With a huge premieres for both "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles," as well as reliably strong launches for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: NY" and "CSI: Miami," it's no wonder that CBS is really getting serious about spinning off "Criminal Minds."
Michael Ausiello first mentioned the possible "Criminal Minds" spinoff last summer, suggesting that it would be a backdoor pilot airing out of an episode this spring. That obviously never materialized, but now CBS is pushing forward again.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Criminal Minds" showrunner Ed Bernero and series executive producer Chris Mundy will work on what is described as a "planted spinoff," built around a new team of FBI agents. The spinoff episode would air next spring and would be produced by ABC Studios, the Mark Gordon Co. and CBS Studios, the same companies behind the mothership.
CBS used the same backdoor pilot format on all of its currently existing spinoffs, as well as "NCIS," which launched out of "JAG."
The fifth season of "Criminal Minds" premiered last Wednesday and pulled in 15.8 million viewers, making it TV's eighth most-watched show for the week. "Criminal Minds" also averaged a 4.4 rating in the key 18-49 demographic.