Gary Sinise To Topline ‘Criminal Minds’ Spinoff

After a short break, CSI: NY star Gary Sinise is back in CBS’ procedural fold as the lead of another spinoff drama, the network’s Criminal Minds planted offshoot.

The proposed spinoff will air as an episode of the mothership series, filming in mid-February, which was written by Criminal Minds executive producer/showrunner Erica Messer.

Like Criminal Minds, which centers on the FBI’s Analysis Unit, the spinoff focuses on a division of the FBI. It follows FBI agents helping American citizens who find themselves in trouble abroad. Sinise will play their boss, Jack Garrett, a 20-year veteran of the Bureau, who is currently in charge of the FBI’s top team for handling cases involving Americans abroad.

Messer executive produces with Criminal Minds executive producer Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper of the Mark Gordon Co. Just like the original series, the spinoff hails from ABC Studios, where Messer is under an overall deal, CBS TV Studios and the Mark Gordon Co.

Last week, CBS chairman Nina Tassler was asked about the network’s approach to the new spinoff in light of the quick demise of previous attempt Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. “First lesson is do it better,” Tassler said. “Erica Messer has been part of Criminal Minds since Day 1. Having her, one of the best showrunners in the business, behind it, that’s the key difference between this spinoff and the first one.”

Since CSI:NY ended its nine-season run in May 2013, Sinise has worked full-time at his Gary Sinise Foundation. He is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and CAA.

I hear CBS brass felt Sinise worked great on CSI: NY and had been looking for another vehicle for him over the past year and a half. The Criminal Minds spinoff was a project he responded to.

The network has been betting on seasoned actors to lead its procedurals. Sinise is 59, Scott Bakula was the same age when he was cast last year as the lead of the NCIS planted spinoff NCIS: New Orleans. And Ted Danson was 63 when he took over the lead of veteran CSI.


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