Jennifer Love Hewitt is returning to CBS as a series regular — this time among the cast of Criminal Minds. She will play seasoned undercover agent Katie Callahan – joining Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness; her character will be introduced in the series’ 10th season premiere, Wednesday, October 1.
“We’re thrilled to introduce a new special agent by adding the very talented Jennifer Love Hewitt to our amazing cast,” said executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer. “Many of us on the show have enjoyed working with her over the years and look forward to again. We have exciting storylines planned for her character and the entire BAU team as we head into our 10th season.”
For five seasons, Hewitt starred as Melinda Gordon in CBS’ Ghost Whisperer. After that, she starred in Lifetime’s The Client List, which that network, and Sony Pictures TV, canceled in lieu of a third season — reportedly not owing so much to its ratings, though they had slipped, as because of a creative standoff with Hewitt over storylines for a third season. Hewitt, who was an executive producer on the show, wanted Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance at the time, and father of her baby, also play her character Riley’s baby daddy on the show, Deadline reported back then, adding that the issues eventually became too much for Lifetime and Sony TV, leading to the cancellation.
Read More »
“With the addition of the NFL on Thursday night our schedule is pretty darn tight,” CBS’ CEO Les Moonves told investors this week, indicating the network planned to only add two new drama and two new comedy series for next season. Here is the proof of just how tight the network’s 2014-15 schedule is shaping up to be. As it does every year, in one fell swoop the network has renewed the bulk of its lineup. That includes nine drama series — flagship NCIS, NCIS: LA, Criminal Minds, Person Of Interest, Elementary, CSI, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods and critical darling The Good Wife — and five comedies: 2 Broke Girls, freshman The Millers and the three Chuck Lorre series, veteran Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly and freshman Mom. They join Lorre’s The Big Bang Theory, which was just given a big three-season pickup. On the reality side, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss are being renewed, joining Survivor, which is set for a milestone 30th cycle next season, as well as newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours. All in all, 20 programs.
Related: CBS Will Launch ‘Big Bang Theory’ On Different Night As NFL Begins
Not picked up is The Mentalist, the veteran procedural’s first time not being among the early renewals. The long-running drama has been on the bubble and, unlike Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods or The Good Wife, whose ratings have been on par or lower, Mentalist is not owned by CBS, making off-network money for the company the way the other three shows do. But The Mentalist is a very important property for Warner Bros TV with a very lucrative syndication deal and strong international sales, so expect the studio to fight hard for a seventh-season renewal, especially after the post-Red John creative reboot of the show was deemed successful. (The Mentalist creator/showrunner Bruno Heller’s expected departure to run his new series, Gotham at Fox, is not expected to be a major factor in the decision-making.) Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS is teaming with Criminal Minds executive producer Janine Sherman Barrois for a new crime drama project, this time more serialized. Titled Jigsaw, the project hails from Criminal Minds producer ABC Studios and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s studio-based Fake Empire. Written and executive produced by Barrois, Jigsaw follows the intersecting lives of homicide detectives, prosecutors, defense attorneys, the Media and the Mayor’s office as they work to solve the most scandalous crimes San Francisco has seen in decades. Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire President of Television Len Goldstein also executive produce. Both Fake Empire and Barrois are in the first year of overall deals at ABC Studios. This marks Fake Empire’s sixth sale, joining two dramas and two comedies at ABC and a teen drama penned by Diablo Cody at Fox. Barrois serves as executive producer on Criminal Minds, where she has been since 2010, and recently penned the veteran drama’s ninth-season premiere. Barrois, repped by WME and Felker Toczek, previously was an executive producer on the final season of ER and a co-executive producer on Third Watch where she worked for five seasons.
Look who’s coming back to CBS‘ Criminal Minds. Former cast member Paget Brewster is set to reprise her character Emily Prentiss on the upcoming 200th episode of the veteran crime drama, which will air later this season. “Our 200th episode is going to be a special show,” said showrunner Erica Messer. “We can’t imagine telling this story without Paget being present.” In the episode, glimpses into the past shed light onto what happened to JJ Jareau (A.J. Cook) during her year away from the BAU, and will also prove valuable in the team’s efforts to solve a present day case. Brewster left Criminal Minds in May 2012 after a six-year stint, including turbulent last two seasons on the show that included a status reduction and an unsuccessful exit attempt. But things seem to have healed up, and Prentiss was not killed off, leaving the door for Brewster to return. The move is reminiscent of original CSI co-star Marg Helgenberger’s upcoming return to the CBS drama for its 300th episode.
