“TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY”
Premieres 9 p.m. today on ABC
LOS ANGELES >> Kyra Sedgwick’s starring role on “The Closer” from 2005-2012 had her work in an extremely defined world where events surrounding a crime would start and finish within the confines of one of the 109 episodes she made.
That changes abruptly for Sedgwick in the new ABC series “Ten Days in the Valley,” a serialized tale surrounding a kidnapping where clues and bits of the mystery will be scattered through the 10 episodes of the short season for viewers to collect and ingest.
Sedgwick plays Jane Sadler, a single mother dealing with overwhelming demands of being a television producer on a popular police TV series. She’s called late one night to do a rewrite on a scene that has to be done immediately. Certain her young daughter (Abigail Pniowsky) is sound asleep and safe in their home, Sadler slips away to the small guesthouse where she writes.
A few pages and several drinks later, Sadler returns to the main house to find her daughter is gone. Sadler’s thrown from fictionalizing crime stories to facing what it really means to be in the middle of a police investigation. All of this will unfold as each episode represents one day in the investigation.
The inspiration for the series came from a recurring nightmare series creator Tassie Cameron had about returning from writing in a shed 10 feet from her home only to find her child had been taken.
The crime sparked by the real executive producer’s nightmares would have been solved in one episode on “The Closer.” The fact that this series will unfold in a serialized manner is what attracted Sedgwick to the limited-run series.
“I was interested in doing a show where I’m not solving a mystery. I am a mystery,” Sedgwick said. “I mean, really, Jane is just such a mystery. And hand in hand with the mystery of this character is the mystery of what happens to her daughter and why and the who, the what, the why is very much unraveling the history. The mystery of Jane and her relationships with all these people, some of which are historical, her sister and her ex-husband, and some of which are new.”
Sedgwick’s character is the center of the story, but all of the supporting players will play a big part in putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Also starring in the series are Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”) as Detective Bird, the investigator leading the search for the missing girl; Kick Gurry (“Sense8”), Jane’s ex-husband, who also happens to be a recovering drug addict; Erika Christensen (“Parenthood”), Jane’s younger half sister; and Francois Battiste (“The Normal Heart”), an undercover narcotics detective who is also Jane’s confidant, lover and off-the-record source for her TV series.
One of the big points that comes out during the investigation is how Sadler’s juggling being a mom and dealing with the demands of a TV series. That’s something Sedgwick understands as she spent all those years while working on “The Closer” — where she was both executive producer and star — while maintaining her long marriage to actor Kevin Bacon.
Her work on “The Closer” earned her six Golden Globe nominations (with one win) plus five Emmy nods (with one win). Despite having success in her professional and personal lives, Sedgwick suggests that it’s impossible to do everything well.
“You can do everything kind of well or half well or not well at all. And there are days that you do one thing better than another,” she said. “What we’re trying to toy with and talk about on this show is the archetypal guilt that women have from the minute they give birth, and some of it is biological that I think you somehow think that every moment spent not with your child is a reason to loathe yourself. And society is happy to tell you those things as well.”