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Mandy Patinkin is currently on Showtime’s acclaimed series Homeland, which is gearing up for its second season. In an interview about the series, Patinkin reflected on his past television work, which has included Chicago Hope and Criminal Minds.
Patinkin slammed the CBS series Criminal Minds, which is entering its eighth season this fall. The actor starred on the series’ first two seasons, then abruptly left.
“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place,” he told The New Yorker. “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”
He also explained why Homeland is different than Criminal Minds.
“I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” he said. But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about. A show like Homeland is the antidote. It asks why there’s a need for violence in the first place.”
As Deadline notes, Patinkin also left Chicago Hope after its second season, even though it won him an Emmy. He left that show on good terms, though, telling the New Yorker:
“My kids were little, we were working sixteen-hour days, and I never got to see them.”
He also starred on Showtime’s Dead Like Me, which lasted just two seasons before it was cancelled. Showtime is owned by CBS.
Homeland’s second season premieres on Sunday, Sept. 30, while Criminal Minds premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 26.