Aunjanue Ellis joins CBS' 'Mentalist'

Actress set to play new bureau chief, replacing Gregory Itzin

Meet the new boss on "The Mentalist."

Aunjanue Ellis has joined the cast of the sophomore CBS drama in a heavily recurring role.

She will play the beautiful but tough new head of the California Bureau of Investigation who is installed following the resignation of the unit's former chief, Virgil Minelli, played by Gregory Itzin. (Itzin recently signed on to return to "24," reprising his role as former President Charles Logan.)

She is brought in to restore discipline and morale to the division after the murder of three agents, including Agent Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney), and will be Agent Teresa Lisbon's (Robin Tunney) new supervisor.

The Warner Bros. TV-produced series revolves around Lisbon's team and the help they get from independent consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker).

Ellis' debut on "Mentalist" is tentatively slated for April.

The actress, who appeared in "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," recently co-starred on Broadway in Joe Turner's "Come and Gone" and wrapped the actioner "Game of Death." She is repped by ICM and TMT Entertainment.
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