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CBS Clone Machine Turned On "Criminal Minds"

CBS -- having fully recovered from the self-loathing that precipitated its "we can swing for the fences like all those hip and trendy networks" season of a couple seasons back, in which it perpetrated the musical-drama "Viva Laughlin" and period-sex-romp "Swingtown" on a unamused public -- is now focused with laser-like intensity on its wildly successful practice of cloning its procedural crime dramas.

CBS's "Criminal Minds" (CBS)

Now that "NCIS" has been successfully cloned -- new "NCIS: LA" is the highest rated new series launch of the 2009-10 television season to date -- CBS has tuned its attention to its only remaining highly rated procedural crime drama that has not yet undergone cloning: "Criminal Minds."

"Criminal Minds" also got off to a great start during Premiere Week, averaging 16 million viewers - Wednesday's most watched program.

(In the same timeslot, NBC's season debut of "Law & Order: SVU" and Fox's "Glee" averaged 8.4 million people and 7 million people, respectively, while ABC's new comedies, "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" opened with about 12-13 million tuned in, and CW's "The Beautiful Life: TBL" went toes up when under 1 million viewers stuck around for the second half hour despite the show's rampant Ashton Kutcher-ness.)

Anyway, CBS is developing a "Criminal Minds" spinoff for next season that will be executive produced by the mothership's executive producers, Ed Bernero and Chris Mundy. So far so good.

And, like the successful "NCIS: LA" spinoff, "Criminal Minds: Spinoff" will be unveiled first as an episode of the original series, but with a bunch of new characters dropping by, presumably some time later this season -- probably in the spring.

(Technically, "NCIS" itself was a spinoff of a CBS series "JAG," which actually had been an NBC series briefly, only NBC suits decided they weren't interested, so CBS picked it up.)

By Lisa de Moraes  |  September 30, 2009; 12:27 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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CBS "perpetrated" Swingtown on us? Are you kidding? Swingtown was one of the two best shows nobody watched last year (ABC's Dirty Sexy Money was the other). Instead we're treated to an endless series of crime dramas with pouting stars and bad guys who are always guilty. I wish the American TV viewership weren't so darn stupid...

Posted by: jerkhoff | October 1, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

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