EXCLUSIVE: Criminal Minds executive producer Janine Sherman Barrois has closed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios, the studio behind the veteran CBS crime drama. Under the pact, Barrois will continue on Criminal Minds, where she has been since 2010, and develop new projects. She just penned Criminal Minds‘ upcoming ninth-season premiere. Barrois, repped by WME and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson, previously was an executive producer on the final season of ER and a co-executive producer on Third Watch where she worked for five seasons. On the comedy side, she spent multiple seasons on The PJ’s and The Jamie Foxx Show.
EXCLUSIVE: After a week of intense negotiations, a couple of deadlines and best and final offers, Criminal Minds leads Thomas Gibson and Joe Mantegna and co-stars Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have all signed new two-year deals to continue on the veteran CBS crime drama. With the five on board and Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer signing a new deal last week, I’ve learned that CBS has proceeded with a ninth-season renewal for the show.
Going into the renegotiations, Vangsness and Cook, who stuck together, sought salary parity with their male counterparts Moore and Matthew Gubler. I hear the two didn’t quite get there but received sizable pay increases.
Related: Gibson & Mantegna Near ‘Criminal Minds’ Deals; Vangsness & Cook May Not Come Back
UPDATE 5:30 PM: CBS just announced the Criminal Minds renewal. Here is the release:
CBS announced today that CRIMINAL MINDS has been renewed for the 2013-2014 broadcast season, becoming CBS’s 20th series to be renewed for next year. Currently in its eighth season, CRIMINAL MINDS ranks as Wednesday’s number one drama in viewers (12.24m), adults 18-49 (3.3/09) and adults 25-54 (4.3/10).
CRIMINAL MINDS, about an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’smost twisted criminal minds, stars Joe Mantegna,
… Read More »
CBS’ long-running crime drama Criminal Minds once again is going down to the wire in securing the cast (and in this case a renewal) for next season. I’ve learned that after a long pause in the talks, Criminal Minds stars Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook, whose deals are up at the end of this season, received final offers from producer ABC Studios and CBS on Friday. I hear the studio and network put a clock on the negotiations, which have to conclude by end of day tomorrow for the series to get renewed. I hear leads Gibson and Mantegna, whose re-signing is considered crucial to the the pickup, are close to new agreements though sources caution that no deals have been made yet, while Moore is deep in negotiations but far apart on the money.
Meanwhile, I hear fan favorite Vangsness and Cook have turned down the offers, and with the clock ticking, it is unclear whether the two would come back next season. I hear the duo, who are negotiating together, have decided to take a stand on the treatment of female cast members on the show as the two have consistently been been paid less than half of what all of their male counterparts — not just stars Gibson and Mantegna — are making. With the new offers again positioning them well below all other cast members, I hear Vangsness and Cook are willing to walk if they don’t get some parity with their co-stars. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Criminal Minds executive producer/showrunner Erica Messer has closed a new two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the pact, she is set to continue as showrunner on the studio’s veteran crime drama. Locking in Messer has been considered key to Criminal Minds‘ renewal. CBS did not pick up the show for another season along with its other series because of too many uncertainties as Messer and key cast members Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook all had no deals beyond this season. ABC Studios and CBS are yet to lock in the actors, but Messer’s deal is expected to help the process. I hear besides money, a major holdup in the actors’ negotiations had been the fact that it was unclear who would run the show next season. Messer is very well liked among the cast and crew of Criminal Minds, so her coming back would likely help the actors commit. Of course, the studio and network also have to bridge the salary gaps between what the actors ask for and what they offer, by most accounts nominal raises.
