First Look: Forest Whitaker on ‘Criminal Minds’ Spin-Off

by | March 11, 2010 at 12:37 PM | TV News

Forest Whitaker and Thomas Gibson (CBS)

Forest Whitaker and Thomas Gibson (CBS)

CBS has released a series of photos from the ‘Criminal Minds’ episode that paves the way for the spin-off series being eyed for the network’s fall schedule.

In “The Fight,” airing April 7, “Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and his BAU team join forces with a separate group of BAU operatives led by Agent Sam Cooper (Forest Whitaker) while investigating a string of murders in San Francisco,” says the official logline for the episode.

Born of a top-rated procedural a la ‘NCIS: Los Angeles,’ the ‘Criminal Minds’ offshoot was a pretty sure thing to start with. The show gained further traction when it landed Whitaker, an Academy Award winner, for the lead role. Here he is with Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook and Joe Mantegna:

CRIMINAL MINDS

Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Forest Whitaker and Joe Mantegna (CBS)

Helping round out the prospective new series’ cast are Beau Garrett (‘Turistas’), Matt Ryan (‘The Tudors’) and Michael Kelly (‘Generation Kill’).

Guest-starring on the April 7th “backdoor pilot” episode of ‘Criminal Minds’ are Mary Steenburgen, as BAU Direct Beth Griffith, and Jason Wiles (‘Third Watch’) as a husband and father targeted by a serial killer who forces his victims to fight each other for survival.