TNT has renewed "Rizzoli & Isles" for a third season

The crime drama, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, is proving to be a big hit for the cable network. It premiered earlier this summer with 8.6 million viewers.

The cable network has ordered 15 more episodes for the third season, which will debut summer 2012. Season two will continue airing Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT through Sept. 12. It will then wrap up the season with new episodes in November and December.

Based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, "Rizzoli & Isles" is a female buddy-cop drama that centers on a hard-nosed Boston police detective (Harmon), who works with an posh medical examiner (Alexander) to bust some of the city's worst criminals. The show also stars Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges.

“This summer, 'Rizzoli & Isles' has proven that last year’s record-breaking ratings were just the beginning of this show’s remarkable track record,” said TNT's head of programming Michael Wright in a statement. “With a terrific cast, a top-notch production team and the kind of stories TNT fans crave, 'Rizzoli & Isles' is poised to continue its success alongside blockbuster TNT series like 'The Closer' and 'Falling Skies.'”

TNT's "The Closer" and "Rizzoli & Isles" are currently basic cable’s top two series for the year-to-date, with "Falling Skies" ranking as the top new series.