You think Criminal Minds can’t get darker? The still untitled spin-off will certainly try, producer Chris Mundi tells TV Guide.

“These guys definitely try to exist free of as much bureaucracy as they can,” Mundy adds. “It’s tough to get darker than [Criminal Minds] … but they’ll be a little looser, a little scruffier.”

The bureaucracy-defying bit should be familiar to those who saw the backdoor pilot that launched the spin-off last week on Criminal Minds. Headlined by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, response to the extension was mixed leaning on positive, something that isn’t readily obvious from the little ratings stumble.

Says Whitaker’s Agent Cooper is the best thing about the potential spin-off.”

And Entertainment Weekly: “I thought Whitaker did a solid job. Like the other good actors in Criminal Minds — Thomas Gibson, Paget Brewster, and Joe Mantegna — Whitaker had to put across jargon-riddled dialogue purely on the strength of intonation and physical expressiveness.”

Can Whitaker’s rebel character single-handedly carry this spin-off? He was certainly first choice, says Mundy.

“Forest has been amazing. He was on our crazy wish list, like, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get Forest Whitaker?’ … Next thing you know, he’s doing it,” he says.

We won’t know for sure if the extension will be picked up until May 19, when CBS makes the announcement. But just in case it does, Mundy, who also worked on Cold Case, will be abandoning the mothership.

“Honestly, I’m having such separation anxiety. It’s been my home,” he says. “We’re all incredibly close. I feel very odd about it. They’ll be fine [without me]! It’s a very talented, great bunch here.”

Contrary to rumors, Minds 2.0 is not the show’s official title yet. “CSI has Miami and N.Y., and NCIS has Los Angeles, but we travel everywhere, so we can’t do that!” Mundy adds.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Glenn Diaz

Staff Writer, BuddyTV