Rizzoli & Isles

Rizzoli & Isles Information

Rizzoli & Isles is a TNT television series starring Angie Harmon as police detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The one-hour drama is based on the Rizzoli & Isles series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. It premiered on July 12, 2010. On June 29, 2012 it was renewed for a 15 episode 4th season.


The series' backstory is inspired by The Surgeon. Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) was investigating a serial killer named Charles Hoyt (Michael Massee) some time before the series began. Hoyt, who was banned from medical school for fondling a corpse, used his vast medical knowledge to systematically torture and kill people, usually couples so he could induce the most fear into his victims. Rizzoli is able to find where Hoyt is. As she is searching for him, she is hit in the back of the head and knocked unconscious. She is pinned to the floor by scalpels. As Rizzoli is waking up, we see Hoyt preparing to cut Rizzoli's throat. Vince Korsak (Bruce McGill), Rizzoli's partner, finds where Rizzoli is and shoots Hoyt before he can slit her throat, saving Rizzoli's life. Rizzoli reasons that, after seeing her so vulnerable, Korsak would never trust her as his partner and decides to apply for a new partner.

The series pilot, "See One. Do One. Teach One", is largely based on the novel The Apprentice. Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) investigate a killer with Hoyt's modus operandi, plus an interest in necrophilia. Rizzoli and Isles discover that the copycat was a soldier named John Stark, (Brendan McCarthy) who met Hoyt in medical school, had his identity erased for CIA black operations, and mimicked Hoyt's MO in a killing spree during said operations. Meanwhile, Hoyt escapes from prison and rejoins his apprentice to continue in his killing. Later Rizzoli's home is broken into, and she was told by who she thought was part of BBT that her neighbours had been killed, she rushes into the van to see the bodies but finds Hoyt instead. Hoyt and his apprentice knock Rizzoli out and kidnap her. When she wakes up they attempt to kill her, but she manages to disarm them by tasing them and impaling Hoyt in the eye with a flare. In self-defense, she shoots the apprentice to death and when Hoyt reaches for Rizzoli's gun, she shoots him through the hands, giving him injuries similar to the ones he gave her.

New twists are introduced when Rizzoli and Isles discover that a recent murder victim is actually Isles's previously-unknown half-brother, resulting in her discovery that her father is notorious criminal Patrick Doyle.

Hoyt returns eighteen months later through another apprentice, Lola (Scottie Thompson), in "I'm Your Boogie Man". Having murdered Lola's abusive husband two years earlier, Hoyt uses her Stockholm syndrome to his advantage, and uses her to stalk Rizzoli. Lola seduces and captures Frankie Rizzoli (Jordan Bridges) before tying Jane up. She plans to kidnap Jane until Hoyt can escape from prison, but Rizzoli manages to distract Lola long enough for Frankie to kill Lola with her own revolver.

Hoyt returns again when he arranges for another inmate to be stabbed while he is dying of cancer, luring Jane into the prison so that he can taunt her about another unsolved murder he committed. Although Jane manages to find the bodies of his victims- the family of an old college professor of Hoyt's who was unaware of his expulsion-, Hoyt, aided by a third apprentice, manages to capture Jane and Maura, only for Jane to beat Hoyt and then stab him when he and his apprentice tried to kill Maura.


See List of Rizzoli & Isles episodes for more information


The untitled project was on TNT's development slate as early as March 2008. In October 2009, TNT placed a cast-contingent pilot order under the original title, Rizzoli. The pilot script was written by Janet Tamaro. Angie Harmon was the first actress cast, taking the title role of police detective Jane Rizzoli. Sasha Alexander won the role of medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles after auditioning with Angie Harmon. Bruce McGill signed as Rizzoli's former partner, Vince Korsak. Her current partner, Barry Frost, is portrayed by Lee Thompson Young. The role of Rizzoli's younger brother Frankie was filled by Jordan Bridges. Lorraine Bracco signed on as Rizzoli's mother, Angela. In early 2010 Billy Burke was announced as FBI agent Gabriel Dean.

