UPDATE: Despite speculation that British-born Simon Mirren might be headed back home, it turns out the trip he will be making is from Burbank/Studio City where Criminal Minds producers ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios are based, to Culver City. I hear that, after 6 years on Criminal Minds, Mirren is finalizing an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. Mirren had been looking to pursue his own development. When ABC Studios indicated it was not interested, he was quickly snapped up by Sony, which shifted its overall deal strategy last summer towards signing top-tier writer/showrunners. Mirren’s overall pact with Sony is expected to begin in June, after Mirren’s current deal for Criminal Minds expires at the end of the season. Additionally, Mirren is executive producing The Sector, a project in the works at Cinemax, which is now looking to do more originals. He is shepherding that project with Scott Free, Anne Thomopoluos and Aaron and Matt Benay.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: Criminal Minds executive producer/ showrunner Simon Mirren is leaving the veteran crime drama. Mirren, who joined the series right after the pilot as a supervising producer, was promoted to executive producer at the beginning of Season 5.
This past October, WME-repped Mirren, along with fellow Criminal Minds veteran, exec producer Erica Messer, took over showrunner duties alongside longtime exec producer/showrunner Ed Bernero when Chris Mundy left as showrunner of the Criminal Minds spinoff and Bernero shifted his attention to the new series. There is talk that Bernero may also leave Criminal Minds at the end of the season. He has a drama pilot, Partners, in contention at ABC but even if his pilot goes to series, he is expected to still have some involvement with the Criminal Minds franchise.
Staying on is Messer, considered a rising star on Criminal Minds. She joined the mothership series after the pilot as a co-producer and became an executive producer at the beginning of the current sixth season. British writer Mirren, nephew of actress Helen Mirren, previously worked on Third Watch, co-created/exec producer by Bernero, and Without a Trace.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.