For years, “Battlestar Galactica” fans screamed at the Emmys for failing to recognize series star Mary McDonnell in her complex role as President Laura Roslin. Let’s face it, Emmy voters owe her a major apology for snubbing her as Best Drama Actress all those years. Now that she’s starring in the new TNT series “Major Crimes,” that egregious error could finally be rectified.
McDonnell’s role of Captain Sharon Raydor has “Emmy” written all over it. She was nominated just last year as Drama Guest Actress for playing this same character on “The Closer,” and now she’s being spun-off onto “Major Crimes” as the new lead. McDonnell replaces Kyra Sedgwick in the franchise, an Emmy winner in 2010 as the star of “The Closer.”
“Major Crimes” is a crime procedural. While this genre makes up some of the most-watched series on television, it’s no secret that the Emmys tend to overlook them. Thanks to the pedigree of “The Closer,” McDonnell might actually break through next year in this tough race. She’s certainly overdue for serious Emmy love, and now that the sci-fi/fantasy bias of “Battlestar Galactica” isn’t in the mix, she should be a serious contender going into next year’s Emmys.
If McDonnell does wind up winning the 2013 Emmy for “Major Crimes,” she will join the likes of James Spader (“The Practice,” “Boston Legal”) and Kelsey Grammer (“Cheers,” “Frasier”) who earned trophies after their characters were spun-off into new series.
McDonnell’s Sharon Raydor was created to be the antagonist of Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh Johnson during an episode of “The Closer” titled “Red Tape” in 2009. After various run-ins over the years, the two powerful women finally found some common ground, and they end their dysfunctional TV relationship more or less as friends.
Sedgwick’s last appearance on the series finale of “The Closer” was on Aug. 13, with McDonnell’s “Major Crimes” premiering immediately after.
In addition to her Emmy nod for “The Closer,” McDonnell reaped a bid in 1994 as Guest Drama Actress for “ER.” The actress is also a two-time Oscar nominee, first as Supporting Actress for “Dances With Wolves” (1990) and then as Actress for “Passion Fish” (1992).