not doing what many women do, which is say, “I’m hoping, but it’s not happening.” Which is very realistic. I look it always as a case by case [situation]. And in this case, this man appears to be a very smart, talented person who really has a sense of himself — he’s a brilliant man. And I think that really throws her. She’s so in control of her own universe, that it was the first time I was thinking, “Wow, what would she be like if she did go out with him and this guy became a boyfriend. Would she be cool?” Because in the beginning, she’s rather neurotic. She’s really anxiety-ridden, and she’s overthinking it. And Jane is having to say, “Calm down, it’s fine.” It would be curious to see what she would be like.

I hope she wouldn’t be a complete mess. That would just be not fun to watch.

Might be fun to play temporarily, but long-term, I could imagine it would wear thin. Since Jane is pregnant, is that making Maura think more about motherhood for herself?
SA: The show’s not exploring it. I definitely feel that she would love that to happen, but I don’t know if she’s the kind of person to make that happen. So it hasn’t been there yet. But I do feel someone who has a maternal instinct and a desire to do it right, even if that’s over-thinking scientific facts about certain things, in her way, that’s the way of doing it right. But right now she’s just being supportive.

Is there a particular case that Maura gets really involved with this season?
SA: We have different cases for everyone so far. I wouldn’t say there’s one particular one. We did just do one, it was a cold case, and Maura and Korsak worked closely on it. And it’s a homicide that has been left for we don’t know how many years. It’s a really fascinating case. And the special effects of the mummy and all of that are really, really cool. I do think Maura gets really, really fascinated by that one. But not one that’s spilling into – we don’t really deal with Maura’s personal life for most of this season. We deal with her having a boyfriend, but we’re focused more on the cop stuff and that world. And Maura’s part of it.

After all these seasons, are you enjoying things like the realistic special effects of the corpses? Or is it still a bit icky?
SA: Both! When it’s so realistic, you’re like, “This is absolutely disgusting.”

We had a man and part of his face was ripped off. And the way it was ripped off was very gruesome. It’s just looking at this actor who spent three hours in makeup and it looks so real, and I’m so close to it, and it’s frightening. But then you have one like the mummy, where you’re like, “Oh my God! That is so cool! Look at that!” It’s really interesting how they do it. Makeup people are so talented – I don’t even know how they envision this stuff. So I have both [feelings].

And then I have days, like where Maura makes a maggot milkshake – she has to test these maggots to see what they were poisoned with, so she has to get a ton of them to put them in this milkshake. And she scoops into it, and Korsak is disgusted. And then she has a scene where she has to take a kidney and she has to understand something about the kidney, and she puts it into water, and she’s so into it; super into this science experiment and smiling with joy, like at a carnival. And Jane’s like, “What’s going on?” And Maura’s like, “I have to experience this by myself, because you do not care about this thing which is scientific experimentation.” It’s really funny. Maura definitely has some very classic episode scenes that really made me laugh. And I have to really put that aside when I’m going into play that, because I have to be so earnest and serious as her.

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25 June 2014

Rizzoli & Isles Tops Chart as #1 Scripted Program with Total Viewers

ImageTNT's summer dramas dominated the weekly ratings race, with The Last Ship topping the charts as basic cable's #1 scripted original for the week with adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 and Rizzoli & Isles ranking as basic cable's #1 scripted program with total viewers. TNT also scored success with Falling Skies and Major Crimes, which both ranked among the top scripted originals for the week with key demos, as well as Perception and Murder in the First, which joined the other series in giving TNT seven of basic cable's Top 10 scripted programs for the week in total viewers.

Over all, TNT ranked as basic cable's #1 entertainment network for the week in primetime, with more than 2.3 million viewers and strong +18% growth compared to the same week last year. TNT is currently on pace to rank as basic cable's #1 network in primetime delivery of total viewers and key demos for Q2 2014. Turner's basic cable ratings packet for last week will be released shortly.

The following is a rundown of basic cable ratings victories TNT's summer dramas scored for the week:

Seven of basic cable's Top 10 scripted originals with total viewers, including all of the Top 4:

#1 Rizzoli & Isles: 5.8 million viewers Tuesday at 9 p.m.

#2 The Last Ship: 5.3 million viewers Sunday at 9 p.m.

#3 Major Crimes: 4.6 million viewers Monday at 9 p.m.

#4 Falling Skies: 3.7 million viewers Sunday at 10 p.m.

Perception: 3.1 million viewers Tuesday at 10 p.m.

Murder in the First: 2.9 million viewers Monday at 10 p.m.

Rizzoli & Isles encore: 2.7 million viewers Tuesday at 8 p.m.

 

Three of basic cable's Top 4 scripted originals with adults 18-49, including #1:

#1 The Last Ship: 1.5 million adults 18-49 Sunday at 9 p.m.

Falling Skies: 1.3 million adults 18-49 Sunday at 10 p.m.

Rizzoli & Isles: 1.3 million adults 18-49 Tuesday at 9 p.m.

 

Basic cable's Top 4 scripted originals with adults 25-54:

#1 The Last Ship: 1.7 million adults 25-54 Sunday at 9 p.m.

#2 Rizzoli & Isles: 1.7 million adults 25-54 Tuesday at 9 p.m.

#3 Falling Skies: 1.5 million adults 25-54 Sunday at 10 p.m.

#4 Major Crimes: 1.3 million adults 25-54 Monday at 9 p.m.

 

As reported yesterday, The Last Ship now ranks as cable's #1 series launch for the year-to-date, leading a pack that gives TNT five of cable's Top 6 scripted season premieres for the year-to-date in Live + Same Day delivery.

Also last week, TNT's real-life investigation series Cold Justice garnered a total of 2.3 million viewers in Live + Same Day delivery for Friday night's 9 p.m. summer premiere and midnight encore. The show's premiere telecast at 9 p.m., which delivered more than 1.7 million viewers in Live + Same Day, outperformed the show's second-season premiere in January by +22%. Cold Justice also surpassed its overall Live + Same Day winter average by +19%.

In key demos, Friday night's Cold Justice premiere garnered a total of 935,000 adults 25-54 (+14% over the show's winter average) and 685,000 adults 18-49 (+14%). In addition, the second season of Cold Justice continues to show growth in Live + Same Day delivery of key demos compared to season 1, with adults 25-54 up +5% and adults 18-49 up +16%.

In time-shifted viewing, last Monday's episode of Major Crimes has grown to 6.1 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery, while that night's episode of Murder in the First has climbed to 4.5 million viewers in Live + 3. Meanwhile, Tuesday's season 5 premiere of Rizzoli & Isles has grown to 8 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery, and the season 3 premiere of Perception's has grown to 4.4 million viewers in Live + 3.

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25 June 2014

Rizzoli & Isles Set Scoop: Sasha Alexander on Changes, New Romance & Downton Abbey

ImageIt’s not every day that a long-running series has to deal with the death of a cast member, as well as the character they played.

But that’s what we’ll see on Rizzoli & Isles Season 5 Episode 2.

The unexpected death of co-star Lee Thompson Young last August will be dealt with on the installment, as the crime drama pays tribute to both Young and his character, Barry Frost, in the most respectful way possible.

And while everyone in the cast handles the task at hand beautifully, star Angie Harmon does Emmy-worthy work when Jane tries to deal with Frost’s death by... well... not really dealing with it.

We talked to Harmon and new showrunner Jan Nash last week on set and now we fiund out from Sasha Alexander how the season will get back to some of the lighter fun we’re used to.

The actress also teased Maura’s new romance, as well as how the show brings a little Downton Abbey to one particular episode...

Ch-Ch-Changes: While a lot of the personal stories with Maura over the years have dealt with her gangster father, adopted mother and half-sister, we won’t see so much of that in the new season.

"This season’s interesting in the sense that we’re not really diving into any of Maura’s family so Maura’s taking a little bit of backseat in the first part of the season…there’s changes in the police department and in the first couple of episodes, we’re dealing with the loss of Barry Frost and what that does to the team and then kind of diving into some really great crimes in all that.

New Man For Maura: Alexander was tight-lipped about the new love interest for her character but did say that it’s not Eric Winter, who guested in the past as a potential suitor.

"All I can tell you is he’s a total smarty-pants, but in the right way and he’s this super, wonderful actor named Enver Gjokaj, the actress says. "He’s amazing [and] he’s just such a wonderful actor, but he’s just a cutie pie so that’s a really fun relationship that is happening now so I don’t really know how it’s going to end or not end or where it’s going.”

One bit of scoop she did reveal? This guy won’t follow the trajectory of some of her past love interested: “It’s just nice to see that there’s somebody possibly not a killer."

Darkness To Light: While tonight’s episode deals with the death of Barry Frost and has a serious, sad tone, don’t expect the whole season to be that way: “When [Maura’s] first handling the death of Barry Frost and how she grieves over it, it’s really touching because in a natural, Maura-way, she tries to kind of put it all in a box and it doesn’t happen like that.”

The actress said the same thing happens with this new relationship, which will help in lighting things up in the subsequent episodes.: “[Maura] sees someone she likes, but the way she goes about it is really kind of off-beat and maybe socially very awkward so I had a lot of fun doing that and exploring how she goes about it.”

Baby, Baby: With Jane pregnant, how will Maura, react? “I think that she’s very excited about everything from all of the gadgets that you get and all of the information, the reading you can do and gather during pregnancy about statistics and stuff and what you can do for the baby so I definitely think she’s much more into that than Jane.”

Who Will Jane Lean On? Jane has already decided to hide her pregnancy (for nowO from her meddlesome mother, Angela, but what about the baby’s father?

“We don’t know Casey’s situation in terms of being with her or not,” said Alexander. “It’s hard because Maura’s the only other person that [Jane] can kind of really rely on. Her mom’s rather overbearing. Angela can just kind of like take it all over and she doesn’t want that."

New Bosses: There are changes onscreen with the loss of Frost, but there were some change behind the scenes of the series, too. Jan Nash (Unforgettable, Without A Trace) has taken over the showrunning duties for the fifth season and Alexander praised how she’s handled the show and brought more than procedural know-how:

“She has a wicked sense of humor She used to write on [the sitcom] Ellen years ago and she’s just snappy funny and so the scripts are really smart and the crimes are deeper.”

Mastering medical speak: You’d think after all this time Alexander would have the difficult medical jargon down. Not exactly.

