Mandy Patinkin Disses CBS 'Criminal Minds': “My Biggest Public Mistake”

While praising his latest series, Showtime’s Homeland, Mandy Patinkin had some harsh words about his previous show, CBS‘ crime drama Criminal Minds. Patinkin left two consecutive CBS series after the second season — medical drama Chicago Hope, which earned him an Emmy, and serial killer procedural Criminal Minds. While Patinkin chalked up the first departure to his desire to spend more time with his family, he blamed his abrupt exit from Criminal Minds to the nature of the show, which often deals with gory and violent crimes. In an interview with New York Magazine, Patinkin said:

“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place. I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality.” Patinkin also addressed the whole crime drama genre. “I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” he said. “But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about.”

As for his new series Homeland, which is also violent, it is “the antidote,” Patinkin said. “It asks why there’s a need for violence in the first place.”

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