'The Mentalist' with Simon Baker may leave CBS for future seasons

By Daniel S Levine,

The Mentalist, CBS’ popular crime drama with Simon Baker, may not be calling the eye network home for much longer. Producer Warner Bros. Television is reportedly shopping the project to other networks after six seasons on CBS.

WBTV is apparently nervous that CBS might decide not to renew the show. It was noticeably absent when the network renewed a crop of current shows in March. According to sources for Entertainment Weekly and Deadline, the studio is talking with other networks about airing a potential seventh season. Both broadcast and cable networks have been approached.

The situation sounds similar to NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which moved to NBCUniversal’s USA Network, notes Deadline. However, CBS itself doesn’t have a cable sister network that would be a good home for The Mentalist and The CW certainly wouldn’t be a good place for it. That network is home to young adult/teen focused dramas.

TNT looks like the best landing spot, since, like USA in the CI situation, it already airs syndicated repeats. Time Warner is the parent company of both TNT and WBTV.

The Mentalist was recently moved to Sundays as a lead-in for The Good Wife. The show, created by Bruno Heller, has been forced to move in a new direction after Jane (Baker) finally killed his nemesis, Red John. Its current season is its’ lowest rated so far, averaging 11.6 million viewers and a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic.

Heller told EW that he would be happy if the season six finale turns out to be a series finale. “It will be a very pleasing and satisfying series finale if that’s what happens and if not its a very pleasing and satisfying precursor to a new season,” he told the magazine.

Heller is currently developing Fox’s Batman prequel series Gotham.

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