Q: Has TNT canceled "Major Crimes"?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Actually, "Major Crimes" has been safe for a while now. It returns for a sixth season Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The renewal announcement was made with little fanfare -- the tone of TNT's statement made it seem like a bit of a no-brain decision for the channel.

It cited the show's "stellar ensemble cast" and the fact that it's "one of cable's most-watched drama series" as reasons why it picked up the show for another season back in January, well before the fifth season had ended.

However, it waited until just a couple of weeks ago to elaborate by announcing the actual return date and releasing a 30-second trailer video.

While the trailer gave glimpses of what's to come, it was so brief it didn't give away any real plot points. However, a news release that came with it gave a few hints:

"TNT's 'Major Crimes' faces its three most challenging cases, struggling to solve mysteries mired in complex political conflicts having little to do with identifying and arresting murderers."

Another interesting piece of info it revealed is that, alongside headliners Mary McDonnell ("Battlestar Galactica") and Phillip P. Keene ("The Closer"), recurring guest star Billy Burke ("Zoo") will reprise his role as serial rapist/killer Phillip Stroh at some point in the season.

All this good news came with a tiny bit of bad news, though. The sixth season will only be 13 episodes long -- the shortest season the show's had since its debut in 2012 (which was only 10 episodes long). Last season had 21 episodes, and season 4 had 23.

All those episodes in previous seasons helped "Major Crimes" reach a major milestone of sorts this past spring. The show is a spinoff of the even longer-running TNT crime hit "The Closer" and retained some of the same cast members and much of the same crew. Across the two shows, those folks have now produced more than 200 episodes together.


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