“It’s just hard,” she said. “I look at some of the scenes. I’m like ‘what?’ At first, it’s more like a Chinese to me. It’s Mandarin and then I have to sit down and slowly break it down and really understand it. That’s the hard part is I have to understand every single thing and then add action to it.”

The actress lit up even more when she revealed some of the gross things we’ll see this year: “I know it’s going to sound like you don’t know where it came from but Maura made a maggot milkshake. She had to test maggots to find out a certain time and it’s really gross and hilarious at the same time.”

Rizzoli/Downton crossover? Not exactly, but Alexander said there’s a fun episode coming up that brings out a fun side of Jane: “They go to investigate a crime that’s at this very big mansion and Jane thinks it funny and she does all these Downton Abbey impersonations. And Maura’s like ‘I don’t want to take you there because I know what you’re going to do and you can’t. You have to promise you won’t do it’ and she does it the entire time and it’s just hilarious.”

Also, watch for Jane to dress up as a sexy librarian…though Maura thinks she looks more like a flight attendant.

Chemistry & Magic: While it’s probably the number-one reason why people watch the crime drama, Alexander is very aware of the pitch-perfect, natural chemistry she has with co-star Harmon.

“I think that’s just the magic. When chemistry happens in that way, you just can’t define it. You can’t put a thing on it. You can’t say ‘oh it’s because maybe she’s more masculine and she’s not.’ I’ve read scenes and they read one way and then we start to do them and they’re something else.

Home, Sweet Home at Maura’s: “They’re all at Maura’s house!” Alexander said of the fact that, in the opening of the season at least, Jane has been sleeping over and Angela is already a regular presence, too.

“I literally said ‘is your whole family going live here now? You should just come over, too.’ She gets sick and has something and she’s staying over. It’s hysterical. I said we should just build a wing…but it’s fun. It’s really fun to do and so wonderful when you do have chemistry in that way because the music gets different."

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24 June 2014

BTS photos from filming on June 20

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Photos from filming on June 20 can be found at TPGimages.com

 


 

 

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24 June 2014

 

24 June 2014

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24 June 2014

Live +3 Ratings for Season Premiere

ImageTNT's weekend success comes as the network is firing up summer with its slate of hit dramas. Last Tuesday, Rizzoli & Isles kicked off its fifth season with a total of more than 7.5 million viewers in Live + Same Day delivery for its 9 p.m. premiere and 11 p.m. encore. The premiere has already grown to 8 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery.

In key demos, Rizzoli & Isles drew a total of 2.3 million adults 25-54 in Live + Same Day delivery (1.7 million for its 9 p.m. premiere) and 1.9 million adults 18-49 (1.3 million at 9 p.m.).

In early time-shifted viewing, the premiere of Rizzoli & Isles has grown to 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 2.0 million adults 18-49 in Live + 3 delivery.

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22 June 2014

Cinema Source Interview: Sasha Alexander

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Sasha Alexander was initially known for her roles on hour long Network TV dramas, such as Dawson’s Creek and NCIS as well as films like, Yes Man and He’s Just Not That Into You.

For the past 5 years, however, Sasha has become best known for her co-starring role on cables #1 Crime Drama, the TNT Original Series, Rizzoli & Isles.

Based on a series of novels by Tess Gerritsen, the series, which enters its fifth season this June, stars Angie Harmon as police detective Jane Rizzoli and Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.

Following the conclusion of their highly successful fourth season, the cast and crew were devastated by the sudden and untimely passing of cast member Lee Thompson Young, who played Detective Barry Frost.

Making the tragedy doubly more difficult was the fact that the first two episodes of this season had to address and deal with this horrific situation.

We told Alexander how amazed we are by how beautifully and effectively they managed to deal with the passing of Young.

“It’s really a testament to Jen Nash, who wrote the episode and her conceiving it in a way that didn’t shy away from it, but found a way to pay tribute to the character and to Lee,” she believes, “It was such a difficult situation for everybody because we went away and then, we came back and the worst thing we had to deal with was that loss.”

“And I’m just really proud of it and even though it’s not a comedic episode, it’s not an up episode, I feel like the work by everybody is just tremendous,” Sasha adds, “I’m really proud of it and I’m really excited for the audience to see it, because I do feel like they will be able to have an experience like we did. I feel it’s important as well, as our producers said, for us to go through this together. It’s an unusual situation in the business, people never really have that happen, so I liked the way they handled it.”

We felt there was a definite catharsis at the end, particularly with a line from Angie’s character Jane we liked that talked about her final wish to die one day before Maura.

“So I don’t have to deal with your wishes,” Alexander says, “I think that cracked me up and actually, I really loved the way Angie played it, because it was just like, ‘Oh, God.’ I can’t believe she was doing this. I can’t even listen to this right now, the list, it was really fun to play that. It was quite an experience for me to play Maura in that episode and the way she handles the loss.”

“Her own grieving process to me just really touched me, because we do all grieve in different ways and think that we can manage something one way and so we go, ‘Oh, we’re not going to do that,’ but she really, really believes that she’s going to manage her grief,” she continues, “And that’s an example of one of the scenes where, ‘OK, we should talk about our final wishes.’ I think it’s really funny. I think it’s one of the classic scenes between these two women actually.”

We expressed to Alexander how we felt that was quintessential Rizzoli & Isles because it says everything, plus it’s such an emotionally sweet thing to stay to a friend.

“It’s something we don’t all think about or bring up,” Sasha adds, “It’s not the topic that we want to talk about, but given what these two women do for a living, particularly Jane, she’s putting herself out there on the line very often, and so it is a reality. It’s a very touching scene.”

“That’s a testament to the script,” she continues, “I remember feeling nervous about what to expect and which way they were going to go. When I read the script, I was so moved by the script, I called Jan immediately and just said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for handling it,’ because she wasn’t here last season. So for her to step into a position that had to deal with this as its first primary issue is a really big thing to do, and she did it like a pro. She just did it with enormous heart and empathy and love for all of us and him.”

We expressed to Sasha that the tone of the series is unique in the sense that in the midst of dealing with a pedophile and you hear the sad music in the background, you get the sense that everything is OK.

“Which I like,” she says, Even though I loved True Detective this year, I was really a big fan, it felt like a movie to me in that way, I am a person who likes to watch TV and feel that there is some hope. Tonally, you can play with that however you want. It doesn’t mean that there’s not a really dark episode, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have a funny episode. But in general, there’s hope. These people are good people, they are trying to do better in the world, I’ve always been a sucker for those kinds of shows. Those are the ones I want to watch every week, so I understand that. I understand these people, and when I step into the role of this character, after so many years, we start to get such a music together.”

“And when I watch the show, I don’t see Sasha and Angie,” Alexander continues, “I really see Jane and Maura. I see those two women together. And I find myself going, ‘Oh, they’re so fun. I want to be friends with them. Yeah, what’s she going to say? Oh, wait, I’m playing one of these characters.’ Even when there’s episodes and they don’t do something really girly, I’ll be like, ‘Where’s the girls’ stuff? Why aren’t they getting manicures? What’s going on? They aren’t doing anything fun! It’s all these serial killers all the time.’ I feel like there needs that, and that’s part of the tonal thing that I really love. That you can be on a crime scene wearing Alexander McQueen, as one does, I love it, too.”

We told Alexander that as much as there are many good TV series currently that have dystopian futures, we feel, as cheesy as it may sound to some, that a show with hope is important.

“I think so,” Sasha says, “It is for me. It really is, for me, just in terms of what I want to watch. I don’t want to become completely depressed after an hour of something. That doesn’t mean that I won’t go into that subject matter. Game Of Thrones, is it uplifting, I would say? Huge fan, but there’s something fantastic about it and something that’s more imaginary and make-believe in a way.”

“But when you’re dealing with real people in today’s world and what some of the topics are, not that our show, I feel, is very weekly topical or whatever, but it is current.,” she adds, “like to see characters that are trying to do OK in the world, doing their best.”

We pointed out to Sasha that binge-watching Rizzoli & Isles is far less likely to give you bad dreams than say Game Of Thrones.

“I totally agree with you,” she says, “I can handle one a week and I enjoy that hour, I really do. But if we go through one and my husband goes, ‘Let’s watch another,’ I can’t, I just can’t, because all of a sudden, I think everybody is trying to kill me, blackmail me, I don’t know what they are doing.”

“Everything’s just like, I feel like I’m paranoid about the state of the world and human beings,” Alexander adds, “I can’t, I get very worried that it’s all a big game, but I do love it. It’s too much. You’re going to start to get mad like the crazy guy who tortures people.”

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22 June 2014

Cinema Source Interview with Angie Harmon

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After spending some time working as a professional model, Angie Harmon found her true calling as an actress on the wildly popular TV series Law & Order.

Her much beloved character A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael was sorely missed when she left the series in 2001 after 4 seasons, but the truth was, no one could have known that the role she was born to play was only a few years away.

Angie currently stars as the tough-as-nails Boston police detective Jane Rizzoli on cables #1 Crime Drama, the TNT Original Series, Rizzoli & Isles.

Based on a series of novels by Tess Gerritsen, the series, which enters its fifth season this month, Harmon stars alongside Sasha Alexander, who plays the incredibly intelligent medical examiner, Dr. Maura Isles.

We commended Angie on how unique Rizzoli & Isles and how refreshing it is considering how much TV is actually out there today in this new ‘golden age’.

“There is so much television,” Harmon believes, “I don’t get to see any of it, but from what I hear, there’s a lot out there. It’s just impossible not for it to be a little, it’s a lot and it’s shocking and then it’s awe-inspiring and then, it turns into just gratefulness and thankfulness. You’ve seen those shows that are good and they’re cancelled after only two or three episodes. As an actor, you never really know.”

“We knew when we were shooting the pilot, ‘This is good. This could be something,’” she adds, “And then, as soon as you say that, then you know you’re going to be cancelled immediately, you wouldn’t even get picked up. So it’s a very interesting thing, our business, so yes, anything that is a success, I’m hugely, hugely grateful for.”

We asked Angie if she ever finds that she’s losing herself in the character of Jane.

