Mary McDonnell Talks ‘The Closer,’ ‘Major Crimes’ and Emmy Nomination Discrepancy

Mary McDonnell TNT photo

Mary McDonnell, up for Emmy honors for her work on “The Closer,”  admits, “It was kind of a bizarre situation” to find herself accepting congratulations — even as she felt the sting of disappointment over her cast mate and friend, Kyra Sedgwick, being overlooked by the TV Academy voters for the first time in five years.

“She deserves everything in terms of recognition; her work was so extraordinary last year.  I was very shocked by the nominations, frankly.  I just assumed she’d receive one.  But,” McDonnell is quick to add, “Kyra could not have been more gracious to me in expressing her happiness about mine.”

McDonnell is an Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nominee.  Sedgwick won for her work as lead actress last year.

With Sedgwick having decided this will be her final “The Closer” season, and McDonnell all set to pick up where she leaves off with her spinoff show, “Major Crimes,” next year, there could be an awkward dynamic between the two actresses.  But McDonnell stresses, “The beautiful part of it is, this is developing totally with Kyra’s blessing and totally at her choice — when she felt she needed to leave — and nobody is going to try or come remotely close to repeating the iconic nature of ‘The Closer’ as it is now.  It will be interesting to see how ‘Major Crimes’ is going to evolve into its own entity.”

Will the rest of the current cast — the “Closer” family — be part of that new entity?   Answers McDonnell, “My hope is, all of them will be.  I actually feel like that is what will happen.  I think that is what will happen.  And I know that is the goal of James Duff, the creator.”  She says she’s looking forward to exploring the chemistry between her character, Internal Affairs Captain Sharon Raydor, and the guys on the “Major Crimes” team.  And then there is her relationship with Kyra — as this season’s storyline goes into more and more difficult territory for her increasingly in-trouble Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson.

“We’re really lucky, aren’t we?” McDonnell says, speaking of the dynamic chemistry and sparks that fly between the two leading ladies.  “The thing that was clear right from the beginning — which is, I’m sure, the reason all this started to happen — is that for some reason, we trusted each other.  I think that’s a tough thing to find in Hollywood: this innate trust  It was just there.  I think that was a gift for us both.

MEANWHILE:  Kyra Sedgwick doesn’t rule out visiting “Major Crimes” as Chief Brenda at some point.  However, she tells us, “I think it would be a long time before that would happen.  I want to let them stand on their own two feet for awhile.”

BY GEORGE:  Proving that you just can’t get too much of a good dog, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3” is en route to production.  Since George Lopez has already talked about the possibility of a third “Chihuahua,” it looks like he will reprise his role as brave and noble little Papi for this direct-to-video production, as he did for the second flick.

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  They’re redoing the pilot of CBS’s fall-debuting “Two Broke Girls.”  That’s the series, produced by Whitney Cummings, about two young waitresses from very different backgrounds who strike up a friendship as they work at a Brooklyn diner.

A funny reality show concept is in the preproduction stage at the Oprah Winfrey Network — OWN’s own flash musicals show.  Currently being sought are people who have things they’ve just gotta get off their chests in a significant way — “I’m sorry,” say, or “I’m pregnant” or “I want to date you” or “I quit.”  The show will arrange break-into-song musical numbers for lucky participants (who get $100 a day on top of it!), numbers that could occur anywhere.  Shooting will take place in November.