The final nine episodes of the TNT drama “Saving Grace” begin airing at 9 tonight on the cable channel.
In the series, Oscar winner Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) plays a hard-living Oklahoma City cop regularly visited by an unconventional angel named Earl (Leon Rippy). Earl’s job is to give Hunter’s Detective Grace Hanadarko her last chance at redemption.
Hunter’s performance has earned her two Emmy nominations and three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
The show is set but not filmed in Oklahoma City and was created by Oklahoma City-bred writer/producer Nancy Miller.
Miller told The Oklahoman last summer that TNT wanted a new full-season order for the series, but Fox, the show’s studio, declined for budgetary reasons.
“It’s pretty uncommon — it is,” Miller said in an August 2009 phone interview with The Oklahoman’s George Lang. “From a business point of view, Fox feels like it has lost money on the show. The DVDs are not selling, they can’t sell it foreign, and they’ve already lost a lot of money, and they don’t see any of that changing. So to continue would just mean losing more money.”
Despite the negative ink on the show’s balance sheets, Miller said she was surprised by the decision: Generally, if a network requests a full order on a series, the producing studio delivers. But because Fox holds the rights to the series, which debuted in July 2007, there are no options for carrying it to another studio.
In a recent Reuters interview, Hunter talked about what she hopes viewers take away from the often-controversial series.
“I did the series predominantly to ask questions. I really wanted to ask great questions of what it means to be alive. I wanted to explore the confrontations and conflicts that people face in friendships, relationships of love and families and the relationship you have with yourself, and just how difficult that can be. And how hard it is to forgive yourself and how hard it is to forgive others. These are kind of the things I wanted to explore as Grace.”