“It usually happens when I’m driving in the City of Angels,” Harmon says, “A few times, and it’s funny. Jane will come out when I’m talking to my little girls, but definitely. She definitely creeps in there. I was saying earlier, when I drive on the lot Monday morning, I just find that Angie starts to take a backseat and Jane just moves over to the driver’s seat, and I have very, very good friends here that I will say, like a crazy person, ‘OK, I’ll see you on Friday around 9:00, you want to meet for drinks? Alright,’ and Angie just goes away and Jane comes out. And they know not to take things that I say to heart and things like that, but maybe we’ll drink a lot of beer, who knows? But it’s an interesting thing because I admired those actors like Daniel Day-Lewis and all of these people, who stay in character and they go live in tents and they go do all this kind of stuff, which I just really don’t think I can do because I’m a fan of toilet paper and running water and things like that.”

“So that is loving the craft and I love my craft, but it’s an interesting thing that Jane will actually take over,” Harmon adds, “And I know that I sound like a crazy person, I can hear myself saying and I’m like, ‘We’re already talked about the headlines, Angie Harmon’s a schizophrenic or a really good actor. We haven’t decided yet.’ But it is a wonderful, wonderful profession, wonderful, and if you can find a group that has the camaraderie and you pull for each other and you cheer for each other, then you’re set, and you have a network like TNT that promotes you and puts you out there and they believe you, and that’s the thing about working with TNT is that they believe in every single one of their shows. Like every single one of their shows is their little baby, it’s their little project, their little present that they are going to wrap up really prettily and put it to the world. And that’s really, really lovely to be a part of, because we’ve all been a part of those shows that are good, but no one promotes it or maybe they just didn’t get around to putting the money into advertising, and you know it’s amazing, and you’re cancelled after two episodes. So it really is wonderful being here five years in, I mean, who knew? And being with TNT, I feel like it’s not just a family here, but it’s a family with the higher-ups, the crew, everybody, and the fans.”

Harmon elaborated on how appreciative she is of the fans of Rizzoli & Isles.

“We have great fans,” Angie says, “We have very wonderful fans, and the interesting thing is the age group of them. We’ve got fans that are 12, 13, I have littles stop me in the airport and they want to be ME’s and they want to be detectives and they want to be lawyers and things like that. That, again, to me is my pride of being on the good side of the line of what television is, because we know what the bad sign of the line is, we know what it promotes.”

“What I love about Rizzoli & Isles is that it promotes friendship and loyalty and family,” she says, “You may be an annoying family member, but you’re my family member, all of those things that we all go through in life, but continuously make the right choice, continuously make a good choice as opposed to just throwing in the cards and going, ‘Alright, I’m just going to be a horrible human being.’”

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22 June 2014

RIZZOLI & ISLES: Angie Harmon Previews Jane’s Changes in Season 5

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RIZZOLI & ISLES fans will see a whole new side of Jane’s personality this season for a very good reason: she’s pregnant!

“I think the thing that is my most favorite aspect of Jane being pregnant is…the kid in her is sort of coming out,” Angie Harmon (Jane) told reporters. “She’s not as crotchety, and she’s not as bossy. Now she’s more like a practical joker. And that’s been fun. Before, you could tell she had been through many of life’s experiences that could make you step back and be grateful for what you had. With this, I think she takes herself less seriously; I think she takes life — you can actually take a breath, smell the roses, make your friend laugh, that kind of thing. And I like that about her. That’s how I am…it’s been a really, really fun thing to watch that. And she’s terrified…you know the first time this whole thing happens, I don’t care if you’ve tried for years, when you see those two pinks lines, it’s like, ‘OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?’ You completely freak out.”

And while Jane shared her pregnancy suspicions with Maura at the end of the last season, there’s still the matter of everyone else finding out.

“Each one finds out in their own special way, and then reacts in their own special way,” Harmon teased. “Jane, of course, is so adamant about keeping her job, and keeping it a secret, and being a cop, because that’s all she wants to do. And then you have Angela, [her] mother, who is like, ‘But you’re my baby!’ It’s supposed to be a very girly, frilly, lovely moment, and Jane just won’t have it. Jane is just about, ‘I’m carrying a gun, I’m going to attack bad guys, and possibly tackle them in the street’…it goes on for a bit, it’s quite comedic.”

But while Jane might be undergoing some personal changes, fans shouldn’t expect the show to core of the show to change.

“I happen to think season 5 is our best season yet,” Harmon said. “I think the girls no longer have to fight for that relationship; they have that relationship, they’re best friends. Now it’s about everything that happens to all of them as a cast…and how we all come together and react to life’s situations.”


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22 June 2014

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22 June 2014

Tweet Pix from Premiere Day

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20 June 2014

New Sasha photoshoot

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A new photoshoot with Sasha was posted over at APImages

 

 

 

 

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19 June 2014

Season Premiere Ratings

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RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 9:00 PM

Viewership (000s, Live+SD) - 5.81

Adults 18-49 rating (Live+SD) - 1.0

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18 June 2014

TV Goodness Reports: Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander talk Rizzoli & Isles Season 5

ImageThe new season of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles is finally here. And with it, comes some big changes.

A new showrunner now leads the charge. Jan Nash has some impressive credits on her resume having produced in some capacity on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Fairly Legal, Without a Trace, Caroline in the City and Ellen.
One of Nash’s first priorities was to deal with the death of series regular Lee Thompson Young. The show will specifically tackle this loss in the second episode. (We’ve seen “Goodbye.” It pays proper tribute to the actor and the Barry Frost character in a very touching, emotional way)

TV Goodness recently hit the set of the show that’s beginning its fifth season tonight. We were able to chat with some of the cast as well as the new showrunner. Nash feels there’s a lot to deal with in the first few episodes.

Jan Nash: Coming out of season four with the dramatic elements that were in the finale and the real life elements that were in the show, we’re sort of moving into season five by honoring those things and trying to tell stories that are doing right by those stories. And doing right by all of these characters. We’re moving into season five with Jane being pregnant. Dealing with the loss of Barry Frost. Those, in terms of serialized elements, are the stories we’ll be dealing with at the beginning of the season. And marrying those with really good crime stories. We’ve got some really fun crime stories that we’ve got. We go into some really fun worlds. We’ve got some really good twists and turns. We’re shooting episode ten and I’ve seven completed episodes and they are all very, very good.

Angie Harmon [Jane Rizzoli] feels her character’s pregnancy signals the start of a grown up Jane who ends up making some tough, grown-up decisions.

Angie Harmon: She has to kind of decide. Here [Casey] is, he made the decision to go and be and made the decision based on their conversation. She said to him, I don’t want to be the reason you don’t follow your dream. And he said the same thing to her. So I think they kind of build off of that what they’re going to do. And obviously they’re going to play up the friendship and all of that kind of stuff. But it’s a very grown up decision that Jane comes to. And she’s terrified. Plus she’s hiding it. She doesn’t want mom to know. She doesn’t want work to know. It kind of just becomes a bit of Jane growing up, becoming an adult. And then once she’s made that decision, she just blossoms. And just is like, okay, this is what I’m gonna do. And I’ve always admired women that can do that.

Thankfully, Sasha Alexander’s Dr. Maura Isles will be right by Jane’s side supporting her best friend.

Sasha Alexander: I think that she’s very excited about everything from all the gadgets that you get and all the information and the reading you can do and gather during pregnancy about statistics and stuff and what you can do for the baby. So I definitely think that she’s much more into that than Jane. Jane’s just kind of riding along. [Maura's] there. She’s just truly a supportive friend. And in this situation, Casey…we don’t know Casey’s situation in terms of being with [Jane] or not. So it’s hard because Maura’s the only other person she can really rely on.

According to Nash, the pregnancy storyline will continue to connect Jane and Maura. Everything always goes back to the show’s key relationship.

Jan: The focus on this show is Jane and Maura and while Jane is pregnant, really the focus of that experience for Jane…the most important relationship in that experience for Jane will be Maura. Jane will have to deal with the impact of that on her life which is, she’s a cop, she’s a single mother. What does she do? Does she keep it secret? What are the right things to do going forward? So she’s going to be dealing with those things. But in fact, with Maura…with her family…And so I think it’ll feel like in the same way in previous seasons, whatever the conflict was, whatever the problems were, those things would circle through Maura and her family; it’s gonna be the same now. The issue just happens to be a pregnancy.

Maura fans don’t need to worry. There’s story coming for the medical examiner in the form of a new love interest.

Sasha: All I can tell you is that he’s a total smarty pants in the right way. And he’s a super wonderful actor named Enver Gjokaj. He’s amazing. He’s just such a wonderful actor but a really great smart kind of…he’s just a cutie pie. So that’s a really fun relationship that is happening now. So I don’t really know how it’s going to end or not end or where it’s going. I haven’t been told. But it’s just nice to see that there’s somebody possibly not a killer.

Jan: [Maura] meets a very nice man. I think it’s in episode five, there’s a very, very funny story that again, Jane circles through because in fact they’re best friends. And that will reoccur over a number of episodes. She’s going to learn a lot of new things about Maura. She’s going to buy a motorcycle. She’s going to teach a class. She’s gonna do a lot of fun things. But I do think because of the things that were left over from season four much of the beginning part of season five is dealing with repercussions and the hold over dramatic elements from season four.

Harmon thinks it’s refreshing that even in season five, the audience still gets to learn new things about their favorite characters.

Angie: I think that’s one of the gifts that Jan has given us…is because it’s a fresh set of eyes. Because it’s a new hand. Now Jane gets to be funny and that kid inside — no pun intended — actually gets to come out. Now Jane is all about practical jokes, being more of a kid herself. And we didn’t have that before. She was always stomping around…why are you so stupid and you…(acting grumpy). You know what I mean? You killed the guy…and okay. It’s just a different level….another level…it’s different eyes and it’s fun to play.

Keep checking back with TV Goodness, we will have more from our visit to the set of Rizzoli & Isles, including an interview with Frankie Rizzoli Jr. himself, Jordan Bridges.

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18 June 2014

A visit to the Season 5 set of 'Rizzoli & Isles'

ImageWhen Rizzoli & Isles returns tonight for its fifth season on TNT, fans will be waiting to see how different things will be for Maura, Jane and the rest of their Boston-based crew. With the exit of showrunner Janet Tamaro and hiring of Jan Nash, the tragic death of star Lee Thompson Young, and cliffhanger of a Season 4 finale where Jane tells Maura she is pregnant, it’s a time for change both on-screen and off.

