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Jennifer Love Hewitt has joined the cast of "Criminal Minds" -- news announced Tuesday but I didn't have the heart to post until now. She'll play -- per CBS -- "Kate Callahan, a seasoned undercover agent whose stellar work at the FBI has landed her a coveted position with the Behavioral Analysis Unit," and begins with the 10th season premiere.
Why no heart in the matter? I like Hewitt, think she's a perfectly good actress, and was good in the "The Ghost Whisperer." ("The Client List" I can't speak to.) What's ominous here is "Criminal Minds," which has had something of a revolving door with female leads or semi-leads in the last few years (Jeanne Triplehorn just left, but A.J.Cook and Kirsten Vangness have stuck around almost since season one).
What's the problem with "CM"? The show certainly had what we politely refer to in the critical trade as "content problems" -- a veritable parade of butchered people often women. CBS staked a claim in this type of programming years ago, known as "women in peril," which was once a staple of its long-gone movie franchise.
I have no idea whether "CM" is as awful as it once was; maybe it's turned into "The Good Wife," for all I know. But it was awful. Not that this is the only series on TV that traffics in blood porn; it's everywhere or in far too many places in fact and seems to be an absolute requirement for entry into the prestigious FX club. But "CM" entered the debate when Mandy Patinkin abruptly quit without explanation, then said this years later:
I didn't pay attention to the material, because once you get yourself locked onto the one need that you think you have [money, steady employment], which was the security of the job and having the job to go to every day, which I love, and the economic false security, 'cause I wasn't in trouble, I was doing fine -- I ignored the fact that there was a woman in a cage being tortured. I thought, "Well, this is just the pilot. You can't do that every show, for God's sake. How long would that be interesting?" Yet it remained interesting for now, I think, seven or eight years they're into.
So welcome, Ms Hewitt. And good luck. You may need it.
CBS, as per recent early spring custom, has picked up most of its schedule for next fall. But conspicuously off the renewal list: "The Crazy Ones" and "The Mentalist.' No word on either, but that may mean nothing -- just that renewals will come later, or CBS is waiting to see how they run out the rest of the season before making a decision. Neither has been a particularly stellar performer this season, so who knows. "The Big Bang Theory" got a three-year pickup yesterday.
In total eighteen series will be back next season, and you can go ahead and name them, but I'll save you the trouble. From the press release:
The 18 series renewed today comprise 15.5 hours of CBS’s weekly prime-time schedule and include nine dramas, five comedies, two reality series and two news programs. The nine dramas picked up are: NCIS, television’s No.-1 drama/scripted program for the fifth consecutive year; NCIS: LOS ANGELES, the No.-2 drama for the fourth straight year; time-period winners PERSON OF INTEREST, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, HAWAII FIVE-0 and BLUE BLOODS; as well as CRIMINAL MINDS, ELEMENTARY and the acclaimed drama THE GOOD WIFE. The renewed comedies are 2 BROKE GIRLS, THE MILLERS, which is the No.-1 freshman comedy of the 2013-2014 season, MIKE & MOLLY, MOM and the long-running hit TWO AND A HALF MEN. In alternative programming, the Network announced pick-ups for its Emmy Award-winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE and UNDERCOVER BOSS.