When Major Crimes launched in August 2012, the show picked up in the wake of the events depicted in the series finale of The Closer, continuing the storylines of the Major Crimes division and, thanks to Rusty’s presence on the show, the impending trial of serial killer Phillip Stroh.
Stroh was only caught and arrested in the final episode of The Closer thanks to Rusty’s eye witness account and the unconventional actions of Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh Johnson. Actions which forced her to step down as Deputy Chief and retire from the LAPD.
Given that personal connection to the Stroh case, one of the burning questions that fans have been asking since day one is whether or not Kyra Sedgwick would once again adopt that Southern twang and appear on Major Crimes as the former head of the division.
In a lot of ways Stroh has been the spectre of Major Crimes, lurking in the background, only to make an appearance in season three, when he seemingly escaped the justice system. But now that Stroh’s trial is indefinitely on-hold is there any chance of Brenda Leigh Johnson appearing on Major Crimes in the future?
“Kyra has a contract in place that allows her to come back three times”, said Major Crimes creator and showrunner James Duff. “We pre-negotiated that contract [ahead of her exit]. She wanted it and we wanted it. If she does come back we think it should be a very special episode, but it’s very hard to work it out with her schedule and ours. If we can ever find the right scheduling for Kyra, we will definitely have her back”, he added.
Another character that did not carry over from The Closer to Major Crimes, despite Duff’s best efforts, is Will Pope. The character, played by J.K. Simmons, is now serving as the Chief of the LAPD, but despite being mentioned numerous times across the first four seasons, he has yet to appear on Major Crimes.
Duff admits that he would also love to have Simmons reprise the role on Major Crimes. J.K. Simmons has never been more in-demand and is committed to various projects through 2017, however, making such a guest role unlikely. Especially as he just recently signed up to topline a new supernatural drama series for premium cable network Starz.
“If J.K. [Simmons] came to me and said ‘I want to do an episode of Major Crimes’, after I picked up my jaw off of the floor, I would write him in in an instant and he would be spectacular”, Duff said. “I love J.K. and if he wants to come back and do the show he is more than welcome”.