During a recent set visit, though, the cast and crew assured reporters that things really couldn’t be any better. Despite the fact that the first two episodes deal with the heavy subject of Detective Frost’s fictional passing to match the real life loss, the eulogies delivered on screen and feelings felt by all who knew Lee are part of a touching well-played send-off.

“It’s a reflection of the entire company’s commitment to honoring Lee and his memory and it turned out exactly the way we hoped it would,” Jan Nash said of the second episode. Angie Harmon praised the out showrunner for coming on at a time where the cast was grieving, and also asked for input on the dialogue about Frost in the actual show.

“[She asked] like ‘What do you want me to say in the eulogy?’ Things like that and I would call her back and say,’It needs to be more, it needs to be about this and this and this, and we’re talking about Frost, but we’re talking about Lee—because he was my closest friend here, so to have that collaboration on something that is as devastating as that… to have Jan be able to come in and take that subject matter, that was first. That’s a tough thing. She didn’t know him, she wasn’t here—all that. To be able to go through that and move it through with each one of our characters it’s not just about two characters anymore.”

Jan has worked on several procedural crime series, including Without a Trace, Unforgettable and the Sarah Shahi USA series Fairly Legal, so she said Rizzoli & Isles is “in her wheelhouse.”

“It’s a genre of TV that I’ve very much enjoyed writing for and do in fact think when they’re really good are very satisfying to watch,” Jan said.

Jan, whose first job in television was producing and writing for Ellen in 1996, said she wasn’t aware of the Rizzles lesbian fanbase of the show until she was hired on.

“I had heard about the Rizzles when I went through my meetings,” she said. “I see why people see [the subtext]. I totally see why people see it. There are these two incredible actors who also happen to be really beautiful who have incredible chemistry and a really compelling friendship on screen. I totally see it.”

But fans who are hoping for anything more than friendship to unfold on screen are going to be severely disappointed. Even under the helm of a lesbian showrunner, Jane and Maura are best friends who date men. Jane’s possible pregnancy from the Season 4 finale becomes a reality in Season 5, where Maura is the only one who knows and is thrilled about it, too.

“I think [Maura's] really excited about everything from all the gadgets you can get and reading you can do and information you can gather,” said Sasha Alexander. “Pregnancy statistics and stuff about the baby—I think she’s definitely more into that than Jane. Jane’s just kind of riding along, so yeah she’s just there. She’s a truly supportive friend and in this situation, we don’t know Casey’s situation in terms of being with her or not but presently with her.”

Jane’s baby’s father, Casey Jones (Chris Vance), is not involved in the pregnancy. Angie joked that she can’t keep an on-screen love interest because she loses all of the actors to their own shows.

“We all know Chris is doing well as The Transporter—it’s become sort of a thing: If you’re a struggling actor, why don’t you come on Rizzoli & Isles? Give ole’ Jane a kiss and you’ll get your own shows. It’ll be amazing!’” Angie joked. “Who’s next? Who needs their own show? Come to Mama!”

But Jane decides to keep the baby, despite being “terrified.”

“She doesn’t want her mom to know, she doesn’t want work to know,” Angie said. “It kind of just becomes a bit of Jane growing up, becoming an adult and once she’s made that decision, she just blossoms and is like ‘OK, this is what I’m going to do.’”

While Maura is helping Jane prepare herself for a new addition, she’s also finding a new love interest.

“Maura does meet someone, someone different from Eric Winter and all I can tell you is he’s a total smarty pants in the right way,” Sasha said. “So that’s a really fun relationship that is happening now so I’m not really sure how it’s going to end or not end, or where it’s going—I haven’t been told. It’s just nice to see that there’s somebody possibly not a killer.”

Jan Nash said she hopes lesbian fans won’t be too put off by the new romances and pregnancy storyline, as she sees it as a natural progression for two female best friends.

“I hope that fans that love the show that love the relationship between these two women, whatever prism we see that relationship through will see that we are honoring that relationship,” she said, “that these two women are continuing to be each other’s best friends, the people they each turn to in moments of crisis. You know, the pregnancy is a life event that you would go through with the people closest to you, and it will be a life event that Jane and Maura will go through together. So I hope that the fanbase, the lesbian fanbase or anybody in the audience that appreciates that relationship will just see that being a different aspect of that relationship.”

Jan also said it could be possible to see a gay or lesbian character on Rizzoli & Isles, though it didn’t sound like there were any in the 10 episodes already shot or plans to include any moving forward.

“I don’t see why that couldn’t happen,” Jan said. “Why couldn’t you see that on any television show? I’ll just say yes, why not? Sure. Why can’t there be on that on any show? It’s America 2014.”

Angie’s description of Jan being collaborative also means that she does get some say in what Jane Rizzoli does or says.

“I have input and it’s usually well-received, we’ll just say that,” Angie said. “I have my own feelings about [the pregnancy storyline] but I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to give it away. … The first thing Jan said to me was, ‘You’ve played this character and know her better than anyone else.’ And that was really really lovely and refreshing. I think we got one of the loveliest and kindest people in this business. She’s a gift, she really is. And we all prayed for her!”

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Sasha said that Jan has helped make the scripts “really smart.”

“She’s got a wicked sense of humor. She’s just snappy funny,” Sasha said.

Including a scene in which Maura introduces Jane to her new beau.

“I think she likes him. Maura takes Jane to meet him and she clicks with him as well. I think Maura’s the one that has a lot of anxiety about being burned so many times, that how do you really know somebody is normal? SO I think Jane–[Maura] kind of brings her in to give her to the OK and that goes really funny too. We’ve only touched in it so I don’t know it’s going to end up. I’m very happy about that for her.

Some of the comedy in Season 5 will surely come from Jane’s resistance of all things overtly feminine, as Angie points out her character is modeled after a male homicide detective.

“It’s not like Jane’s a really frilly girlie girl,” she said. “If I play feminine, then Maura doesn’t work. I have to go way, way, way over here on the sort of manly—tone it down, dumb it down. She can’t walk in and be sexy or pretty or aware of it or any of that stuff. She just has to be a man.”

Angie said she was inspired by the women in the Boston homicide division, too.

“They work very hard at blending in. There’s nothing special about them, there’s nothing very sparkly. They work very very hard,” she said. “It’s an interesting thing to do as a woman.”

Some fans would say it’s that kind of masculine edge that Jane Rizzoli gives in her slacks and boots that adds to the Jane and Maura chemistry.

“When I watch the show, I feel like I don’t know Angie and I,” Sasha said. “I know these two women together. I don’t know, it’s just the magic when chemistry happens in that way, you just can’t define it. You can’t say, ‘Oh it’s because maybe [Angie's] more masculine and [Sasha's] not’—I don’t know. I’ve read scenes and they read one way and then we start to do them and they’re something else. I can honestly say picking up with her is we can pick up and we can go. We can make it our own.”

And with that being said, and acknowledged by anyone who has ever worked on or watched the show, it continues to feel like a missed opportunity to explore something other than friendship between these two women. If viewers are able to accept there will never be a romance between Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, then they will enjoy the show. But if they are holding out hope for something sexual or a deeper kind of intimacy, it seems inevitable that they will be disappointed.

For those who are fine with subtext, it sounds like there will be plenty of innuendo to subsist on.

“We did a fun scene today where—let’s say Jane’s trying to persuade someone to give her information so she dresses up what she thinks looks like a sexy librarian,” Sasha said, “but Maura thinks she looks like a flight attendant.” And with Jane always staying at Maura’s place, Sasha joked, “It’s like the whole family is moving in! I said, ‘We should just build a wing.’ It’s fun. It’s really fun to do. So wonderful when you do have chemistry in that way because the music gets different.”

That’s something all Rizzoli & Isles fans can agree upon.

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18 June 2014

Rizzoli & Isles Scoop Preview: Tributes, Pregnancies and More

ImageRizzoli & Isles Season 5 kicks off on Tuesday night but it will take the first pair of episodes to fully deal with the passing of co-star Lee Thompson Young, who played Barry Frost.

Rest assured, having seen the first couple installments, I can say that new showrunner Jan Nash handles this tragedy beautifully with a tribute for both actor and the character he played.

But there's more.

Angie Harmon's Jane Rizzoli also found out at the end of Rizzoli & Isles Season 4 that she was pregnant. Sasha Alexander's Maura had a romantic moment with Jane's brother. And, of course, there are always bad guys to catch.

On a recent visit to the Rizzoli & Isles set in Hollywood, I grabbed some time with both Harmon and Nash to get the lowdown on the new season and why Harmon says this season is by far her favorite.

TV Fanatic: How did you approach the new season because you’ve got something big you have to deal with in the beginning and a lot of other threads from the end of last season.

Jan Nash: Obviously, because I’m new, looking at it where they ended season four in terms of the dramatic things that they’d set up and then also looking at the sort of reality of the end of season four with Lee’s death. There were a few things that were on the table that we felt compelled to deal with in a real, in a meaningful way.

From the dramatic perspective, I’m not a fan of ‘oooh somebody’s pregnant, just kidding’ and so that was the storyline we were given and we wanted to honor that and so we sort of started thinking about putting all of those pieces together. It became clear that we couldn’t do what needed to be done coming out of season four and really deal with it in a good and meaningful way with Lee’s death so that’s the reason we structured the first two episodes the way we did.

So that we could sort of lay a foundation for those stories and then have the death of Barry Frost enter the series and actually be able to deal with it in a way that we all felt like it deserved.

It was very important to Sasha and Angie that, you know, we deal, especially with Lee’s death in a good way, in a respectful way and this is sort of what made sense to all of us.

TVF: Having seen the second episode that deals with Frost’s death, I thought you really honored not just the character but Lee, too, in such a nice, respectful way.

JN: Thank you. It’s a real thing that happened to a group of people. I mean, it was finding that way of sort of having the story come in a way that would tell the story. We’re making a television show but in fact there are real feelings that are underneath it all and try to give that opportunity for all of the actors to have a moment where they can intercept with that loss and to sort of get to the end and hopefully feel not like you’ve been manipulated but that in fact that you’ve had an exploration of grief in a way that is consistent with our experiences in life and how we all felt about the character and for some people, how they felt about the actor.

TVF: What will we see beyond the first two episodes? Will we still hear mentions? Is there going to be somebody kind of coming in to take his place?

