The Grand Ladies of Cable Turn in Their Badges   by

As originally seen on InteracTiVoty’s blog at  http://www.mediabizbloggers.com/interactivoty.

During the past few months two of the grand ladies of cable, groundbreaking ladies, badge toting women, gun carrying law enforcement, have signed off. I am referring to Kyra Sedgwick’s star turn in The Closer, and Mary McCormack’s tour de force, In Plain Sight. I ask you, were there ever two tougher cops on the side of right? I am not strictly referring to female law enforcement either; they may have been the toughest on any force. These departures will no doubt put sad faces on those many TiVo users who have reserved space on their DVRs for these dynamic characters over the years.

After seven successful seasons Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson (Sedgwick) transferrThe+Closered to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office on August 13, 2012. She elected to depart the major crimes division for a multitude of personal and professional reasons leaving behind an impressive conviction rate and a staff of grizzled male officers who were reduced to tears as she said her goodbyes. Kyra Sedgwick brought a balance of questionable tactics, compassion, chocolate cravings and southern charm to her role. At any given time she could be engaged in a heated argument with her superior or one of her staff, but always have the wherewithal to gain her composure and depart with her trademark phrase: “Thank you so much.”

On May 4, 2012, after five seasons, the series finale of In Plain Sight was more transitional than conclusive. Mary’s two co-workers, actor Stan McQueen (played by Paul Ben-Victor) and Marshall Mann (Frederick Weller), are promoted, her sister returns apparently sober and wiser, Mary meets a new man and, most notably, Marshall and Mary finally have “the talk.” After more verbal foreplay than Niles and Daphne, the will-they-or-won’t-they question is finally addressed. In true law enforcement lingo, Marshall asks for his “release” from Mary. Marshall is engaged but cannot successfully move on with his life unless he resolves this extraordinarily large loose end. Mary’s compliance apparently offers her some closure in that chapter of her life and allows her to begin enjoying life’s simple pleasures, including her baby Norah.

TiVo subscribers have been fans since the ladies of law fired their first bullets. A review of our Season Pass reports shows that The Closer has consistently ranked in the top 25 for years, ahead of such notable series as 30 Rock, Mad Men, and Law & Order: SVU. In Plain Sight has ranked in the top 60, comparable to such popular programs as Psych, 2 Broke Girls and The Walking Dead.

As successful female driven drama series go, broadcast pales in comparison to cable. You could easily include Saving Grace, Damages, Homeland, and Nurse Jackie in the cable list. Perhaps these pioneering women paved the way for The Good Wife, Once Upon a Time and the upcoming Nashville starring Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton. Regardless of the long-term impact those programs had, Deputy Chief Johnson and U.S. Marshall Shannon will be sorely missed from our television queue.

Alex Petrilli serves as senior manager of audience research at TiVo. In this role, Alex is responsible for client management and delivery of research projects, and is integral to the product development for TiVo’s revolutionary Stop||Watch ratings service, Alex can be reached at apetrilli@tivo.com.

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