In April of 2010, “Criminal Minds” fans were given a glimpse into a new CBS spin-off of the show set to premier sometime in 2011 (although reports vary on exactly when we’ll see it). In the “Criminal Minds” episode, “The Fight”, a new BAU (behavioral Analysis Unit) team worked a case with the original team, thus giving a lead in to the upcoming series in a method called “backdoor pilot” which has become a popular way for current hit television shows to lead in to a spin off. (Click here for my original report on the spin-off.)
The new series went without an official title for awhile but eventually was named “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”. The series comes with a full cast of experienced actors. What roles have they portrayed in the past?
Forest Whitaker as Sam Cooper
Whitaker is a prominent name in the entertainment industry. Over the course of 30 years, he has held over 80 roles and is known for portraying characters who are smooth, calming, and often soft spoken and insightful. He has had recurring roles in such television hits as “The Shield” and “ER” and was the host and narrator of the 2002 “Twilight Zone”. His most prominent film roles included “Good Morning, Vietnam” with Robin Williams, “Bloodsport” with Jean-Claude Van Damme, “Phenomenon” with John Travolta, and the science fiction blockbuster “Species”.
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia
Vangsness will continue her beloved “Criminal Minds” role as the colorful techie on this new spin-off. She has spent her time since 2005 portraying a fan favorite character. Before that, however, she only held a handful of screen roles, with her background mostly in theater where she won several awards including the Best Emerging Comic Actress by the Los Angeles Drama Critics.
Matt Ryan as Mick Rawson
Ryan also has a background in theater. He began screen acting in 2001 and has had a little over a dozen roles, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” his most well-known role to date.
Beau Garrett as Gina LaSalle
Playing the token tough gal of the group, Garrett’s screen career is roughly a new one, though she’s had supporting roles in such big films as “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” and the upcoming film “Tron”.
Michael Kelly as Jonathan “Prophet” Simms
In a soft spoken but edgy role that would’ve been a perfect match to many roles Forest Whitaker would have portrayed before “Criminal Minds”, Kelly has substantially more screen time than his two aforementioned co-stars above. He has had supporting roles in such known films as “Unbreakable” with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson and in “Changeling”, a film starring Angelina Jolie and directed by the legendary Clint Eastwood. In television, he’s guest starred in many hit shows such as “Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit”, “Judging Amy”, “CSI: Miami”, and “Fringe”, just to name a few. “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” will be his first regular cast role on a television series.
Janeane Garofalo as Beth Griffith
The role of Griffith wasn’t revealed in “The Fight” which exposed the other characters of the new show. As a comic turned actress who has held well over 100 varying roles on both film and television, Garofalo’s casting in “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” is a bit of a good surprise as fans wait to see what kind of character Beth Griffith will be.