JN: I do think that this show is a show that has, historically, had a little bit of a serialized element to it. Jane’s father, Maura’s father, her adoption. Those things are things that have lived in multiple episodes through seasons and so we didn’t feel like it was real either to just drop it and so it will continue to live in moments on a going forward basis. Almost, again, through the season, but again, not in every episode.

TVF: Sasha and Jordan’s characters had that little flirtation last season and we see it pop again in the new season. What can you say to that?

JN: I think for now, we feel like that probably is going to stay the way it is. I think they’re going to have some really nice moments as we go through season five, but we, in fact, do have a story for Sasha as we get into about a third of the way through the season where she meets somebody who is a super nice guy and we go through that process of her meeting somebody and how she responds to that. You know, they are great actors and they actually did a great job both in last season and in with what we gave them this year in terms of sort of saying ah, we’re too close. You know, but we’ll see.

Next up, we grabbed a few minutes with series star Angie Harmon…

TV Fanatic: Based on the first episode back and the fact that Jane is definitely pregnant, is this going to be a more psychological season for her?

Angie Harmon: Jane has gone through a really, really big transformation. I mean, it’s been a lot for her. This has been my favorite season so far just because as an actor, I’ve gotten to do so much more. I mean, obviously with just all the different subject matters and things plus I really enjoy doing scenes with all the other cast members and…it’s Bruce McGill for crying out loud! I mean, it’s Lorraine Bracco and it’s a third generation Bridges. I mean, really.

So it’s been really, really fun not exploring the relationships but just adding to them and then Jane’s, like I said, she’s got a lot going on and so it’s been wonderful kind of watching her deal with that on her own and then how each other person relates to her.

TVF: We know the relationship with Angela is often played for laughs just because she’s the overbearing mom but are we going to see that she does need her mother because of what she’s going through?

AH: A lot. There is actually a moment where Angela kind of puts her foot down and it’s actually to all of us because she’s like, ‘I’m your mother!’ And it’s an interesting thing because I’ve had the same conversations with my daughters. It’s like, ‘yes, I’m your mother, but I’m also a person.’

Having Angela put that down, it’s kind of great because we’re all just sort of like ‘what? Huh? What?’ We’re all used to kind of her just being there for us and just being Mom and I do think we forgot that she’s a person and I do think that we forgot that she’s a beautiful woman and all of those things that we all need and now she gets to embark on them in season five and it’s hilarious because it’s done in that very Boston/mom/Angela way.

It’s wonderful actually watching that relationship between Jane and Angela deepen because Jane’s never needed anyone. She’s very capable. She could do everything on her own. She doesn’t need anyone. She doesn’t want any help. So now for her to need her mom I think is a very, very sweet thing because I have three daughters and I watch them go through it.

TVF: So with Jane’s romantic life…she’s pregnant. She hasn’t told the daddy…

AH: It’s crazy.

TVF: So I’m guessing that’s eventually going to have to come out. I’m guessing.

AH: I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s dealt with, but it is, again, part of her, that inner-turmoil and that journey that she goes on to try and figure out what’s the best path for her and the baby. It’s like a roller coaster.

TVF: What else is going on in the opening of the season? I know they’re heavy episodes to start.

AH: Well, [episodes] one and two, obviously, it was something that we had to address and the rest of the season…like I said, I think it’s the best season yet. I think we’ve all grown as actors, come together as a cast and it’s just a different point of view now. It’s just the girls don’t necessarily have to fight for that friendship anymore. It’s established. It’s done. And so now it’s just all about life’s situations and circumstances and how they all handle it together.

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18 June 2014

Sasha Alexander answers burning questions from season 5 of 'Rizzoli & Isles'

ImageThe friendship between Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) that is the hallmark of "Rizzoli & Isles" will continue into Season 5 of the hit TNT drama as the Boston crime-solving duo investigate more complex and dangerous cases than ever before. But in the first two episodes of the season, they will also address the real-life death of Lee Thompson Young, by laying to rest his TV character Detective Barry Frost.

"Although, it is not an upbeat topic, our second episode, which deals with the loss of Lee is, I think, a very powerful episode just in terms of dealing with the loss, how it is written in and how the characters deal with it," Sasha Alexander told Examiner.com during a set visit. "It is the kind of episode we have never done here before. I am excited for people to see it because we all went thought something, I think the audience went through something, and it gives it the respect that it deserves. I am excited for people to see that and then have us as a team move forward."

In the premiere episode, the murder of a jogging mother leads to the search for her missing baby, which is a nice counterpart to Jane dealing with the fact that she is pregnant with Casey's [Chris Vance] baby but the father is nowhere in sight.

"Maura is there when Jane goes to her first OB/GYN appointment," Alexander says of an upcoming episode. "As a matter of fact, Angela [Lorraine Bracco] gets a little jealous because she wants to be the one going to all the appointments, but Jane doesn't always want mommy to be at everything, so Maura is reading a lot and offering ideas, and let's say, gathering information about the best car seats and whatever. So, she is the supportive friend … in her own neurotic way."

Want more dish? Alexander answered all the burning questions we posed going into the new season of "Rizzoli & Isles." Following is what she had to say:

Executive producer Jan Nash told us that Maura gets a motorcycle?

She finds one that she falls in love with. I think, the idea is that Jane can get around town faster.

A sidecar in Boston doesn't sound very safe?

Apparently, you can ride on sidewalks.

Maura has her biological parents, who she met as adults. Are either Hope [Sharon Lawrence] or Paddy Doyle [John Doman] going to appear the first half of this season?

They are not. Maura's family personal life is going to take a back seat this season. They did a lot of it before, so they are building up Korsak [Bruce McGill] and Frankie [Jordan Bridges], and focusing on a lot of cop and crime stuff. Maura does get a possible boyfriend, who is not a crazy person, so that is fun. It is played by an actor named Enver Gjokaj, and he is just wonderful. I don't know where it is going because we are not that far into it, but it is fun to see Maura … she likes him, but then she doesn't know what to do with it. There is a lot of weird neurosis coming up for her this season. Emotionally speaking, she kind of deals with things in a very offbeat way.

Can you say how she meets him?

She goes to teach a class at a university, a seminar on forensic science, and she meets him there. He is a professor.

What happens with Frankie? They did share a kiss.

It is not over. Something happens between them in the beginning of the season, where they deal with their kiss, and then, I think, they just make a decision. I don't want to believe that it is over. I think there is something between them. I just don't think it is something that is ready to be worked out now.

Does Jane weigh in on it?

A little bit. She picks up the vibe for sure.

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17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

Rizzoli & Isles Boss on Writing Out Lee Thompson Young: "It Was Very Daunting"

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To say Jan Nash came in to Rizzoli & Isles with an unenviable task would be an understatement.

The former Without a Trace producer replaced creator/executive producer Janet Tamaro as showrunner in November, just three months after star Lee Thompson Young committed suicide at age 29. The final episodes of Season 4 were devoid of Young, but his character, Det. Barry Frost, hadn't been written out yet. Instead, he was said to be on vacation visiting his mom.

"It was very daunting knowing what was before me and what I had to do," Nash tells TVGuide.com. "From the moment that I was approached about this show and started watching the episodes ... and [after] I met with Angie [Harmon] and Sasha [Alexander], I knew that doing it in a compelling and respectful way was the most important thing to them for the season."

The farewell will play out over the first two episodes of Season 5, which premieres Tuesdayat 9/8c on TNT. Jane (Harmon) and Maura (Alexander) will learn of Frost's death in a car accident at the end of the premiere, and then the second episode will focus on the grieving squad, culminating with a memorial service, during which Jane speaks. "Angie is fantastic in the scene," Nash teases. "Just incredibly moving and amazing."

Killing off Frost was the only option to honor Young, Nash feels, as any other alternative would ring false. But she was well aware that she had to approach it with great care.

"We had to deal with it in a real and concrete way. We couldn't just say Barry Frost went on vacation and occasionally talk about how much fun he was having or give him a new job in a new city," she says. "That would feel icky. We realized that we had to have the character die so we could deal with that loss the same way the people on the show had dealt with Lee's loss. What comes with that is we had to make sure we were not being exploitive and we were honoring his memory appropriately ... and I think we all feel as a collective that we, to the best of our abilities, accomplished that."

While the second episode will serve as the tribute, Frost's death will continue to resonate, as, in an obviously unplanned twist, it lends a poignancy to the new season as it wrestles with not only loss, but new life. The Season 4 finale, lest we forget, had Jane discovering she was pregnant after breaking up with Casey.

"I'm a big believer that you can't just say something to the audience and say, 'Kidding!'" Nash says. "Jane Rizzoli, for my money, was pregnant at the end of Season 4, and so we are moving forward with her being pregnant. We're going to play with the idea of her being pregnant and what it means for her life, her relationship with Maura, how does she look at raising this child, especially having just lost a friend and a colleague, but not in a somber way. Of them both, I don't think anyone would have thought Jane would be a mother first. It's a very fruitful story line. No pun intended."

The other finale bombshell, of course, found Maura and Jane's little brother Frankie (Jordan Bridges) sharing a kiss. The two awkwardly broach the subject in the premiere, but Maura will soon have a new guy in her life in Jack Keystone (Enver Gjokaj), a Boston University professor, in what Nash describes as a "very interesting" arc.

"There are a lot of fun things this season between that and the pregnancy," Nash says. "We had to deal with this very tough circumstance, a very tough challenge, but at its core, the show is still a fun crime drama about these two friends, and that's one thing that won't change even with all these changes."

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17 June 2014

Nautical by Nature's Rizzoli and Isles set visit

ImageLast week Leeann and I headed to the Rizzoli and Isles set for a press event. I lucked out because I had the day off from work post-Legoland/work trip. I was so excited because Rizzoli and Isles is one of my favorite shows. There is nothing I love more than a good police drama! We asked Bruce McGill what three words he would use to describe season 5 and he said, "Rich, full, satisfying!" With Jane's pregnancy, Maura's new love interest, and plenty of crazy crimes it sounds like season 5 is going to be the best one yet!

I was able to get a sneak peak of the first two episodes of the upcoming season. Have tissues ready. I wasn't sure how they would handle the untimely death of cast member Lee Thompson Young. I watched every episode of The Famous Jett Jackson and I remember being so excited when Lee Thompson Young was cast on Flash Forward and then Rizzoli and Isles. I don't want to give any details away from these two episodes but the funeral scene was so emotional and really honored Lee Thompson Young and the character he played, Detective Barry Frost.

