Joe Mantegna is to replace Mandy Patinkin in U.S. TV drama CRIMINAL MINDS after The Princess Bride star quit the show at the beginning of the summer (07).
Patinkin refused to attend script meetings and mutually agreed with producers to exit the show. He will appear in his final episode on 3 October (07).
And Mantegna will step in to lead the cast after producers considered filling the gap left by Patinkin with Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel and Michael Keaton.
The Godfather: Part III star admits he jumped at the chance to join the cast.
He tells TV Guide magazine, "I really enjoy the show."
Mantegna reveals he's currently taking Criminal Minds 'classes', re-watching all existing episodes and talking to FBI experts, so he can nail his role as Agent David Rossi when he joins the cast during the sixth season of the drama later this year (07).
He adds, "I've got to jump in and hit the ground running."