After seven seasons, on Wednesday night, her role as starship captain Kathryn Janeway on UPN's "Star Trek: Voyager" comes to an end. Mulgrew and the rest of the cast and crew are going their separate ways.
The conclusion of every television season brings the end of long-running shows, and with it a kind of family breakup. Two other enduring shows, CBS' "Walker, Texas Ranger" (on for nine seasons) and NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun" (six seasons) will air their final new shows in the next few days.
John Lithgow, who played wacky alien Dick Solomon on "3rd Rock," taped what was to be the final episode of "3rd Rock" in January.
"I've never seen so many people hugging and crying when it was over," Lithgow says.
"Third Rock" producer Christine Zander says there are often factions within some shows, actors not allowed to work with the writers, for example. But the crew on "3rd Rock" was "very close."
"There wasn't a huge status difference between writers and actors, which occurs a lot in television," says Zander, a Chicago native. "And that's pretty much due to (producers/creators) Bonnie and Terry (Turner) and John Lithgow believing that actors should see writers and talk to writers, and we should make it as fun as possible."
Norris, star and executive producer of "Walker," says he had mixed feelings when he wrapped the series. His production company is working on a sequel to the popular CBS movie "The President's Man." He's with many of the same behind-the-scenes people who worked on "Walker."
However, only one member of the close "Walker" cast is on this shoot.
"I won't be seeing Clarence Gilyard (Walker's sidekick James Trivette) or Sheree Wilson (district attorney, and now wife, Alex Cahill) or Nia Peeples (a newcomer to the show as Sydney Cooke)," says Norris, 61. "As soon as we wrapped that night, realizing it's over, it was very emotional."
A crew doubling as family takes on a literal meaning for Norris -- several of his real family worked on the show. Brother Aaron is an executive producer, son Eric has been a stunt coordinator and director, son Michael has acted and directed episodes, and daughter Dina runs Norris' fan club.
"They'd like to say keep going, because it's a job for them," he says.
Lithgow says that he was recently on the soundstage where "3rd Rock" had been filmed to shoot a commercial for a project. He stopped by the production office, and watched a tape of the show's finale.
"I was in such an emotional state. I drove away from the lot and on to another appointment, and I burst into tears in the car."
Lithgow is also left with some regrets; "3rd Rock," he says, never had a chance.
The show had 18 different time slots during its run, Lithgow says, because NBC was eager to use it to help boost the ratings of other series.
"There's no show that could have survived that," he says.
For Mulgrew, not playing Janeway anymore created a wellspring of feelings. On the one hand, she says she grew to "really love" her character, a choice so controversial for "Trekkers" it took them a few years to warm to the notion of a female starship captain in a leading role.