Check out the full article here


 

 

17 June 2014

Episodic Stills - EP502 "Goodbye"

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Added to the Season 5 Episodic Stills gallery:

"Goodbye"

Also added a new image to "A New Day"


 

 

17 June 2014

'Rizzoli & Isles' team moves forward following co-star’s death

ImageWhen Sasha Alexander arrived on the “Rizzoli & Isles” set Monday morning, Aug. 19, 2013, she had one scene with co-stars Bruce McGill and Lee Thompson Young, who played Detective Barry Frost, the likable, but squeamish young detective.

McGill was there, but Thompson was tardy.“Lee had been late before,” says McGill, who plays Detective Vince Korsak. “I hope the girl is worth it, because he is going to be in trouble for being late,” joked Alexander, who plays Dr. Maura Isles.

McGill and Alexander began to divide up Young’s dialogue, until series creator Janet Tamaro told them to stop.“She told us she had a bad feeling,” McGill says.
The stars went back to their trailers and Tamaro reached out to the authorities. By this time, Angie Harmon had arrived on the Paramount lot. As Detective Jane Rizzoli, she was Frost’s partner. Off-screen, she was his friend. She and Young took karate lessons together and had both graduated from the USC film school. Young, 29, was found dead in his Hollywood home by the police. Tamaro summoned the stars to her office.“She told us Lee wasn’t with us anymore,” says Alexander. “But we didn’t know any other details.”

Ten months later, Alexander, in a tan-and-white top, sits in the very office where she first heard the news. “I was devastated,” she says, tears pouring down her cheeks. A few days later, at a party on the set celebrating Tuesday’s season premiere, McGill says, “I can see it so clearly today. Angie began to tremble. She began to convulse. Amazingly, Sasha held it together and began to hold Angie, and then they were both trembling.”Then, they all agreed to go to the stage to tell the crew. “One thing I didn’t expect was the shrieking,” says McGill. “It was involuntary as if you were punched in the gut. Women were shrieking.”

What happens to a show when a main character dies suddenly? How do producers wade through their own misery to revamp? In Young’s case, it was even more difficult to cope because of the way he died. In a moment of depression, he sat alone on a sofa and put a gun to his head. Whatever his demons, he kept them at bay on “Rizzoli & Isles.”

“That part of him was hidden,” says Jordan Bridges, who plays Frankie Rizzoli Jr. “You couldn’t get to it.”

“I thought he was just having the problems of someone in his 20s,” says Alexander.

“He was skittish,“ says McGill. “Nervous. I thought maybe I had done something, for him to be acting so weird.”

After the news of Young’s death, production was shut down, and everyone was sent home. According to McGill, Tamaro had to fight “the powers that be,” to let them have a week to grieve. The cast returned a week later to film the season’s final episode, which the writers had rewritten, sending the Frost character on vacation.

Then they went on hiatus for five months. Tamaro was replaced by veteran producer Jan Nash (“Without a Trace”). She made it her mandate to move both the cast and the series forward. The biggest problem was how the writers would write Frost out of the show.
“Some people wanted Frost to stay on vacation,” says McGill. “That was ridiculous.”
Says Nash: “We decided to deal with the loss head on.” Frost dies at the end of Episode 1. He is neither a crime victim nor a suicide.

“I would not have had his death be an accident,” says McGill. “I would have taken on the subject of suicide. It would have been interesting and it would have helped a lot of people, but we are not that kind of show.” Episode 2 is devoted largely to the aftermath of Frost’s death. Frost will not be replaced. His desk remains empty. In Episode 8, a new member of the squad will be introduced, but details are sketchy.

“You can’t just replace someone in Lee’s role,” Nash admits. “We never wanted to do anything that made it seem like we were exploiting the real experience.”

“We had to ride that line between human reality and drama,” says Alexander. “We just hope it will give the family some relief.”

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16 June 2014

Loss, new life impact season 5 of 'Rizzoli & Isles'

ImageRizzoli is expecting a baby.Isles is mulling the kiss she shared with Rizzoli's brother.And the entire team is struggling with a sudden loss.

"Rizzoli & Isles" has much to cover -- with someone new running the show, literally -- as Season 5 of the TNT crime drama begins Tuesday, June 17. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander continue as the Tess Gerritsen-created title characters, whose frequent repartee is a good match for new executive producer Jan Nash, experienced in both comedies ("Ellen") and police procedurals ("Without a Trace").

Serious matters will be the order as the season starts, as anyone aware of a cast member's death should expect. The late Lee Thompson Young played Detective Barry Frost, whose absence will be mourned by Boston police detective Jane Rizzoli, medical examiner Maura Isles and their colleagues.

Alexander admits she questioned how the show would deal with the situation. "I did not know what the answer was," she says. "All we did know was that we needed to pay the proper respect to the character and to our friend, and the first two episodes of the season really do that."

In taking over from original "Rizzoli & Isles" executive producer Janet Tamaro, Nash knew she was inheriting story lines that had to be treated with care. Alexander credits her with handling them "in a way that I don't know could have been done better."

Recently a consulting producer on ABC's "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," Nash believes "Rizzoli & Isles" marks "the first time I've had a chance to use all the parts of my background ... not just to do something that's both procedural and comedic, but also a show that has really strong heart."

Nash gave herself a "Rizzoli & Isles" crash course by watching the first and last episodes of each previous season, plus several others she randomly selected.

Alexander says "it definitely does" feel like a season of change for the series. She recalls that after Young's death (confirmed by police as a suicide) last summer, "We filmed for maybe a week or two, then we took a week's break, then we filmed another episode and all went our separate ways for about five months and grieved and did what we needed to do on our own. Then when we came back together, we had a new showrunner, so that was the second big change.

"It is still a great crime show," maintains "NCIS" alum Alexander, "and at the center of it is this wonderful friendship between Jane and Maura. When you lose one of your team members, though, the dynamics shift. That's a natural thing, and we've had to adjust to that both in real life and as our characters on the show, revisiting these sets and places that were occupied by someone we really loved."

The daughter-in-law of screen legend Sophia Loren, Alexander says the effects of Isles' kiss with policeman Frankie Rizzoli (Jordan Bridges, son of "The Millers" star Beau Bridges) will play out over time. "You are like a brother to me," she tells him in the first new episode. "With really soft lips."

"I don't know if I could say it was something that was earned," Alexander notes, "because it isn't something that grew over each season. In the bomb episode last season, it was clear that Frankie was harboring this crush on Maura that was growing on his side, and she felt reluctant to enter into something with her best friend's brother.

"That said, I feel there's this kindred connection between them. There's something really kind about Frankie, and that's something new for Maura. She's just been fraught with all these really bad guys, and his being so kind was enough for me to allow Maura the freedom to just be in that moment with him ... not really thinking about what it meant or where it would go. I think they both make a mature decision about it."

Maturity also rates high on another count as Isles supports Rizzoli through a surprise pregnancy. That yields its more amusing moments, as when Isles takes very evident pleasure in a cup of coffee she's just steered Rizzoli away from. "I will kill you," Rizzoli warns her.

"Jane's not the kind of woman who's just going to stop working and sit home and massage her belly with coconut oil," Alexander acknowledges. "Jan Nash has a really wicked sense of humor, so I feel like that's hitting an all-time classic place on the show. Maura is overthinking all the baby details and Jane is really not. It's sophisticated and it's smart, so we have a lot of really fun stuff."

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16 June 2014

'Rizzoli & Isles' boss on how Lee Thompson Young's death will be addressed

ImageWhen "Rizzoli & Isles" returns for its fifth season on Tuesday, June 17, the hit TNT series will finally deal with the loss of Lee Thompson Young, who played Detective Barry Frost. In fact, according to showrunner Jan Nash, Young's death informed how the producers and writers decided to break the stories for Episodes 1 and 2.

"It formed how we laid out the stories, and it informed how we shot them, remembering that this was a real experience that, not just our actors had gone through, but most of the crew had gone through, trying to be as respectful of their real feelings as possible," Nash told Examiner.com at a press day on the set of "Rizzoli & Isles." "That desire to be respectful marched us through the process in a way that led us to some inevitable decisions. At the end of the day, every person involved in the production -- from PAs to Sasha [Alexander as Maura Isles] and Angie [Harmon as Jane Rizzoli] -- was determined to do their very best job to honor Lee and his memory. I am really proud of the way it turned out.

Here is more scoop from Nash on the first two episodes of Season 5 of "Rizzoli & Isles," which will deal with the passing of Young.

Were they really hard shows to get through?

I think everybody was so determined to do a good job. I wasn't here at the end of last season, so it was different for me. It would be untrue to simply say everybody marched through and had no feeling about it. But everybody was so dedicated to doing a good job and making sure that what we all decided to do was accomplished that I think people really took a deep breath and moved forward in the best way possible. I am as proud of this company for the way they handled the first two episodes as I am of any group of people I ever worked with.

In the second episode where the funeral takes place, there were tough decisions to be made. Did you have the same problem deciding on the elements of the ceremony in the writers room?

It is interesting. When we came up with the framework for the first two episodes, I went out to lunch with a couple of people from Warner Horizon. One of them told a story about having been at a funeral recently and that there was a photo montage of the person who had died. In the middle of the photo montage, there was just randomly a photo of her husband. He was not a close friend, he was not someone who would have expected to be in a photo montage, but he was there. After a number of pictures, it came back. It kept coming back until it became the comic relief in the middle of what could have been this very sad photo montage. So, she told that story and I thought, "I am going to use that." The idea that there would be these pictures that would get Jane to the place, where she was going to lean into the joyous side of Barry Frost's character, was where we got to and we worked backwards from that.

My sister is a police officer [in the western suburbs of Chicago], so I pay attention to police funerals. I think there is nothing more moving than that bagpiper standing off in the corner, playing some bagpipe song. We knew we were going to do bagpipes. They are very moving. The rest we filled in.

Barry's desk is empty. Are you going to move someone into it, or will it be a shrine for a while?

We will slowly deal with the issue of the desk. I don't think we are going to place somebody in the desk. We will deal with the issue of the desk and the action figure. We will spend most of the season resolving the story, but as we go on, we will touch down on it. In the same way as in your own life, you have fewer moments [focusing on grief].

