The sixth season of Rizzoli & Isles is coming to an end, but fans don't have to worry about whether or not the show will be returning — in summer of 2015, TNT decided to renew the series for a seventh, truncated season of 13 episodes in order to wrap up the loose ends before coming to an end. But, when will Rizzoli & Isles Season 7 premiere? TNT has not announced a specific date yet, but the seventh and final season of Rizzoli & Isles will premiere summer 2016, according to Variety. Additionally, all of the other seasons have premiered in either mid-June or early July, so that's when you should expect the final season of Rizzoli & Isles to begin. [UPDATE: A TNT press release announced that it will return June 6.]
Even though Rizzoli & Isles will be ending, it's going out on top, and managed to get seven successful seasons while being a major TV outlier for the entirety of its run. Think about it, how many other shows have been able to survive for that long on a cable channel and become a major hit? And that's without zombies, superheroes, or any other franchise-ready elements (though it is based on a book series) — just a smart twist on classic procedural formats. So, in celebration of Rizzoli & Isles' triumphant impending final season, here are the biggest accomplishments the show has achieved in the past six years.
Balancing Multiple Strong Female Characters
The biggest thing Rizzoli & Isles has ever done is prove that Cagney & Lacey wasn't a fluke — people will respond to a procedural show that has a female friendship at its core rather than a romance.
Proving Basic Cable Series Can Have Ratings Success
In its sixth season, Rizzoli & Isles managed to net ratings of over four million for much of the season's run, according to TV Series Finale. That puts it above many other cable series (to compare, TV Series Finale reported that Suits gets around two million viewers per episode, and it's also a successful summer basic cable series).
It Celebrates The Work Of Women Behind The Scenes
The Rizzoli & Isles books were written by a woman named Tess Gerritsen, and the series has been run by two female showrunners, Jan Nash and Janet Tamero, in addition to starring a whole group of talented female actors, starting with Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon. The whole show is a celebration of women.
It's Defied Conventional Seasons
The last two seasons of Rizzoli & Isles have been 18 episodes, Season 4 is 16 episodes, and Season 2 and Season 3 were both 15 episodes. That's not typical, and lands between a normal cable season of 10-13 episodes and a normal network season of 22 episodes, but the episode count always gets the job done.
It's Always Dismantled Stereotypes
From its pilot episode to the upcoming Season 6 finale, Rizzoli & Isles has always made sure to make a twist on the stereotypes of what's expected from women, from the way Maura blurts out macabre facts to the emotional turmoil of Rizzoli's miscarriage in Season 5.
It Will Go Out While Still On Top
While Rizzoli & Isles suffered a slight dip in viewers over the course of the sixth season, it's still more than successful enough to ensure that it could have continued for a full length seventh season, and possibly, beyond. But since the writers have the chance to wrap up the series rather than simply wait for the show to get cancelled by TNT, that means Rizzoli & Isles will end by giving its characters closure. That's a powerful move, and proves this show will go out just as successful as its always been.
Image: Doug Hyun/TNT; Giphy (6)