Off the case: Patinkin goes out of 'Minds'

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Mandy Patinkin and the producers of "Criminal Minds" confirmed Monday that the actor is leaving the CBS drama after two years.

ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television and Patinkin issued statements Monday confirming that he has exited the series (HR 7/13).

"Last week, Mandy Patinkin asked to be released from his role on 'Criminal Minds,' " the studios said in a joint statement. "We have honored this request, which was not in any way connected to contract renegotiations or salary issues. His departure from the series will be explained to audiences in an episode to be filmed in the near future and broadcast early next season."

The statement issued on Patinkin's behalf said that his departure was because of creative differences. Rumors about Patinkin's imminent departure began circulating last week when he didn't show up for a table read and when it became clear that he was lightly featured in the show's third-season opener.

It's not the first time Patinkin has departed a successful show early on. He also left his Emmy-winning role on CBS' "Chicago Hope" during its second season, reportedly to spend more time with his family.

The studios added that a new character will be added to "Minds" for next season but didn't provide further details.

Patinkin's statement also noted his appreciation to the studios and network for releasing him from "Minds" and said that he "looks forward to continuing to work with the Disney and CBS companies in other capacities in the future."

Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.
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