The following is a series of Q&A sessions that will compound over time. Check back for updates and answers to all your burning questions before the cases reopen with the June 5 premiere of Rizzoli & Isles on TNT.
As fans prepare to dive into a new season with their favorite Boston crime solvers, we checked in with Janet Tamaro to get her thoughts about the show she developed based on characters created by author Tess Gerritsen. The third season premieres Tuesday, June 5 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).
Q: What are you most excited about this season?
A: I'm really excited about the stories. I'm also excited by the fact that we've seen all of these characters, particularly Jane and Maura, evolve onscreen. They have more complex flavors and are more nuanced this season.
Q: Do you have a favorite Rizzoli & Isles episode from the past two seasons?
A: That's like asking me who's my favorite kid (which is usually the one who emptied the dishwasher last). I have to say I still love the pilot episode and the two season finales.
Q: What's the best part of your job?
A: The best part of my job is watching what happens after what's in my head makes its way (laboriously and painfully) onto the page and then finally to the screen. I love to see these phenomenal actors breathe life into the story, the dialogue, the theme and the intent behind it all. And I love the final mix on the screen, because so much work has gone into every one of these episodes from so many creative, talented hands.
Q: Do you have any writing rituals?
A: Yeah, a bunch of dumb ones. I never throw away brads (those metal things that hold scripts together). I must drink a flat, extra-hot latte before I write. And I pace... a lot. Maybe I need a treadmill so I can pace and write at the same time.
Season 3 - Week Ten
Do you have a question about Rizzoli & Isles? Each week, show creator Janet Tamaro will answer questions from fans of the show, so Become a fan of Rizzoli & Isles on Facebook and you'll be able to ask your questions and keep up with all things Jane and Maura.
Question from Patricia Morton:
When will the seasons go to DVD and Netflix?
Season 2 DVD will be released on May 22, 2012. Fans can pre-order now. I've seen it, and I'm biased, but I think it's pretty fun. :-)
Question from Danna Cravens:
In the books there are some scenes of R&I in the courtroom testifying. Any chance you take these cases off the streets for any episodes?
We are dying to do a courtroom episode. It's on my list. Since real homicide detectives and medical examiners spend plenty of time in court, seems like we should see Jane and Maura there, too. It's partially an issue of sets. We don't have a courtroom set lying around. However, thanks for reminding me. I'm on it...;-)
Question from Laura Noel Baran:
Will Jane and Maura become good friends again especially after what happened in the season 2 finale? Will Maura forgive Jane after she shoots Maura's father?
I think it'd be awfully un-fun to write if our two BFFs stayed frenemies... But I think, as in a real friendship, they'll have to work at resolving their conflict, don't you?
Season 3 - Week Eleven
Question from Debbie Santos:
Will we ever find out who Maura's mother is?? Love the dynamic between Angie and Sasha.
Why...I think we MIGHT, Debbie. In fact, I'm sure we will right around episode hmmm...which one did I put Maura's bio mom in??? And THANK YOU. We all love these two women, me especially.
Question from Mary Wilcox:
Will we learn Jane's middle name this year?
Mary: You will know very, very soon. In fact, sometime on June 5, depending on your time zone.
Season 3 - Week Twelve
Curious about where Jane's middle name, Clementine, came from? Janet has answers!
How Jane got her middle name:
I was playing hooky (FOR A FEW HOURS!! C'mon, I work nights and weekends) from work one afternoon because I really (really) missed my younger daughter, who is hitting that "OMG! Can you not stand so close?" phase of young teen years... I picked her up at school, and for an instant, she forgot to be embarrassed that she has parents and threw me a HUGE smile.
We started talking in the car about her middle name ("Frances"), and she said, "What's Jane's middle name?" And I said... "I don't know. Time to make one up." So... I took her to a little coffee shop and over herbal tea and scones, we both tossed out a bunch of names. And she was being so sweet and so lovely, I had to ruin it by embarrassing her with my rendition of "Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling!" We suddenly both shouted, "CLEMENTINE!"
I called Tess Gerritsen (who wrote the books and created Jane & Maura) and made her bless the name. Eh, voila: Jane Clementine Rizzoli. :)
Question from Kathy Killian Blanchard:
Thanks for the show. Will Maura be spending more time in field or lab this season?