In late January 2010, TNT green-lighted the pilot to series with the new title Rizzoli & Isles. Ten episodes were ordered and the show premiered on July 12, 2010. The series is produced on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, California. Due to a sponsorship deal between MillerCoors and Turner Broadcasting for the summer 2010 season, the series included product placement for MGD 64, including billboards in the backgrounds of some scenes. The first season was additionally sponsored by Vonage. The series was renewed for a 15-episode second season on July 30, 2010, after having aired three episodes, which premiered on July 11, 2011. On August 5, 2011, TNT ordered a 15-episode third season of the series, set to premiere in the summer of 2012. On June 29, 2012, TNT ordered a 15-episode fourth season of the series, set to premiere in the summer of 2013. Production on the fourth season began on February 1, 2013.


Main cast

  • Angie Harmon as Jane Clementine Rizzoli, is a Boston detective working for the Boston Police Department. From an Italian American family, Jane is brash, brilliant, and often prickly but also a confident and independent woman. She is the tomboy daughter of an overprotective mother. She is extremely competitive, especially with her little brother, Frankie, who is often caught in her shadow. Jane can tackle a perp like a linebacker. She rarely lets her guard down with anyone, except her best friend, Maura Isles. As a child, she was slightly chubby, earning her the nickname "Roly-Poly Rizzoli". She mentioned in one episode that she played field hockey as an attacker in junior college. She is the eldest Rizzoli sibling, and graduated high school in the class of 1994. She is hopeless with men and allergic to dogs, but she winds up taking in Jo Friday, a stray dog rescued by her former partner, Korsak. Raised in the blue-collar Boston suburb of Revere, Jane has fought long and hard to win the respect of her colleagues, but it's her relationship with her equally stubborn mother, Angela Rizzoli, that sometimes proves to be her biggest headache. During her time on the force, she had a traumatizing experience at the hands at a serial killer known as 'The Surgeon', Charles Hoyt. While trying to rescue one of his victims, she was taken by surprise from behind and almost became a victim herself. She has matching scars in the center of her palms where Hoyt stabbed her with scalpels, keeping her pinned to the ground. Her original partner Vince Korsak saved her life, and Jane survived the brutal, near-death attack by Hoyt. Although she put Hoyt behind bars, she is still haunted by him. In the season 2 episode "Remember Me", she stabbed and killed him.
  • Sasha Alexander as Dr. Maura Dorthea Isles, is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Chief Medical Examiner and a forensic expert working at the Boston Police Department. She is Rizzoli's best friend. Maura is a walking library, able to spout out facts, regardless of whether or not they are relevant to a case. She has a pet tortoise named Bass, after renowned forensic pathologist William M. Bass. Maura is not easily ruffled and has a steady temperament. She absolutely loves examining dead bodies, but she has a tendency to diagnose living people a little too often. She is an adopted only child of a wealthy family. In high school, she was nicknamed "Maura-The-Bore-A" because her classmates thought she was boring. She is always dressed impeccably, as if she were going to a photo shoot. She is known around the force as "Queen of the Dead"; her ring tone on Jane's phone appropriately plays Chopin's "Funeral March". Maura is the complete opposite of Jane, though they are best friends; Rizzoli is more of a tomboy, while Maura always looks like she is going to a fashion shoot rather than to the morgue or a crime scene. Though Maura is socially awkward and has trouble with men due to her brutal honesty and habit of revealing all their medical conditions, she isn't awkward around Jane. She can analyze x-rays and blood chemistries, can slice open muscles and organs, but possesses no scalpel with which to dissect human emotions. Maura also can not lie; if she does, she breaks out in hives. It is later revealed that her biological father is an Irish crime boss named Paddy Doyle, something she finds out while investigating her half-brother's death. She finds out in the first episode of the third season entitled, "What Doesn't Kill You" that her father said she died as a newborn on the day she was born August 7, 1976 and has a gravesite and marker with the name of Baby Maura Doyle on it.
  • Lorraine Bracco as Angela Rizzoli, is Jane, Frankie and Tommy's brash, overbearing Italian mother. In the first season, she is a housewife who later works a part-time job selling "Miracle Juice". Angela Rizzoli is fiercely protective of her children, saying she has not slept since Jane decided to become a cop. Angela wishes Jane could be a little more feminine and is constantly trying to set her up on dates. She and Frank, Senior are getting a divorce. She works at the Boston Police Department as a waitress at the Boston Police Café.
  • Bruce McGill as Vincent Walter Korsak, is Rizzoli's former/original partner and unofficial mentor. The two maintain a close bond after years of working together, but Korsak is clearly bothered that he is no longer partnered with Jane. He seems to care for her like a daughter and is nearly as protective of her as Angela is. It is revealed in the series pilot that he saved her life from Hoyt. He will drop whatever he is doing on a moment's notice to rescue an animal, and enjoys watching videos of dogs on the Internet. In the first season, he does not get along with Jane's new partner, Frost.
  • Lee Thompson Young as Barold "Barry" Frost, is Rizzoli's second and new partner. A whiz when it comes to computers and technology, he is terrified of dead bodies and becomes ill at the sight of blood. He is very protective of Jane and stands by her like a loyal, tough partner, but in the first season doesn't get along with her former partner Korsak.
  • Jordan Bridges as Francesco "Frankie" Rizzoli, Jr., is Jane and Tommy's brother and the second-born child of the Rizzoli kids. He looks up to Jane, but doesn't like feeling caught in her shadow, especially as he tries to make his own way on the police force. Like all the men in Jane's life, Frankie is more protective of Jane than she would like. He is a police officer against his mother's wishes, and sees his sister as a role model.
  • Brian Goodman as Sean Cavanaugh (Season 3"present, recurring previously), is the Lieutenant of the Boston Police Department's Homicide Squad. Fiercely loyal to Jane and an old friend of Korsak, Sean is willing to bend the rules for his guys. It is later discovered that Sean lost his wife and son in a fire back when he and Korsak were rookies.

