EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Jane would have a good feeling about this: I hear The Mentalist star Simon Baker is finalizing a new deal with the series producer Warner Bros Television that would net him more than $30 million for his services on the CBS drama, including money he is currently paid. Under the pact, I hear Baker would add one additional year to his current six-year contract and would get an additional piece of the show’s backend. The Mentalist was sold in off-network syndication in November 2009 in a rich deal with TNT that is fetching Warner Bros. $2.2 million-$2.3 million an episode. As part of the new deal with Warner Bros. TV, Baker will also get a producer credit on the show beginning in Season 5.
The Mentalist launched as the top new series of the 2008-09 season. For the past 2 seasons, it has been airing on Thursday at 10 PM as one of very few dramas that perform solidly in the 10 PM hour dominated by DVR viewing. Season to date, The Mentalist has averaged 16 million viewers and a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49, down 6% and 15% from last year, respectively. The series, in which Baker stars as Patrick Jane, an unorthodox consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation, ranks as one of most DVR-ed programs on TV, regularly adding some 3 million extra viewers from playback viewing.