Current Affairs: Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior


By Claude Julian | ARCHIVES

Stunner Baby Current Affairs shines the spotlight on Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior is an American police procedural drama that has been ordered to series by CBS.  The show debuted in 2011 as a spin-off from the successful Criminal Minds, which premiered in 2005. This edition’s profiling team also works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) in Quantico, Virginia. In an April 2010 episode of Criminal Minds (“The Fight”), the original team met the new team and worked with them to find a San Francisco serial killer as the series’ backdoor pilot.

Just like the parent series, CBS will own the underlying North American rights, while ABC owns the international rights. The series premiered on February 16, 2011, in the Wednesdays at 10pm time slot following out of the original Criminal Minds.  In early 2009, Michael Ausiello from Entertainment Weekly said that the ABC and CBS studios were discussing the possibility of a spin-off. Studio Producer Ed Bernero confirmed it by disclosing that “it’s safe to say there will be something soon.” The show will have a completely new cast, with the exception being Kirsten Vangsness, who will reprise her role as Penelope Garcia from the original series Criminal Minds. In late 2010, the director had been chosen, and the casting completed. It was announced that Forest Whitaker would star. Whitaker’s character and his team were introduced in Criminal Minds Season 5. Richard Schiff will have a recurring role as FBI Director Jack Fickler.

Suspect Behavior introduced us to a new bunch of people who are going to use the phrase “UNSUB” a lot, including Janeane Garofalo, transitioning smoothly from her dramatic role in 24 to this crew. I’ve seen the second episode of Suspect Behavior, and Garofalo’s Beth Griffith has the easiest, most believable working relationship with Whitaker’s Cooper; I wouldn’t go so far as to call it chemistry, because Criminal Minds is all about intelligent isolators brought together solely by work.
A bridge between the two Minds shows is Kirsten Vangsness’ Penelope Garcia, the tech wiz who’ll toggle back and forth between the two shows, pulling up data absurdly fast while uttering chatty banalities like, “The Divine Miss G — out!“

Five seasons from now, when CM: SB is in syndication and a well-oiled machine, many viewers will have long forgotten one of the debut hour’s chief bits of business. Michael Kelly’s “Prophet” Sims once killed a child molester and so at the start of the show was a “special agent pending,” under close scrutiny as a guy whose temper might not permit him to make it onto the show’s team.  Whitaker and his team set the stage for the spin-off in the 18th episode of the fifth season of Criminal Minds, “The Fight”, Season 5, Episode 18, “The Fight” (April 7, 2010). This “back-door pilot” approach has been used to introduce other CBS shows, such as CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, NCIS, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

CBS has a very particular formula when it comes to spinning off crime dramas — namely, find an accomplished actor with feature credentials who is receptive to the security of a weekly pay check, even if the job means reciting dialogue largely of the “this unsub is familiar with the procedures of a medical office” variety. Add Forest Whitaker to this roster in “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” a by-the-numbers extension of another Eye network franchise. In essence, such shows amount to CBS’ development execs throwing in the towel, concluding, “This is what our audience likes. Why argue with them?”


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