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 Brittney Embry:
How did you choose the actors and actresses that you did to play the characters?

Janet's response:
Have you ever tried to set a friend up? Did it work? That's what it's like trying to “set up” actors as co-stars for a series. Our challenge was to find someone who could hold her own against a powerhouse like Angie Harmon, the first actor we cast for this series. Angie so clearly embodied the Jane Rizzoli I wanted to write: feisty, funny, tough – and underneath all the armor - vulnerable, down to earth and warm.

We saw MANY wonderful actresses, but nobody really sparked with her until we found Sasha Alexander. The chemistry between them made that decision a no-brainer. Sasha also brought a goofy, geeky, loveable quality that I seized on to heighten the Odd Couple feel of these two women.

We auditioned actors for all of the key roles: Korsak, Frost and Frankie Jr. Bruce McGill, who had turned down TV to do feature films, found out about the role of Korsak and expressed interest through his reps. Once we heard that he might do it, the role was his. I’d seen Lee Thompson Young (Frost) in FLASH FORWARD and loved his energy. He had some stiff competition but won the role. Frankie Jr. (Jordan Bridges) was another tough role to cast because we needed a believable brother-sister dynamic between Frankie Jr. and Jane. We saw many great actors, but Jordan was Frankie Jr. and there was immediate and believable chemistry between him and Angie.

Lorraine Bracco was the only actress we ever considered to play Angela Rizzoli. She was a fan of Tess Gerritsen’s books, which is why we were probably lucky enough to get her.


Question from Loretta Rose:
I just have to tell you, your writing is really wonderful! Love the relationship developments and the humor!!! How long does creativity like that take per episode?


Janet’s response:
Uggghh…a long time…We spend many, many hours in the Writers’ Room tossing around ideas for stories. There are four other writers besides me. Once we land on an area that we all seem to like, we start to “break” the “beats.” That is to say, we sketch out the six-act structure. It’s a little like drawing up blueprints for a house you want to build. You start by not knowing if it’s going to be a log cabin or a stone castle. Little by little, you make choices and get more and more specific, down to the color of the tile grout…okay, that’s enough of that analogy.

Once that process is done (a week, sometimes two), the writer of the episode goes off and writes about a 12-page outline. And from there, after many, many notes from our studio and network partners, the writer begins a 55-page screenplay.

Writing, as they say, is rewriting. I weigh in all the way through and often do several writing passes on the script before it goes to the cast.

Wed., Apr. 16, 2014
6/5c Castle
7/6c Castle
8/7c Castle

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