Rumors had been swirling since lead actor Mandy Patinkin failed to show up for filming of the next season of "Criminal Minds." Now CBS and the producers have confirmed that Patinkin will not be back for the new season. They say money was not the issue and Patinkin issued a statement citing "creative differences" as his reason for leaving. The show is a production of ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television.
The series, which debuted in 2005, revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Patinkin's character, Senior Supervisory Special Agent Jason Gideon, is the head of the unit, but the show is essentially an ensemble cast, so it will be possible to replace him without disrupting the flow too much.
Statements issued yesterday:
ON BEHALF OF ABC STUDIOS AND CBS PARAMOUNT NETWORK TELEVISION:
Last week, Mandy Patinkin asked to be released from his role on Criminal Minds. We have honored this request, which was not in any way connected to contract renegotiations or salary issues. His departure from the series will be explained to audiences in an episode to be filmed in the near future and broadcast early next season. We thank Mandy for helping to make Criminal Minds a strong and successful series, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. A new character will be added to the series for next season.
ON BEHALF OF MANDY PATINKIN:
Due to creative differences, Mandy has asked not to return to Criminal Minds this season. Mandy would like to thank the studios and network for releasing him from the series and he wishes the cast and crew continued success in all of their endeavors and looks forward to continuing to work with the Disney and CBS companies in other capacities in the future.