CBS’ ‘The Mentalist‘ not only is trying out a new time slot this Thursday (9/8c, with ‘CSI’ following), but there’s a new sheriff in town as well. And her name is Special Agent Madeleine Hightower.
“I have big shoes to fill,” Aunjanue Ellis (‘True Blood’) says of joining the hit CBS procedural, where she’s picking up the baton from Gregory Itzin. “The work on the show is so good, and it’s so successful…. It’s going to be challenge!”
Hightower takes command of the CBI with an extensive background in law enforcement, including a stint with the Secret Service. Her marching orders, says Ellis, are to “get everyone back in line” following an unsupervised stretch that came with bureau chief Virgil Minelli’s resignation.
“The team has gotten a little out of whack,” the actress notes in character, “a little liberal.”
Hightower is also prepared to “keep Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker) in check” – though not because she is skeptical of his mad skills.
“She does believe in him, and I think that’s what makes her a little different from other people,” says Ellis. “There is an appreciation she has for him, and an admiration.”
Rather, it will be Lisbon (Robin Tunney) who lands in the new boss’ crosshairs. “I think she feels like Lisbon is a little soft, so she has to figure her out.”
As for the rest of the CBI team, the only ones who have to worry are those involved in workplace romance. (Yes, we’re looking at you, Rigsby and Van Pelt.)
“She has an intolerance for such things, that maybe Lisbon doesn’t have,” Ellis warns of her alter ego. As such, throwing cold water on such canoodling “might be part of her agenda, yes.”
Once again: ‘The Mentalist’ this week airs at 9/8c, leading into ‘CSI.’ Watch a preview of this week’s episode: