CM_SetReport Chat with Executive Producer Janine Sherman Barrois - 3-15-12
JSB: Hey guys, so what’s up? I’m ready to take your questions.
Hannah_CM: Hi Janine :) do you have a favourite episode?
JSB: Riding the Lightning and Bittersweet Science.
Hannah_CM: Soooo happy to hear about the renewal :) have the writers already started to think about what to do in season 8?
JSB: We are so excited. The show is doing extremely well. We keep going up in the ratings and yes, the writers are working on the first five episodes for next season! They're fantastic.
Marrymedunkle: What was the inspiration for writing the episode "I Love You, Tommy Brown?" I love female unsubs/their conviction.
JSB: So there is a big epidemic in this country where female teachers are abusing their male and female students. It's not talked about but it's so dangerous and upsetting that I felt it was something the show could do well. Teri Polo rocked it by the way. She was super creepy.
JJHotchner: Hi Janine! Solid episode last night! You have proven that it's okay to show the unsub's face as long as much is still left to be discovered through the profiling. :) In some of the episodes this season, it felt like viewers were always one step ahead of the team and some have been complaining the unsub is getting too much screen time. How do feel about that?
JSB: We are listening to the fans. Internally, we decide that some episodes will be filmic if we see the UnSub early and in others if we hold their identity back. We are definitely trying to mix it up.
hotchsscruff: Hi! I was wondering how you guys are planning on having Paget leave?
JSB: Whenever it happens, it will be exciting and dramatic. She is an amazing member of this team and family. I need to get some tissues.
JJHotchner: Can we expect any more female unsub's this season?
JSB: Not sure but we definitely want to do more. It helps to keep the show fresh! And we always get positive feedback when we do it.
TodaysMadness: How do you balance showing the unsub and the creepy things they do with integrating the personal lives of the team?
JSB: We break the story in the room and then when you're writing you sort of weave it in and out and depending on how it feels. I really wanted to deal with Garcia and Kevin and their placement in the show just came organic.
TodaysMadness: Who do you imagine is the bride for the wedding at the end of the season?
JSB: Wedding? There is gonna be a wedding?
Hannah_CM: When will the season finale air?
JSB: May 16th.
htlex: Is it just ep 23 that is JJ centric or ep 24 too?
JSB: They are going to be all hands on deck.
tabularossi: We've heard 7.22 is a Rossi-centric episode, and it's called "Profiling 101." Are we going to see Rossi in "expert" mode?
JSB: Yes, it's a very clever episode and you guys are going be very surprised by what it uncovers!
laurenreynoldsisdead: If you were an unsub, how would you kill?
JSB: I take of the first layer of skin of a persons entire body then put them in a pizza oven. I love pizza by the way.
iceprnce1: Are you going to write another episode.
JSB: I am working on episode two for next season. It's creepy and weird.
Hannah_CM: Any clues as to what might happen in any of the remaining episodes?
JSB: People will die. Bodies will drop and if I give it away you guys will be mad.
Amplifigaytion: Next week we apparently see Morgan drawing on some painful elements of his past - are we going to need tissues?
JSB: A Costco load. Like 18 boxes, seriously.
Hannah_CM: What kinds of shows do you like to watch yourself?
JSB: This is my favorite show but I also love Breaking Bad, Homeland, Dexter, Boardwalk, Nurse Jackie, The Slap, the Wire... still watch it on my DVR....Sherlock…
MattyBangBang: Hi JSB, can you tell us why you had Morgan be so blatantly rude to Kevin?
JSB: Morgan wasn't being rude, he didn't want to get involved with their relationship. I think he was privy to Garcia's feelings. It was a guttural feeling he had and wanted Kevin and Garcia to deal with their feelings together. I think he felt awkward but loves her! They had a lot of fun doing this. Garcia was amazing and we are going to continue to peel back layers of her character.
ComeOnPrettyBoy: Do Garcia's issues with getting married have anything to do with her parents (since we know the father that gave her her surname is her stepfather)?
JSB: Yes, I think it definitely has to do with her parents and I think she's scared. Really scared of that level of commitment. But the rate we are going we will have years to delve into her issues.
laurenreynoldsisdead: If you could have anyone guest star on CM, how would it be?
JSB: Angela Bassett, John Waters, Brian Cranston, Camryn Manheim...
HotchGlare: We hear so much about the other characters.. When do we learn something about Hotch or get a Hotch ep. He seems to miss out far too much lately.
JSB: Hotch has had a lot this year with his relationship with Beth. He has some great stuff coming up and you guys will be clapping for it. Seriously.
Sergiocushion: Which unsub would you least like to run into in a dark alley?
JSB: All of them. Everyone brings such fresh ideas that they are all scary.
