Mandy Patinkin leaves ''Criminal Minds'' -- The show's star blames ''creative differences'' for his departure

By Lynette Rice
Updated July 20, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Crime has stopped paying for Mandy Patinkin. On July 16, a week after the Minds star failed to appear at the CBS crime series’ first season 3 table read, the network announced that he would not return in the fall. In a statement, CBS — which will add a new character to the show — quickly denied that his exit had anything to do with money and said Patinkin ”asked to be released…. His departure will be explained in an episode to be…broadcast early next season.” (The actor put out a statement of his own in which he blamed good ol’ ”creative differences.”) It’s rare for a star to leave willingly at the height of a series’ popularity; last fall, Minds twice managed to outdraw flashy time-slot competitor Lost. But Patinkin’s dour portrayal of an FBI agent may not have been such a stretch — soon after Minds‘ bow, he was sharing reservations about its procedural format. ”CBS is very clear about their formula for success with these kinds of shows,” he told EW in December 2005. ”One doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But it is important for this baby to have a certain kind of food to make me stay interested.” Gee, was the craft-services spread that awful?

Criminal Minds

  • TV Show
  • 14
  • CBS