You're so welcome. Maura will be splitting her time again, BUT I expect we'll see her in the field more and more.
Season 3 - Week Thirteen
Question from Sarah J Waters:
Do you ever take inspiration for plots from actual real-life crimes?
I'm a former journalist, so I try to read several newspapers and blogs every day. I said it when I was a reporter, and I'll say it now as the writer of a fictional drama: You cannot make up the sh*t people do. Real life crimes never cease to amaze me.
Season 3 - Week Fourteen
Question from Alyssa Benalfew:
How long have Jane and Korsak known each other? Jane and Korsak have said "I've known you a long time." So how long has it been? :)
They worked together in the Drug Unit before Korsak was promoted to Homicide. They've known each for over 10 years.
Season 3 - Week Fifteen
Question from Kristen Cohn:
I've noticed several of the episodes names share their names with song titles. I'm thinking it's on purpose, but I'm not sure.
Yep, it's on purpose. I decided after the pilot and the first episode to start naming episodes after song titles...because I could...;-)
Question from Nathalia Conti:
Relevant question: Are we going to see Maura's walk-in closet and shoe collection this season?
It's a VERY relevant question. Don't tell anyone, but I'm hoping we'll be able to build Maura's bedroom in season 4. If you look behind the curtain here at Oz, you'll see that there currently IS no bedroom... so don't look until we have something to show you... ssshhh... it's our little secret.
Question from Alyssa Benalfew:
Will we see more Jane and Frost or Frost and Frankie interaction? Jane and Frost have nice moments and Frost and Frankie look like they could be great friends.
I completely agree, and yes, we will see more of this adorable threesome. Frost and Frankie also do some very funny stuff together in upcoming shows. I personally love the ongoing brother-sister, towel, sibling-rivalry, "I love you but you annoy the heck out of me" relationship between Jane and Frankie.
Question from Victoria Baljo:
When you developed Rizzoli's character, did you use one person in your life to model her after or more than a few??
Tess Gerritsen created Det. Jane Rizzoli for her books. I identified with the fictional Jane in Tess's books, but when I created the TV "Jane Rizzoli," I think without intending to, I imbued her with many of my own traits -- and with many traits I see in Angie. Tess, who is a wonderful writer and a master of suspense and mystery, will tell you her books aren't funny. I can't live without humor and did not want to spend all the hours I spend working on this show without the relief of humor. I try to balance the show with enough of it to satisfy myself, my audience, and my great cast while still constructing a good mystery and serving all these wonderful characters.
Obviously, Jane isn't real, and Jane isn't me or Angie, but I've had to drop certain expressions I gave to Jane in dialogue because now I sound like I'm copying a fictional character... who says what I write for her to say... I've got some Maura ticks, too. I'm constantly referencing studies, facts, figures and any research I can remember. Plus, how did we live without GOOGLE? My children and husband are very nice about it, but I believe there's some secret eye-rolling that goes on...
Season 3 - Week Sixteen
Question from Bay Keech:
Hi there, I have a question. Would Jane have to deal with Hoyt again after his death in season two?
One of the challenges of this show (because each episode is "closed-ended" and must stand on its own) is it's difficult to circle back and reference episodes new viewers may not have seen. I do my level best to keep our returning fans happy, but I also to try not to exclude new fans. So the short answer is probably not.
Question from Tish Buford:
Jane had asked Maura once in a previous episode if she played sports. One of Maura's answers was fencing. By any chance would we ever see Maura perform fencing in an episode?
Just after I read this question, Sasha Alexander (who plays Maura Isles) asked me the same thing! So, yes, I suspect we're going to see Maura fence.
Question from Melanie Reber:
Janet, can you please tell us fans why there is so little of Rizzoli & Isles each season? I, as well as others (I'm sure), would like to know why the girls don't get as many episodes as other TV shows?
Many cable networks order anywhere from 6 episodes to 15. TNT orders 15 Rizzoli & Isles episodes, which is a heck of a lot better than 6. Thanks for your interest, though. Glad to know you'd like more.