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Oh, Mandy

Mandy Patinkin, who abruptly quit the hit CBS series, "Criminal Minds," is on everyone's mind here in Beverly Hills at the summer TV critics' press tour.
His departure was a big subject at a news conference today (Wednesday) held by CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. She didn't shed much insight into the mind of Patinkin, who years ago abruptly left another CBS series, "Chicago Hope." Tassler blamed Patinkin's departure on personal issues, before one critic noted an earlier release said it was over "creative differences." "I think creative differences is an euphemism for personal issues," said Tassler, to laughter. That's as close as you'll ever get to a network executive admitting that press releases are hogwash.
Tassler later said Patinkin will appear in one episode in the fall to explain his character's departure and that it will be the second episode of the season.
By chance, Hector Elizondo, who co-starred in "Chicago Hope," appeared next at a press conference for a new CBS drama, "Cane." Asked about Patinkin's departure, Elizondo broke into a Marlon Brando, "Godfather" imitation. "I'll take the Fifth Amendment," he said as the Godfather, before turning serious. "I'm not my brother's keeper. Nothing surprises me. I wish him well."

Will anyone miss Mandy Patinkin on "Criminal Minds"?   

- Alan Pergament

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