One of the biggest broadcast television departures in recent years has to be Mandy Patinkin. The actor carried the CBS procedural Criminal Minds to big time ratings for the network and helped lay the foundations for a show that is still among the network’s best performing in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Despite being replaced by a more than suitable Joe Mantegna back in 2007, fans still express fondness for Patinkin’s Gideon character who has since found another highly regarded series in Homeland.
While doing press for that series’ second season, the actor made waves when talking to New York magazine with an unexpected degree of candor in regards to his previous show. What we knew is that Patinkin left the show fairly abruptly at the end of the series’ second season, but still allowed for closure. The problem had to do with creative control and at the time we had no real clue as to why he felt this was necessary. Now, because of comments made by the actor this week, we are all clued in to what the hubbub was all about.
On the topic of his Criminal Minds departure, Patinkin had the following to say:
“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. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”
This is very fascinating to hear in that it is 100% true and nobody really has been saying that on the set. We just heard that Paget Brewster left the show a second time, and guess what–she is leaving because the actress wants to try her hand at comedy once more. Why would somebody turn to comedy after…You see, she had the same hang-up. The ironic part of this is that the characters on Criminal Minds often struggle with the same issues concerning their career paths which makes today’s story a little bit deeper than ‘he left because he wanted to do something with Emmy buzz.’
Fans can catch Mandy Patinkin Sunday nights on Showtime’s Homeland when it returns on Sunday, September 30.