CBS Plots 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff From Showrunner Erica Messer

Erica Messer - P 2014
Craig Sjodin

Erica Messer - P 2014

CBS is looking into making another spinoff. In the middle of a season that's seen the cable network order new iterations of NCIS and CSI, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that CBS is now prepping a potential companion to Criminal Minds.

The ABC Studios drama, produced in association with CBS Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company, will film a planted spinoff in February — written and executive produced by Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer. (Messer is joined as EP on the project by Gordon and Nick Pepper.)

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The spinoff, which will air as a Criminal Minds episode later in its 10th season, focuses on a division of the FBI that helps American citizens encountering trouble abroad. No casting choices have been made yet.

It's no real surprise that CBS would consider stretching the Criminal Minds brand even further. It remains one of the highest-rated dramas on broadcast TV, even now that it has passed the 200-episode mark. Criminal Minds is currently averaging a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 14.6 million viewers.

This is not the first time CBS has tried to get more life out of Criminal Minds. The first spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, started as a backdoor pilot itself during the series' fifth season. Though ordered to series, it did not catch on and only 13 episodes were produced for a midseason 2010-11 run.

In addition to her work on Criminal Minds, Messer served as a writer on Alias, The OC and Charmed. She originally worked as a development assistant at Fox before she took her first job on a series with Party of Five.

Messer is repped by UTA.