Does that mean an existing character might inherit the desk, or is someone new going to come in?

I think we are going to add a character to the show about halfway through the season, but we are not talking about it now because we are trying to focus on the first two episodes. I actually don't think we will have someone sit at that exact desk. We will have to figure out a clever way to deal with it spatially.

Season 5 of "Rizzoli & Isles" premieres Tuesday, June 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT. The network is going to get fans in the mood with a whole day devoted to cable's No.1 crime-drama with a 16-hour marathon of the entire fourth season, beginning at 5 a.m. ET/PT.

"Rizzoli & Isles" also stars Jordan Bridges as Jane's brother, Detective Frankie Rizzoli Jr.; Bruce McGill as Sgt. Detective Vince Korsak, Jane's steady old-school Homicide Squad teammate; and Lorraine Bracco as Angela, Jane's meddling mother.

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14 June 2014

Join the Gossip Visits the set of Rizzoli & Isles

ImageWho's excited for the return of Rizzoli & Isles? I am! To kick off the upcoming fifth season, the show was awesome enough to arrange an on-set happy hour for the cast, along with a small group of media. Such a cool, intimate experience!

Angie Harmon (Detective Jane Rizzoli), Sasha Alexander (Dr. Maura Isles), Jordan Bridges (Frankie Rizzoli Jr.), and Bruce McGill (Detective Vince Korsak) were all there to talk with us, pose for pictures, and let us check out the "Boston PD".

 

Click here for full article and more photos



 

 

14 June 2014

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14 June 2014

TNT Gears Up for 'Rizzoli & Isles' Season Five Premiere with Season Four Marathon on June 17

ImageAs TNT gears up for the return of Rizzoli & Isles, the network is going to get fans in the mood with a whole day devoted to cable's #1 crime-drama. On Tuesday, June 17, TNT will present the entire fourth season of Rizzoli & Isles, beginning at 5 a.m. (ET/PT). The 16-hour marathon will lead directly into the season five premiere at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

Based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen and developed for television by Janet Tamaro, Rizzoli & Isles stars Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles, a smart, impeccably dressed medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry, an authentic and deep friendship and a unique working relationship that together, helps them to solve the most complex murder mysteries in the city of Boston.

Rizzoli & Isles also stars Jordan Bridges as Jane’s brother, Detective Frankie Rizzoli Jr.; Bruce McGill as Sgt. Detective Vince Korsak, Jane’s steady old-school Homicide Squad teammate; and Lorraine Bracco as Angela, Jane's meddling mother.

In season five, Jane and Maura will investigate more complex and dangerous cases than ever before, including the murder of a jogging mother that leads to the search for her missing baby, the pursuit of a killer who uses online ads to lure in the perfect candidate for murder, and the investigation of a man killed in his supposedly impenetrable doomsday shelter. The team will also deal with the loss of a dear friend and colleague as they say goodbye to Detective Barry Frost (Lee Thompson Young).

Developed for television by Janet Tamaro and based on a series of novels by best-selling crime writer Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles is produced for TNT by Warner Horizon Television and Bill Haber’s Ostar Productions. Haber, Michael Katleman and showrunner Jan Nash serve as executive producers.

 

Rizzoli & Isles Marathon – Tuesday, June 17

 

5 a.m. – "We Are Family" – TV-14-DLSV

A community parade turns deadly in a case that brings family tensions and politics to the forefront. Maura, who is dealing with her own family issues, is not quite herself. And a surprise visit from Lt. Col. Casey Jones (guest star Chris Vance) reveals some shocking news.

 

6 a.m. – "In Over Your Head" – TV-14-DLV

While investigating the homicide of an overzealous journalism student, Jane is not happy when a former colleague returns to BPD as the new lieutenant of the drug unit (guest star Amaury Nolasco). But the murder she's investigating soon forces her to deal with him - and the event wrecked their relationship. Meanwhile, an alarming tip from Cailin (guest star Emilee Wallace) causes Maura to investigate Hope (guest star Sharon Lawrence).

 

7 a.m. – "But I am a Good Girl" – TV-14-DLV

TJ's christening turns grim when a body is discovered in the church. Jane almost abuses her power in order to protect Tommy when Lydia's fiance, Stuart Stawbridge (guest star Jareb Dauplaise) threatens to take custody of TJ, and budget cuts cause tensions to run high around the department.

 

8 a.m. – "Killer in High Heels" – TV-14-DLV

Maura becomes the key suspect in a homicide case when Maura's date turns up dead – and Maura can't remember their evening together. As the shocking evidence against Maura piles up, Jane struggles between protecting her best friend and doing her job.

 

9 a.m. – "Dance with the Devil" – TV-14-DLV

On the first day of Paddy's (guest star John Doman) murder trial, Maura gains insight into her father from Hope (guest star Sharon Lawrence). Korsak opens up about Cavanaugh's tragic past. And in an unexpected twist, Maura must decide which side she's on when she and Jane unravel a shocking secret about Paddy and Hope that affects them all.

 

10 a.m. – "Somebody's Watching Me" – TV-14-DLV

When a beleaguered Jane spills hot coffee on a stranger at Boston Joe's, a viral video of Jane's bad day potentially jeopardizes her career and reputation. Meanwhile, the squad rushes to solve a puzzling murder case involving a conspiracy theorist.

 

11 a.m. – "All for One" – TV-14-DLSV

A popular high school teacher is killed in a hit and run that is clearly no accident. The squad works to solve the case, but Jane is preoccupied with Lt. Martinez's (guest star Amaury Nolasco) apparent favoritism towards his own drug unit.

 

Noon – "Cold as Ice" – TV-14-LV

Frankie Jr. is brought in to help with a gruesome murder case involving a youth hockey league. Frustrated with Hope (guest star Sharon Lawrence), Cailin (guest star Emilee Wallace) asks to stay with Maura. But Maura quickly learns that living with a teenager requires skills she does not have.

 

1 p.m. – "No One Mourns the Wicked" – TV-14-DLV

When Jane and Maura are asked to present the case of serial killer Charles Hoyt at a symposium for law enforcement, Jane worries that her greatest challenge will be facing bad memories. However, as she and Maura begin a simulation of investigating Hoyt's murders, they soon come across a horrifying discovery. In a matter of moments, the team finds themselves drawn into a lethal game of cat and mouse with a new and terrifying serial killer.

 

2 p.m. – "Built for Speed" – TV-14-LV

When a late-night amateur Drag Race turns deadly, the squad works quickly to solve what turns out to be a particularly dangerous case. As evidence unfolds, Jane suspects that the motive for murder may have been an attempt to conceal drug trafficking. However, when she turns to Lt. Martinez (guest star Amaury Nolasco) for help he seems to be thwarting her investigation.

 

3 p.m. – "Judge, Jury and Executioner" – TV-14-LV

A mock trial advisor (guest star A'da Alison Woolfolk) dies tragically during a competition. Meanwhile, Angela's increased interest in selling brownies has Jane concerned that she may be hiding financial issues. And Tommy (guest star Colin Egglesfield) hires a lawyer (guest star Chris Coppola) to settle his claim against the Storrow Center. Doug Savant also guest-stars.

 

4 p.m. – "Partners in Crime" – TV-14-LV

The squad rushes to solve a violent homicide case muddied by conflicting evidence. Maura is burdened with the major decision of whether to take in her recently paroled grandfather (guest star Richard Herd). Meanwhile, Jane and Casey (guest star Chris Vance) are forced to decide between their careers and their romantic relationship.

 

5 p.m. – "Tears of a Clown" – TV-14-DLV

When a kidnapper dressed as a clown reemerges in Boston after more than 20 years, the squad is struck with fear. Desperate for clues, they dig through files from the unsolved abductions of the haunting 1988 "Summer of the Clown." Meanwhile, as Jane's relationship with Casey (guest star Chris Vance) becomes more serious, they are forced to face the fact that one of them will have to compromise if they are to take things to the next level. Maura also finds herself in an emotional dilemma when she inadvertently gets in the middle of another relationship.

 

6 p.m. – "Just Push Play" – TV-14-DLV

A singer and guitar player is brutally and mysteriously stabbed in a bar. As details emerge in the case, the squad soon realizes that the victim had something to hide. Meanwhile, Jane's dad (guest star Chaz Palminteri) returns after being gone for more than a year. And he's got some shocking news.

 

7 p.m. – "Food for Thought" – TV-14-DLV

When a food truck chef dies suddenly, all signs point to a suspicious poisoning, but many questions remain unanswered. Meanwhile Tommy (guest star Colin Egglesfield) announces some big plans that have Angela very excited. And Maura's birth mother, Hope (guest star Sharon Lawrence), takes a bold step toward making amends with her daughter.

 

8 p.m. – "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" – TV-14-DLSV

Homeland Security steps in when a senator's daughter is found murdered. The squad rushes to solve the case, which could put national security at risk. Meanwhile, Tommy (guest star Colin Egglesfield) and Frankie get into a fight after Tommy starts slipping back into bad old habits. And Jane reveals some shocking news that could change her life forever.

 

9 p.m. – Season 5 Premiere: "A New Day" – TV-14-DLSV

Solving the murder of a jogger takes on even greater urgency when Jane realizes that the motive was theft...of the woman's baby. As the investigation gets underway, Jane attempts to hide her pregnancy from her snooping mother, and Maura and Frankie face the aftermath of their kiss.

 

Connect with Rizzoli & Isles

 

Website: tntdrama.com/series/rizzoliandisles

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rizzoliandisles

Twitter: @RizzoliIslesTNT | #RizzoliandIsles

YouTube: youtube.com/RizzoliIslesTNT

Tumblr: rizzoliandislestnt.tumblr.com

GetGlue: getglue.com/tv_shows/rizzoli_isles

Executive Producers on Twitter: @michaelkatleman | @JanNash100

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14 June 2014

Alicia Witt, Anna Camp, Seth Green,Sasha Alexander and other celebs create, perform six plays in just one-day

ImageIt can take a play months — even years — to be written, produced and staged. But a dedicated group of talented Hollywood actors, writers and directors are creating about six of them in just 24 hours.

On one night only, June 20, these plays will be staged at the The Broad Stage in Santa Monica with proceeds benefiting the Urban Arts Partnership, one of the nation’s leading education organizations working to advance the intellectual, social and artistic development of under-served public school students through arts-integrated education programs.