Less than two weeks before CBS’ upfront presentation, I hear there has been little movement on the money issue, leading to speculation that CBS may come out with a best and final offer. The actors don’t negotiate together, so it is conceivable that CBS renews the show with some of the cast signed and continues negotiations with the others after the upfront. That happened two years ago when Gibson and Moore’s contracts were up. Moore closed before the upfronts, while Gibson’s deal didn’t close until late June. And if CBS, which is footing the bill on the show, decides to play hardball and not renew Criminal Minds if agreements with actors could not be reached, the series could potentially move to ABC, whose sibling ABC Studios is reaping the financial benefits of the show’s lucrative off-network deal and strong sales around the world — the way CBS took in NBC’s Medium several years ago. Most insiders stress such a nuclear option is extremely unlikely, and CBS will find a way to bring Criminal Minds for a ninth season. Read More »
CBS today announced details about the upcoming finales of its series, whose dates were unveiled last month. Here are some highlights:
Undercover Boss will end its fourth season with two episodes featuring the top bosses and the top employees from all previous seasons. Survivor: Caramoan‘s reunion show will air from Los Angeles, not from New York where Survivor‘s May reunion specials normally originate from. In the season finale of Criminal Minds, “the BAU’s pursuit of “The Replicator,” the UnSub that has been stalking the team all season, comes to a head when one of their own becomes a victim.” With Criminal Minds yet to be renewed because of contract renegotiations for most of the cast, I guess one of the actors won’t be needing a new deal. In its finale, The Mentalist will once again come this close to catching Red John, but with the veteran drama safely renewed, we all know they will drag this out for at least one more season. And for die-hard Black Sabbath fans, the rockers will debut a new song on the season finale of CSI.
CBS kept the tradition of renewing most of its slate in one fell swoop. Demonstrating its signature stability, the network has picked up most of its current series for next season, with two major exceptions: veteran Criminal Minds, which is in the midst of renegotiations with the cast, and freshman Vegas, which will get a tryout on Friday later this spring. Renewed for next season are freshman drama Elementary; critical darling The Good Wife; comedies 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly; and drama procedurals NCIS: LA, Person Of Interest, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods. The nine join previously renewed The Big Bang Theory (part of a three-year pickup), How I Met Your Mother for a final season, and veterans NCIS and CSI, picked up when their stars Mark Harmon and Ted Danson, respectively, re-upped their contracts. Additionally, CBS said it continues negotiations with Warner Bros TV for another season of Two And A Half Men. Parallel negotiations with stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer are underway too and progressing. Also picked up for next season are unscripted series The Amazing Race, Survivor and Undercover Boss and newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.
Not surprisingly, MIA from CBS’ early renewal list again is perennial bubble comedy Rules Of Engagement. With the series recently hitting the 100-episode mark, the deals for the … Read More »
CBS has announced the finale dates for its current series. The Good Wife will keep the tradition of bowing out early, closing its second season April 28. Veteran Criminal Minds will pull down the curtain for the network on the final day of the season, May 22. Here is the full list: Read More »
Violence on TV has been a major topic during the current TCA press tour, and along with references to the recent massacres in Aurora and Newtown, the discussion frequently included CBS‘ dark and violent serial killer procedural Criminal Minds, which was singled out for its violent content by several network executives, ncluding NBC’s Bob Greenblatt. “Look, that’s a much-maligned show,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler acknowledged after the TCA executive session. “I happen to enjoy the show. It’s not for everybody. It’s an adult show. It’s a suspense thriller and a character crime procedural. I don’t let my kid watch it. I do. It’s a genre show and it’s done very well.”
Tassler warned that pointing the finger at individual shows with violent content is not the answer. “I think we’re making a huge mistake here — and I’d say it to Bob to his face — to allow the conversation to devolve into a discussion of one show vs. the other. This is a much bigger issue, and thank God it’s being discussed on the level that it is. It’s really a very personal issue.”
Related: CBS’ Nina Tassler On Pending ‘How I Me Your Mother Mother’ Renewal, Jennifer Esposito’s ‘Blue Bloods’ Exit
Earlier on stage, Tassler noted that “people come to work with a renewed sensitivity, absolutely,” following the Newtown tragedy. But that won’t weigh … Read More »