A statement from CBS Paramount Network Television and ABC Studios says, "Mandy Patinkin asked to be released from his role on 'Criminal Minds.' We have honored this request, which was not in any way connected to contract renegotiations or salary issues. His departure ... will be explained to audiences in an episode to be filmed in the near future and broadcast early next season. We thank Mandy for helping to make 'Criminal Minds' a strong and successful series, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. A new character will be added to the series for next season." Patinkin's representatives also issued a statement, which reads, "Due to creative differences, Mandy has asked not to return to 'Criminal Minds' this season. Mandy would like to thank the studios and network for releasing him from the series and he wishes the cast and crew continued success in all of their endeavors and looks forward to continuing to work with the Disney and CBS companies in other capacities in the future."
"Criminal Minds," according to the show's official website, "revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Special Agent Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) is the FBI's top behavioral analyst, working with the Behavioral Analysis Unit lead by Special Agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), a family man who is able to gain people's trust and unlock their secrets. Also on the team are Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), the daughter of high-powered diplomats who recently joined the team and must prove her worth to Gideon and Hotchner; Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), an expert on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), a classically misunderstood genius whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer "JJ" Jareau (AJ Cook), a confident young agent who acts as the unit liaison for the team, and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), a computer wizard who helps research the cases. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators' motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them."
Mandy Patinkin won a Tony Award for his role as Che in the Broadway mounting of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita. His theatrical work includes roles in The Wild Party, Sunday in the Park with George, The Secret Garden and The Knife. An Emmy Award winner for his work on "Chicago Hope," his other screen credits include "Yentl," "Ragtime," "Dick Tracy," "Broken Glass," "Life with Mikey" and "The Princess Bride." Patinkin's latest solo recording, "Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim," is available on the Nonesuch label.