- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2007

More moolah for Kyra

Fresh off her Golden Globe win, “The Closer” star Kyra Sedgwick has scored a pay raise that makes her one of the highest-paid actresses on television, Reuters news agency reports.

According to unnamed sources, Miss Sedgwick will receive a significant salary bump — from $250,000 to $300,000 per episode for her starring role on TNT’s hit police drama, including one-time bonuses. Representatives for both TNT and the actress declined comment on the specifics of the deal.

The deal gives Miss Sedgwick (wife of actor Kevin Bacon) a producer credit and also adds a year to her original contract, keeping her on “The Closer” for a total of seven seasons. The series will return for its third season this summer.

In addition to her Globe win last week for best performance by an actress in a dramatic television series, Miss Sedgwick’s role on the show as hard-nosed Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson earned her Golden Globe and Emmy nominations last year.

“The Closer” has emerged as the most-watched basic cable series ever. It averaged 6.6 million viewers last season, up 21 percent from the first season, and ranked as the top ad-supported cable series of 2006 among adults ages 25 to 54. The detective drama’s second-season premiere smashed the ratings record for a basic cable original scripted series with 8.3 million viewers.

No ‘Identity’ crisis

NBC has picked up the game show “Identity” as a series with a premiere date scheduled for March, reports Cynopsis.com.

Hosted by magician Penn Jillette, the hourlong game show had a one-week run just before Christmas and pulled in a total of 9.3 million viewers.

In less surprising news, NBC has renewed the comedies “The Office” and “My Name Is Earl,” the enduring crime drama “Law & Order: SVU” and the freshman drama “Heroes” for the 2007-08 season.

On cable, Court TV has renewed its original series “Murder by the Book” for a second season. The show features best-selling mystery authors discussing the true-crime cases that intrigue and inspire them.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from Web and wire reports.

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