TodaysMadness: When you write about the character's person life, do you have to go back to previous episodes to make sure the content is consistent?
JSB: We are all consistently looking at prior eps. Everyone in this company is a part of critiquing all the eps and making sure they are true to our show. We all feel ownership of the entire season because we make are mark on all the eps. That includes writers, staff, production... People are constantly working overtime to make this show one of the best in the world.
Hannah_CM: Why do you think Criminal Minds has been so successful?
JSB: I think people are secretly serial killers! And I also think everyone has a fantasy of being part of the law enforcement so we are all heroes too. So Criminal Minds does both!
criminalmindsfan93: Do you know when the episode that Matthew Gray Gubler directed is going to air and can you give us any hints as to what it'll be about?
JSB: We just saw the cut the other day. It airs April 4th and shall I say it is a masterpiece!
TodaysMadness: Do you consider what the fans opinion when you work on an episode?
JSB: Yes. A lot of you are extremely passionate in your criticisms so we listen but we have to write to the characters and not to everyone's feelings about them. It's a balance. Some of you have us in therapy!
htlex: How much input do the cast have in their character development?
JSB: They have a lot. We are constantly talking to them in the room or we go to their trailer. We all have the same goal and that is to make a fantastic show.
Hannah_CM: How long does it generally take to write an episode?
JSB: You get two weeks for the first draft then you have about two weeks of two or three more drafts. Prior to that you get a week to write an outline based upon how we broke the story in the room.
ComeOnPrettyBoy: Do the rules and wants of the network restrict the vision the writers have to CM?
JSB: Not really. CBS has been very supportive of our creative vision and knows that they have something special on their hands.
laurenreynoldsisdead: Which actor is most like their character?
JSB: They all have some traits that parallel! I can't call them out they are going to read this. I have a mortgage!!
htlex: Thanks for answering my questions... one more... any Morgan/Prentiss awesomeness coming up ;)
JSB: You are going to die!!!!!! LOL!
LLALALALA: where do you find out what the fans think of an episode?
JSB: I no longer read the blogs. The assistants let us know the pulse. The good, the bad, the ugly, the positive. It runs the gamut!
cm: CM's episodes this season are not good and the ratings and viewers sink a little deeper at each passing week. How did you guys got renewed?
JSB: Okay, we are doing amazing in the ratings. We are one of the best shows in the WORLD!! CBS loves us. The fans still love us. The show this year has been amazing. We got an early pick up. Shut the front door. WE ARE GOING TO BE HERE forever!!
ComeOnPrettyBoy: Are you excited about the fan video challenge the CM Set Report has up? Who is going to be judging it?
JSB: Yes, thanks to you guys... we are still standing STRONG!!! Trust me there are going to be some pretty famous judges involved... It could go American Idol style. Submit.
LLALALALA: PREACH IT SISTER.
laurenreynoldsisdead: Has CM made you super paranoid or more concious about people?
JSB: You guys make me paranoid!! No seriously the show definitely makes you more conscious of your surroundings.
jimmysulllivan: What is the hardest part in creating an unsub?
JSB: There have been so many done on the show that what's hard is trying to make ones that are different and fresh.
elle: Except...the numbers have gone down a bit. And CM has lost ground in key demographics. The numbers may still be high, but they aren't as high as they have been in the past. We get to see the numbers too.
JSB: I think we were top ten last week and we went up last night! You guys, people are happy. Stations are happy all OVER THE WORLD!!
tarynpreston: Do you ever feel sorry for an unsub (or maybe even attracted to them)?
JSB: I felt sorry for Jimmy Hall in the Bittersweet Science and I loved Ian Doyle.... Should I say I stole a photo of him from props!!
TodaysMadness: Is there an episode that you find is just too hard to watch?
JSB: They are all hard to watch. Especially the ones that deal with kids.
hotchsscruff: A lot of people have been rooting for Morgan/Reid (relationship wise). How do you feel about this?
JSB: We are going to delve into more character dynamics next year. We love Reid and Morgan and their friendship!
Amplifigarytion: What can CM do to remain different from all the other crime shows currently on the air? Is that a hard challenge, to avoid just doing the norm?
JSB: The show is inherently different then the other "Cop" shows. We deal with profiling and also get into the mind of the criminal while our team is trying to figure out why it happened not what or how it happened. I think that's why the show weekly feels fresh because they are all mini-movies.
Hannah_CM: Do you have a favourite line that you have wrote?
JSB: My favorite line last night was: "Look, you are Penelope's boo. And she is your baby girl, and what I'm about to embark on takes the keen insight of someone who knows her inside and out." You guys we have to rock and roll and get to breaking more stories. Thanks for being the best fans eva!
CuriousKitty73: This was my first live chat & I enjoyed it very much. CM is FAB! Thank you, Janine!