Recurring cast

  • Donnie Wahlberg as Lieutenant Joe Grant, an old rival of Jane's who has known her since childhood. He constantly made fun of her, calling her "Frog-Face", and "Roly-Poly Rizzoli", due to being slightly chubby when she was younger. When he leaves for Washington DC due to being appointed as the liaison between Boston and Homeland Security, he claims that he had liked her for a very long time.
  • John Doman as Patrick "Paddy" Doyle, an Irish crime boss and biological father and protector of Maura Isles.
  • Jacqueline Bisset as Constance Isles, a visual artist and the adoptive mother of Dr. Maura Isles.
  • Colin Egglesfield as Thomas "Tommy" Rizzoli, the youngest brother of Jane and Frankie; he is the youngest of the Rizzoli kids, arrested for running a priest over at a crosswalk on his third DUI violation. He returns to the family fold following his release from prison. As of the season 2 episode "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", he is 32 years old.
  • Chris Vance as Casey Jones, an old flame of Jane's during high school, reunited with Jane during Season 2. A US Army Officer assigned to the Middle East, he returned to Boston in Season 3 but broke up with Jane due to injuries that left him partially paralyzed below the waist.
  • Darryl Alan Reed as Rondo, a man with access to information in the criminal world. Although Jane initially dismisses his offer to be her confidential informant, he does become her informant later on and is currently providing Jane with information from the criminal world. He has also been shown to have a comical character persona, similar to Larry Laffer. He frequently hits on Jane, calling her "Vanilla". He is revealed to be an ex"jazz singer in "This Is How a Heart Breaks".
  • Billy Burke as Gabriel Dean, an FBI agent often seen working with the Boston Homicide detectives and Medical Examiner's Office.
  • Chazz Palminteri as Francesco "Frank" Rizzoli, Sr., Jane, Frankie and Tommy's father. He owns and runs a plumbing business called Rizzoli and Sons. He and Angela are getting a divorce.
  • Matthew Del Negro as Giovanni Gilberti, an old classmate of Jane's and a blue collar auto-mechanic. He is under the impression that Maura and Jane are dating.
  • Michael Massee as Charles Hoyt, a former serial killer who stabbed Jane in both hands and continued to threaten Jane, even from behind bars. Hoyt appears in many episodes including "See One, Do One, Teach One" (episode 1), "I'm Your Boogie Man", and "Remember Me". In the episode "See One, Do One, Teach One" Hoyt and his apprentice, that he went to medical school with, kidnap Jane. Jane shoots and kills the apprentice and throws a flare at Hoyt. Jane then shot him in the hands and said "we match". In the episode "Remember Me" Jane stabbed and killed Hoyt while saying "I win".


