Although the cast of Criminal Minds is ready to move forward sans Mandy Patinkin, they are still concerned about how the viewers will react to the forthcoming season. Shemar Moore, who plays Special Agent Derek Morgan, admitted Patinkin contributed to the show’s success, but was quick to add that the show does not necessarily need the actor to survive.
“We all know what Mandy brought, and it was a wonderful ingredient, but it wasn’t an overwhelming, necessary ingredient for this show to work. This show works with or without any of us,” Moore said, adding he is certain viewers will compare Patinkin to new lead actor Joe Mantegna.
“There’s nothing we can do,” Moore continued. “We’re going to have to weather that storm.”
Patinkin left the series without prior notice in July. A joint statement from CBS Paramount Network Television and ABC Studios attributed the actor’s departure to “creative differences,” though Moore hinted during the TCA press tour that the dark subject matter of the show greatly affected Patinkin on and off the set.
On the other hand, Joe Mantegna, who is set to play Special Agent David Rossi, said he is confident about joining Criminal Minds, and is not worried about the show’s difficult and violent storylines.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve been shot and I’ve been maimed,” the 59-year-old actor said with a wry smile. “At least this time it’s happening to someone else. I really don’t have much problem detaching myself from my work.”
Mantegna declined, however, from talking about Patinkin’s abrupt exit from Criminal Minds. “It’s not on my radar,” he said. “I don’t know what the old ballgame was, and I don’t care. It’s the first day of school, but I’ve been going to school for a long time.”
Mantegna will first appear on the series on October 31. His character serves as the antithesis of Patinkin’s Gideon, thanks to executive-producer Ed Bernero.
“In looking over the world of television shows, the show I think that replaced characters the best of all time was M*A*S*H,” Bernero said. “M*A*S*H always replaced a character with an exact opposite. When McLean Stevenson left, who played a total anti-authority guy, they replaced him with Sherman T. Potter, who was a regular Army stick-in-the-mud. They filled the same role, but with someone who was the opposite. That’s what we wanted to do.”
The third season of Criminal Minds will begin airing on September 26.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The New York Times
(Image Courtesy of The New York Times)