Thursday, December 27, 2007
CRIMINAL MINDS FANATIC LOOKS BACK AT 2007.
Criminal Minds 2007: This has been one hell of a year for me & Criminal Minds. The year started out with my trip to the Criminal Minds set and having the opportunity to meet so many of the wonderful people who work on our show. Hugs from Shemar Moore are too special to even describe but I won't ever forget them; lunch with A.J. Cook and Matthew Gray Gubler which was just plain fun. Visiting with Kirsten Vangsness was certainly one of the best parts of the trip. She is kind, humble and so obviously genuine. Meeting Scott David and Gina Garcia Sharp was terrific. Watching the amazing cast shoot "Ashes and Dust" and "Honor Among Thieves" was thrilling and informative. Meeting Ed Bernero scared me the first time he walked into the room. Ed has a presence. It took about 60 seconds to realize that this man is sweet and wonderful. Paget Brewster earned herself a fan for life with her gentle kindness and loving heart. Watching Thomas Gibson work an 11 hour day really gave me a taste of just how hard our actors work. Realizing that the crew had worked even more hours than him that day taught me just how difficult it is to produce a show like Criminal Minds and how hard all the crew really work. Talking with and watching Andrew Wilder work was incredible. It is not often you are given the opportunity to meet and really talk to your favorite TV writer. I won't rehash the entire trip but it was a great experience and very eye opening. The year was certainly off to a good start for me as a Criminal Minds fan and the show was doing very well in the ratings. It was all good.
Several months later, Mandy Patinkin threw a nutty and quit without warning leaving the entire Criminal Minds writing staff with seven virtually worthless scripts and a production company in shock. Ed Bernero told us the truth when nobody else had the balls to do it or the respect to think we deserved the truth. An endless stream of potential replacements' names flowed rampant on the internet which only enticed the mainstream media to call the show "dead and dying". Joe Mantegna was announced as our newest star by Ed Bernero which caused a backlash from CBS. God, how those people hate it when someone tells the truth. Thanks go to Ed for caring enough about us to not wait for the white bread announcement to come from the network. Joe was announced and once again the media went into overtime predicting the day in which the show would officially tank. Criminal Minds fans united behind Ed Bernero and the show and resolved that this just wasn't going to happen. Let's not forget that while all this was going on we all knew that there was a potential writers strike looming over our heads. Our writers pulled it together and everyone associated with the show worked their collective butts off and the third season of Criminal Minds started.
Criminal Minds' third season had so many things stacked up against its chances of being succesful. While the media waited to close the coffin and many fans held their breath the show quickly found its pace. It wasn't the perfect beginning but it was enough to remind everyone why they loved the show in the first place. We watched Gideon leave the BAU, we listened to Mandy Patinkin read the "letter" that no true fan of the show didn't immediately know was written for US by Ed Bernero and we said goodbye. One stumbling block gone. The ratings were good and the critics stayed quiet. We enjoyed our cherished six remaining stars and we enjoyed the incredible writing of our writers. Criminal Minds fans are not known for liking change so Joe Mantegna's introduction was apt to start many conversations and it did. Rossi entered the Criminal Minds family with mixed reviews from fans as was predicted. By now our ratings were no longer good. They were outstanding. Our top 20 show was consistently in the top ten and the critics shut up. Rossi found a home and we all waited to see if there was really going to be a strike.
The WGA went on strike leaving Criminal Minds with a handful of episodes left to air. Ed Bernero explained the strike personally on the blog to the show's fans. In the midst of walking picket lines and worrying about not only their own futures but those of their co-workers that were let go from their jobs by CBS and Disney our writers have spent time with us in the chat room talking about everything but spoilers to the absolute delight of the fans. Kirsten Vangsness and Gina Garcia Sharp visited the blog again to say hello and show their support for the writers. Criminal Minds fans rallied behind the writers and started a calling and emailing campaign to voice their anger to CBS, Disney and the advertisers that is still ongoing. The Criminal Minds Assistance Fund was started by Stacy and me to aid the wonderful crew of the show. Fans of the show have and are still contributing to that fund. CBS pulled our last two new remaining episodes off of the schedule and still the repeats stay strong in the ratings.
On Christmas Eve Ed sent us a very sweet letter with his reflections on this past year. He talked of the possible need for new beginnings and his appreciation of its fans. I often think that Ed is the only person in Hollywood that understands that the relationship between a show and it's fans is more important than a two page glossy article written in a CBS approved magazine. It isn't about showing your face only during the bad times but also sharing the good times. The relationship between Ed and the fans of Criminal Minds is cemented for all time as it should be because he has earned it. I hope we have many reasons to celebrate with Ed in 2008. I hope for a lot of things. Work for those sitting idle. Appreciation for the writers and a new contract. Hopes & prayers are great.
The one sure thing that I know is that a repeat of Criminal Minds is better that anything new another show airs. Criminal Minds is a top ten show. Our writers are gifted. Everyone knows that. I owe enormous thanks to Stacy who is as responsible for this blog, the CM Yahoo group and the CMF website as I am and to all the moderators of those groups that work so hard all across the world to bring fans together in appreciation of the show and in friendship. I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday season and has a safe, healthy and happy New Year.