By EW Staff
Updated August 18, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Michael Desmond

9-10 PM · CBS · Returns Sept. 26

Hey, did you hear? Mandy Patinkin left this show. (He’ll appear in one brief scene to explain his character’s departure.) So who’s gonna replace him as the lead FBI profiler in season 3? That duty falls to Joe Mantegna (playing David Rossi), fresh off his role on The Starter Wife. Costar Shemar Moore sees a seamless transition: ”No disrespect to Mandy, but Mandy was part of an ensemble. This was not the Mandy Patinkin show.” Hmm — no disrespect to Shemar, but it kinda was. Anyway, expect Thomas Gibson’s Hotch to resolve the season-finale cliff-hanger of his shaky job status by…pulling a Mandy. ”Hotch leaves the BAU at the beginning of the first episode,” says exec producer Chris Mundy, who’s writing the season premiere. ”Everything [in the series] is really shaken up by what happened at the end of last season. Just a teeny bit of art imitating life, but the art actually came first.” Maybe Mundy could rewrite Barry Manilow’s lyrics: ”Oh, Mandy, you came and you left without talking…”

Criminal Minds

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