5 facts you might not know about Rizzoli & Isles

By: Start TV Staff    Posted: January 13, 2022, 11:30AM

Image sources: Everett Collection

One is brash and to the point and the other might have an easier time around dead bodies than live ones. Despite their differences, both Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles become an unstoppable crime-busting duo and best friends.

But before watching them take on Boston's most wanted, you might want to get more familiar with these facts you might not have known about Rizzoli & Isles.


The Show is Based on a Crime Novel Series

The TV series follows and draws inspiration from the Rizzoli & Isles crime series books written by Tess Gerritsen. The primary books of inspiration for the show are the first two in the collection, The Surgeon and The Apprentice. In the book series, Jane Rizzoli is the main protagonist in the first entry, which is followed by Dr. Maura Isles introduction in the second book, The Apprentice. From then on, the book series follows both Rizzoli & Isles.


Usher was Almost Cast in the Series

The showrunner for the series, Janet Tamaro, originally picked famed singer and songwriter Usher Raymond for the role of Detective Barry Frost — which he declined. Tamaro had other original picks for series leads such as Winona Ryder as Dr. Maura Isles and Ashley Judd for Jane Rizzoli. 


Korsak Almost had a Boston Accent

With the series set in Boston, many of the characters introduced hold "Bostonian" accents whenever they talk or with a few select words and phrases. Detective Vince Korsak has a Boston accent for only the pilot episode, "See One, Do One, Teach One," which he then drops for the remainder of the series.


The Premiere Broke Cable TV Records

The premiere of the series in 2010 lured 7.6 million viewers — which was the highest amount for a commercial-supported cable series at the time. 


The Episode Titles are Named After Songs

With a few exceptions in the earlier seasons, Rizzoli & Isles episode names follow a pattern of being named after popular songs that either relate with the crime or story of the episode. Such episodes like "Rebel Without a Pause," named after the Public Enemy song, and "No One Mourns the Wicked" from the Wicked musical. 

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