Let’s start off this article with a hot take on “The Mentalist” — CBS made a terrible mistake in canceling it. It’s been almost three years since the show ended, but if you look at many of the other shows that have come on since in the 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. Eastern timeslots. The original “CSI” fared slightly worse, “Battle Creek” was quickly canceled, “The Good Wife” was a critical favorite but a so-so performer, and “Elementary” has struggled mightily. The only CBS Sunday show since the end of “The Mentalist” to fare better in adults 18-49 is “NCIS: Los Angeles” this season, and that airs at a much better timeslot at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Stop for a minute and think about a one-two punch of “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “The Mentalist.” You could move “Madam Secretary” to 10:00, and all of a sudden you’d have a lineup that could be pretty powerful for CBS. Is it too little, too late now to consider bringing “The Mentalist” back? For the latest edition of our ongoing TV Revivals series, we do at the very least think of this as a worthy subject of conversation.
How the show ended – Everything was, to be fair, tied up in a pretty neat bow. Jane (Simon Baker) and Lisbon (Robin Tunney) were married in the closing minutes, and she even told him that she was pregnant! Jane had a chance to move forward and have a happy life despite everything that was taken from him by Red John. Those demons were finally exorcised.
Yet, at the same time, this is Patrick Jane. It’s hard to ever see either him or his wife ever living anything resembling a normal life. You have to think that they would get themselves mixed up in some trouble and some cases again.
How to bring it back – This is pretty easy to figure out. Bring the show back on Sundays, this time with the premise being that Jane and Lisbon are parents who continue to work on solving various cases, while at the same time working to raise their child (and maybe they have another at this point). You don’t have to have them with the FBI anymore; maybe they’ve got their own practice and consult with a local police department. The strength of this show was the cast more so than the scale of any of the individual cases. There’s something fun about seeing Jane as a husband and a father, and you could look at his dangerous life through a new lens.
Could it happen? – While it’d be awesome if it happened, it’s pretty unlikely now that we’re so far removed from the show airing. Everyone involved has moved on, and the best hope that it could have would be as a proof-of-concept six or eight-episode run somewhere. The biggest thing that we want to highlight here is mostly that in retrospect, “The Mentalist” going off the air may have been the beginning of ratings atrophy for CBS’ Sunday-night lineup.
Do you think that “The Mentalist” should be brought back? Share in the poll below! Meanwhile, head over here if you do want to see some other editions in our TV Revivals series. (Photo: CBS.)