Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker Set to Star in CRIMINAL MINDS Spin-off

     January 25, 2010

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Entertainment Weekly reports that Forest Whitaker is in final talks with CBS to headline a spin-off of Criminal Minds.  There has been talk of making a franchise out of the hit crime procedural for awhile, but the gears are really in motion now as the network is looking to air a backdoor pilot on Criminal Minds proper this spring to introduce the spin-off characters.  Criminal Minds follows a team of profilers from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit; Whitaker would play Cooper, who used to be hot stuff in the organization before an eight-year leave of absence.  In the new show, Whitaker’s character would be the “fiercely loyal and intensely private” leader of a brand new team of investigators.

This is not Whitaker’s first foray into series television: he thrived in a season-long arc on The Shield and earned an Emmy nomination for a guest spot in ER.  You may also recall that Whitaker won an Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland in 2007.  And so the ever-shrinking divide between TV and film continues to narrow.