Oscar Winner to Star in Criminal Minds Spin-off

01/26/2010 at 3:22 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | 3 Comments
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It looks like the Criminal Minds spin-off is now on the fast track.  After NCIS did a leap frog for the next procedural spin-off on CBS, Criminal Minds will be airing a backdoor pilot (for the spin-off) on an episode this spring.

So who will be the good-guys’ team leader?  None other than Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (he won for The Last King of Scotland).

Recently, Whitaker honed his TV acting chops on a season-long arc of The Shield (season 5).

Programming-wise, it will be interesting to see where this show ends up.  This past season, NCIS‘s spin-off – NCIS: LA – was scheduled right after NCIS.  This strategy has proven to be VERY successful for CBS

However, the Criminal Minds spin-off may prove more difficult to program effectively.  Criminal Minds currently runs Wednesday at 9pm (ET), with CBS‘s second comedy block as a lead-in, and CSI: NY as its lead-out.  If it were strictly about the ratings, I would be 90% sure they would can their 8-9pm comedy block on Wednesday, slide Criminal Minds into that spot, then use the established show to be a lead-in for their spin-off at 9pm (ET).  That way, you keep the original on its successful night, give its spin-off the original time period, yet keep them together for a solid night (like they are doing with the NCIS shows).

Their Wednesday night comedy block (New Adventures of Old Christine/Gary Unmarried) consistently suffer from low viewership (ESPECIALLY by CBS‘s standards) season after season, yet CBS has stuck with them in an effort to create another night of comedy (other than their massively successful Monday night 8-10p comedy block).  In this regard, I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep plugging away with this 8-9p comedy block for another season.

I’m also not ruling out the network keeping CSI: NY in its Wednesday spot at 10pm (ET).  Even though it is the lowest watched edition of the CSI series, it still performs well enough in the time period that CBS may not want to move it.

So with Cold Case & Numb3rs looking to be ending this season (read: cancelled by the network), that will leave a spot on Friday and one on Sunday open to position a show.

Will they put the Criminal Minds spin-off on a night away from the original show?  Will they move CSI: NY?  Will they ditch their non-performing Wednesday comedy block, and move Crinimal Minds up an hour with the spin-off airing at 9pm (ET)?

Like previously stated, I think CBS would get much better ratings throwing out the Wednesday comedy block, making it a Criminal Minds/Criminal Minds spin-off/CSI:NY night.  However, with CBS wanting that second night of sitcoms, I think they might be more likely to move CSI:NY and put the spin-off there.  If that was the case, I think it would be smarter (for the sake of the show) to move CSI:NY to Sunday instead of Friday.

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3 Comments »

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  1. I just don’t see CBS moving CM away from the 9:00pm slot and be replaced by the spin off. That would mean the spin off would have to face AI. No I think CBS should move CSI:NY and replace it with the spin off. Considering there is less competition at 10:00pm and having CM as a lead in that will help establish the spin off.

  2. […] Oscar winner gets the lead for a new show on CBS, which will be a spin-off to one of their hit […]

  3. […] previous reported, Forest Whitaker will be the male lead on the new […]


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