Hoping to finally close the Case of the Vanishing Criminal Minds Star, reporters at today's CBS Television Critics Association panel confronted president Nina Tassler about the exact nature of the "creative differences" that might induce an actor to flee a successful series without explanation. Clarified Tassler:
"When he approached us and said, 'I want to be released,' and we talked about it internally, we realized that this was the moment in time where we knew we had to address it, and we did and were able to accommodate him," she told a gathering of TV critics in Beverly Hills.
In a statement issued on his behalf by the show's producers, Patinkin said his departure was "due to creative differences." The producers added that salary and contract issues were not at issue.
Pressed for further details during the network's semiannual presentation to TV critics, Tassler insisted unspecified "personal issues" were behind Patinkin's move. Asked to reconcile her explanation with his, she said, "I think creative differences is a euphemism for personal issues."
To her credit, the discreet Tassler refused to entertain reporters' follow-up questions about what "personal issues" might be a euphemism for, preferring instead to wish the actor the best of luck with all of his future suddenly-quitting-hit-shows-under-mysterious-circumstances endeavors, and even generously offering to send Patinkin's headshot over to NBC colleague Ben Silverman for one of his headline-grabbing talent reclamation projects.