CBS is taking another stab at expanding its popular Criminal Minds franchise. The network is developing a new spin-off series that will first air as an episode of Criminal Minds in February.
If ordered to series, it would become the second planted spin-off from Criminal Minds. The first, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, aired in 2011 but was canceled after a single season
Criminal Minds executive producer Erica Messer will write the episode and executive produce with Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper. The episode (and subsequent series) will focus on a division of the FBI that helps Americans in trouble abroad.
No casting is attached yet to the project. Planted spin-offs are a popular way to film a series pilot while utilizing the episodic budget of the series from which it is spawned.
Suspect Behavior starred Forest Whitaker, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Kelly, Beau Garrett, Matt Ryan and Kirsten Vangsness (who did double duty with the mother Criminal Minds ship).
Criminal Minds is currently in its tenth season; Messer has been with the show since it began. Her credits also include Charmed, The OC and Alias. ABC Studios, CBS Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company are behind the show and the potential new spin-off.