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September 30, 2009

CBS plans 'Criminal Minds' spinoff

By Nellie Andreeva

CBS will be doing some "Minds"-splitting this season.

The network is planning a potential spinoff from its hit crime drama "Criminal Minds" that will be created by the show's executive producer/showrunner Ed Bernero and executive producer Chris Mundy.

Mundy will be writing the planted spinoff, which will air as an episode of "Criminal Minds" in the spring, from a story by him and Bernero.

Like the original series, the potential new show would be produced by ABC Studios, the Mark Gordon Co. and CBS Studios.

Details are sketchy, but the spinoff is expected to feature a new team of FBI agents, not existing "Criminal Minds" characters.

The producers already have begun to send out feelers to talent agents about the types they're looking to cast.

The development pattern for a "Criminal Minds" offshoot mirrors CBS' template for successfully spinning off "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" into "CSI: Miami," which begat "CSI: NY," and "JAG," which spawned "NCIS" and then "NCIS: Los Angeles."

A "Criminal Minds" spinoff was discussed more than a year ago, but CBS focused on developing "NCIS: LA," which was introduced in a two-episode arc on "NCIS" in April.
"NCIS: LA" debuted last week as the highest-rated new drama this season with 18.7 million viewers and a 4.4 rating/11 share in the adults 18-49 demographic.

"Minds" also is off to a strong start this fall, winning Wednesday night with 15.8 million viewers and a 4.4/12 in 18-49s, the show's best demo rating in a year.

Bernero and Mundy are repped by UTA.


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