“The 24-Hour Plays: Los Angeles 2014” event includes 24 actors, six writers and six directors who create six 10-minute plays in a variety of genres.

“It’s the scariest thing you can do as an actor,” said Alicia Witt, currently on the FX series “Justified” and an actor in the “24-Hour Plays.” “It’s like that nightmare when you’re on stage and the curtain raises and you have to explain that you don’t know your lines.”

Witt has participated in the event in previous years and explained that the plays plots come from inspirational props brought by the actors.

“In the past I’ve usually been staying with friends at their place, so, with their permission, I bring in something of theirs,” she said. “One time I brought in this lifelike rubber heart and they made this whole musical about these surgeons.”

The creative process begins at 10 p.m., Thursday but Witt hasn’t yet decided what she’s bringing for inspiration this year.

“It’s always fun when two people bring the same thing — or something close; then you’re almost assured it will be used in a play,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned is never tell the writers what you’re not comfortable doing, because then it’s for certain they’ll have you doing it.”

She made the mistake of mentioning she’d rather not dance once, and, of course, a script that featured her dancing was then born.

“This is something every actor should do,” Witt said. “It gives you confidence; a sense of spontaneity. It lets you know, it you can do this, you can do anything. You can deal with anything thrown at you.”

By 9 a.m. Friday, after working all night, directors will cast and rehearse over the course of the day. At 8:00 p.m., six new plays and several musical acts will be performed before a live audience with ticket proceeds helping to fill gaps in L.A.’s educational system.

“Funding for the arts is generally the first thing to get taken out of school curriculum,” said Philip Courtney, Urban Arts Partnership’s executive director. “When that happens many kids don’t want to attend school. This event enables us to bring the arts back into public schools.”

Courtney explained Urban Arts Partnership collaborates with teachers and administrators on how to incorporate art into core subjects, such as teaching math through design or history through filmmaking.

“The goal is to infuse classrooms with art,” he said. “We are in an educational crises. Our view is that art is engaging and using art to engage young people in learning will produce successful adults.”

Other actors included in this year’s event are singer/actress Alanis Morissette (“Weeds”), Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”), Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break”), Ashley Fink (“Glee”), Constance Zimmer (“House of Cards”), Jason Ritter (“Parenthood”), John Cho (“Star Trek”), Kelly Osbourne (“E! Fashion Police”), Michael Ealy (“Almost Human”), Retta (“Parks and Recreation”), Rosie Perez (Artistic Board Chair of Urban Arts, “The Counselor”), Sasha Alexander (“Rizzoli & Isles”), Seth Green (“Robot Chicken”) and Wilmer Valderrama (“That 70’s Show”).

Writers include Emmy award winners Ben Karlin (“Colbert Report”), Bill Wrubel (“Modern Family,” “Will & Grace”) and Crittenden (“Arrested Development,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”).

Directors include Fred Savage (“Friends with Better Lives”) and Rob Greenberg (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Happy Endings”).

Ticket info:

24-Hour Plays in L.A.

When: 8 p.m. Friday June 20.

Where: The Broad Stage at Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St.

Cost: $200.

Information: 201-736-3181, Ext. 326, urbanarts.tix.com.

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14 June 2014

Angie to present at the 4th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards June 19

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The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) today announced the celebrity presenters for the 4th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards (CCTA), which will air live on The CW from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, June 19, 2014 (8:00pm ET/8:00pm PT). Actor/comedian Cedric the Entertainer, star, co-creator and executive producer of The Soul Man, host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and host of the upcoming reality series Cedric's Barber Battle on The CW, will host.

Presenters include CCTA nominees Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Tony Hale (Veep), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans), as well as Christina Applegate, Fred Armisen (Archer, Portlandia), Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis), Demian Bichir (The Bridge), Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time), Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Kathy Griffin (comedian), Colin Hanks (Fargo), Angie Harmon (Rizzoli & Isles), Colton Haynes (Arrow), Diane Kruger (The Bridge), Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black), Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), Laura Prepon (Orange Is the New Black), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Isaiah Washington (The 100) and Shane West (Salem).

Jim Parsons will present the Critics' Choice LOUIS XIII Genius Award, established to honor an icon in the television industry, to Ryan Murphy, the Emmy Award-winning creator, writer and director of FX's Emmy-winning American Horror Story; FOX's Screen Actors Guild and Emmy Award-winning Glee; and FX's award-winning Nip/Tuck. Murphy's latest directorial project was the HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer's award-winning The Normal Heart, which is nominated for five CCTAs.

Best known for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, now going into its 20th year, the Broadcast Film Critics Association established BTJA and the Critics' Choice Television Awards in 2011 on behalf of television journalists working in electronic media to celebrate outstanding work in television. In addition to honoring the best shows and performers from the previous season in Drama, Comedy, Reality, Movie, Mini Series, Animated and Talk Show categories, the Critics' Choice Television Awards also spotlights the Most Exciting New Series premiering recently or in the coming months, judged from pilots, early episodes and trailers. This year's Most Exciting New Series honorees are Extant (CBS), Gotham (FOX), Halt and Catch Fire (AMC), The Leftovers (HBO), Outlanders (Starz), Penny Dreadful (Showtime) and The Strain (FX).

Red-carpet preshow, "Live from the Critics' Choice Television Awards," will begin at 6:00pm ET/6:00pm PT and will air on flagship station KTLA as well as many other CW/Tribune Affiliates across the country.

Event sponsors at the 4th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards gala on June 19 include iPic Entertainment, Pernod Ricard's Elyx and Glenlivet, LINE, Engel & Völkers, Sabra, Sarasota Film Commission, Bradenton Area Film Commission, Flight Source, thalo, Yogurtland and Michele Watches.

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13 June 2014

Cast Appearances for Season 5 premiere

ImageHere's the rundown so far (will continue to update)....

Angie Harmon
- June 16: Twitter Chat with @ParadeMagazine 2pm EST
- June 17: Today Show during 9am hour
- June 17: The View
- June 19: Presenting at Critic Choice Awards

Sasha Alexander
- June 18: KTLA Morning News

Lorraine Bracco
- June 17: The Talk


 

 

11 June 2014

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10 June 2014

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9 June 2014

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7 June 2014

Angie on the Today Show on June 17

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Angie is scheduled to appear on NBC's The Today Show on June 17 during the 9am hour.


 

 

7 June 2014

SCA Alumni Stories: Sasha Alexander

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Sasha Alexander’s (BA Production '97) acting credits include starring roles in films such as Yes Man and TV shows such as NCIS and the hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, where she plays Dr. Maura Isles. What many may not know is that Sasha graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she studied production in an effort to hone her behind-the-camera skills.

You were already acting as a teenager but decided to attend the School of Cinematic Arts to study production. Can you talk about why you made this choice and how this training has impacted your professional career?
I was doing theatre in high school and loved it. But wasn't sure that acting would be my career path. The unpredictable nature of it scared me. When I was 15 I watched David Lynch's Blue Velvet and I remember wondering how the film was made. I was curious about the filmmaking process, so I thought if I learned more about what happens behind the scenes, it would ultimately be a better road for me. It was a great decision on many levels. First, I didn't want to be in front of the camera during this time in my life. I wanted to grow and find my voice and a way to express my stories without any judgment or result attached to it. And this is what I got. From all of my documentary classes to making my own shorts on 8mm, I really enjoyed it all. I even acted in some fellow classmates’ short films. My return to acting came after a job for a producer at Sony Pictures. I realized everything in this business is hard and you have to do the thing you love most. And for me, at that time, it was acting. After my USC experience, I was so much more comfortable on set because I knew everyone's job, I had done it in school. So I respected the hard work that goes into every area of making film and television and I wasn't as distracted or intimidated being surrounded by so many people.

What do you remember most fondly about your time at USC?
Watching Babette's Feast with Drew Casper, early morning documentary classes, our 290 class, staying up editing all night, 8mm, the dock, the conversations, the true creative spirit of everyone wanting to find a way to express themselves. The friendships, many of which have stayed with me until today. Including meeting my husband [Edoardo Ponti ‘98] at USC. We were both editing our films and I remember passing him in the hallways. We didn't actually date until years after we left school. But a fond memory nonetheless.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Coming and Going. An independent comedy Edoardo directed and co-wrote with my fellow 290 classmate, Dewayne Jones. I produced and starred in it with Rhys Darby. It was such a fantastic and fun collaboration. We laughed every day and it brought me right back to my USC days. I want to do something like that again, very soon.

If you could go back and speak to your 20-something Trojan self, what advice would you give? Enjoy it all! Use this time to experiment with ideas and formats and don't get locked into one thing - the business will do that for you later. So allow yourself the creative freedom to try it all. That is what school is for. And build relationships. You will all move into the real world together and it is always great to have those friends that knew you when…

Can you talk about some of the challenges of being a working mother? How do you and your husband balance your professional and family responsibilities?
Being a working mother is extremely challenging on so many levels. Mostly juggling the unpredictable schedule and the travel. Edoardo and I take turns mostly, making sure one of us is home with the children at all times. It wasn't always easy, but you make it work. Even if it means bringing babies to set. My daughter is so comfortable now on sets that she goes straight to the monitor, grabs her headset and sits down next to the director. But all the beauty of being a mother has deepened my work and the enjoyment I have in doing it, so I am always grateful I get to do both.

What do you enjoy the most about working in series TV, and Rizzoli & Isles in particular?
We shoot at Paramount Studios and my family gets to stay in Los Angeles most of the year. I love playing Dr. Maura Isles. I work with amazing actors, producers, writers and crew. I work for two strong companies, Warner Brothers and TNT. And I get to be there for my children. I truly can't complain - it's a pretty fantastic job.

What can Rizzoli & Isles viewers expect from season 5 (set to premiere on TNT on June 17)? Another strong season. More great crimes. More friendship. Some romance for Maura, possibly someone who is not a serial killer, lots of laughs and some seriously cool and gross autopsy scenes.

What’s on your professional bucket list? For example, do you have a desire to write and/or direct in the future?
Producing another film. I am developing a television series. Directing. Finishing a screenplay I just started. Working with Edoardo again. Working with other talented artists who inspire me. Telling stories that I care about.


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7 June 2014

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5 June 2014

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