The series started strong in the ratings, as 7.55 million viewers tuned in for the premiere episode. Rizzoli & Isles was the second most-watched cable program on the evening of July 12, 2010, behind its lead-in, The Closer, which had 110,000 more viewers. The show finished the week in third behind The Closer and the final episode of Deadliest Catch to feature the late Phil Harris.

The premiere set a record as the highest-rated debut for a commercial-supported cable series, and it was the second-highest debut ever for a basic cable TV series. Rizzoli & Isles is second only to the 2008 premiere of Raising the Bar, which attracted 7.7 million viewers during its commercial-free debut. Live + 7 day ratings for the premiere updated the show's status as the all time most watched cable series launch, with DVR viewers increasing the show's rating to just over 9 million viewers.

Season Timeslot (EST) Number of Episodes Premiere Finale TV Season Overall rank Overall viewership
Date Viewers
18-49 Rating Date Viewers
18-49 Rating
Monday 10:00 pm
July 12, 2010
7.55 2.1
September 13, 2010
6.56 1.5 2010 TBA TBA
2 15
July 11, 2011
6.38 1.2
December 26, 2011
5.79 1.1 2011 TBA TBA
Tuesday 9:00 pm
June 5, 2012
5.62 1.2
December 25, 2012
4.42 0.8 2012 #3 7.40

Book series

Title Year Notes Protagonist Secondary protagonist Tertiary protagonist
The Surgeon August 21, 2001 Introduces Jane Rizzoli Detective Thomas Moore Detective Jane Rizzoli Detective Darren Crowe
The Apprentice August 20, 2002 Introduces Dr. Maura Isles Detective Jane Rizzoli Detective Vince Korsak Agent Gabriel Dean
The Sinner August 19, 2003 Dr. Maura Isles Detective Jane Rizzoli Detective Darren Crowe
Body Double August 17, 2004 Dr. Maura Isles Detective Jane Rizzoli Detective Barry Frost
Vanish August 23, 2005 Detective Jane RizzoliDr. Maura Isles Agent Gabriel Dean
The Mephisto Club September 12, 2006 Dr. Maura IslesDetective Jane Rizzoli Detective Barry Frost
The Keepsake September 9, 2008 Keeping the Dead (UK title) Detective Jane Rizzoli Dr. Maura Isles Detective Barry Frost
Ice Cold June 29, 2010 The Killing Place (UK title) Dr. Maura Isles Detective Jane Rizzoli Agent Gabriel Dean
The Silent Girl July 5, 2011 Detective Jane Rizzoli Dr. Maura Isles Detective Barry Frost
Last To Die August 28, 2012 TBA Detective Jane Rizzoli Dr. Maura Isles Detective Barry Frost

DVD Release

Season Episodes Title DVD release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 10 The Complete First Season
2 15 The Complete Second Season
3 15 The Complete Third Season

International broadcasting

Rizzoli & Isles abroad
Country Network Premiere date
Super Channel
Showcase (second run)
Kanal 9
Viasat 3
TPS Star
France 2
Warner TV
HOT Zone
La Une
Calle 13
Doma TV
Fox Life
TV Prima
Zee Café
Kanal 2

See also

  • List of Rizzoli & Isles episodes

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rizzoli_%26_Isles" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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