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The Mentalist is an American crime procedural television series which debuted on September 23, 2008 on CBS.


The Mentalist follows Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based in Sacramento, California. He has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his amazing skills of observation. Jane also makes frequent use of his mentalist abilities and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium using paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned. He abandoned his pretense out of remorse when his attention-seeking behavior attracted the attention of a serial killer who killed his wife and daughter. The CBI's real-life counterpart merged with another agency in 2007 to become the "Bureau of Investigation & Intelligence."


The pilot episode had an audience of 15.6 million viewers in its first airing, and 7.8 million in a re-airing three days later. It also introduced some of Jane's backstory, indicating that his wife and daughter had been murdered five years before the series began by a serial killer known as "Red John".

On October 15, 2008, CBS ordered a full season of The Mentalist. The December 2, 2008 episode ("Flame Red") was the highest-rated television show of the week, marking the first time a program in its first season had achieved that distinction since Desperate Housewives four years earlier.

On May 20, 2009, CBS renewed The Mentalist for a second season, which premiered on September 24, 2009 in the US and on September 22 on CTV in Canadamarker, as well as September 28, 2009 in Australia.

In Italymarker, it has been aired from April 28, 2009 on Mediaset pay-per-view Joi on the Premium Gallery and as of September 2, 2009 on Mediaset Commercial channel Italia 1. No date has been announced for other regions.

The series has moved to Thursdays at 10pm ET, following CSI.

On November 6, 2009, TNT announced that it had obtained exclusive syndication rights for The Mentalist and would begin airing old episodes of the series starting in the Fall of 2012.


On January 7, 2009, the show won the award for "Favorite New TV Drama" at the 35th People's Choice Awards.

Simon Baker received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 2009 Emmy Awards.

The series has been nominated for The International TV Dagger at the 2009 Crime Thriller Awards, an awards ceremony presented by the British Crime Writers' Association.


Due to the main character's ability to notice seemingly insignificant details, and draw conclusions from them and profile people, the show has drawn comparison to other television shows, most notably House, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Life, Monk, Profiler, and Psych. However, it has been noted that all these shows use a concept that was initially used by Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes novels. While it has been acknowledged that the concept is not a new one, the show has been praised for its "thoughtful execution".

The program Psych launched a commercial for a new season in autumn 2009, in which they implied that The Mentalist was a "carbon copy".}}

Wayne Friedman of TV Watch went as far as to suggest that the commercial benefited The Mentalist more than it did Psych, saying "One thing for sure: If Psych makes another network run, NBC's marketing chiefs won't air the current promo, which gives CBS a bit of free marketing spin."


Patrick Jane (Simon Baker)
The series protagonist and the Mentalist of the show. He had earned a living as a psychic but after series antagonist Red John murders his wife and daughter in retaliation for Jane's mocking, Jane admits he was a fraud and works as a police consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation. Though a bit eccentric, he is very perceptive and much of what he finds helps solve the cases they are investigating. He is brilliant and very in-tune to what is around him, but is often cocky, playful, and annoyingly right, all characteristics that earn him friendship in each of his colleagues. However, he has shown a much more sinister side concerning Red John, a serial killer who murdered his family. When dealing with him, Jane becomes intense, focused, and willing to sacrifice anything, including his life, to catch him.

Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney)
Though Patrick often annoys her with his unusual behavior and going behind her back, she views him as an invaluable member of the team and will back him up on some of his most unusual theories. Her mother was killed in a drunk driving accident, leaving her to take care of her brothers and her alcoholic father. She is also the only member of the team he trusts with details of his past and they work well together, despite his attitude often causing her problems with local law enforcement. Her team was responsible for the Red John case until Agent Sam Bosco became director of the new Serial Crimes Unit, which took over the responsibility for catching Red John. She and agent Bosco, who was Lisbon's mentor when she was a junior agent, dated a long time ago and they both share a dark secret.

Kimball Cho (Tim Kang)
Often portrayed as Jane's "right-hand man" he seems the closest to Jane, often requesting help regarding finding evidence, though he does get annoyed with Jane's habit of not telling him everything he knows concerning a case. He has a dry sense of humor and is shown to be friends with Rigsby. Probably the most down-to-earth of the group, he is often the one who sees through Jane's parlor tricks. When Jane tells Van Pelt that he was moving a toothpick across the table with telekinesis, Cho simply says, "He's blowing on it." He was in juvenile hall prior to serving in the military and then joining the CBI. He was secretly called "Ernie" by the Bosco team, who also refer to Rigsby as "Bert."

Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman)
Arson specialist, he develops strong feelings for Grace Van Pelt, causing him to be overprotective of her. He didn't initially act on them, as romance between agents is against regulations, but the two gave in to their feelings and have begun seeing each other secretly. He is a good friend to Jane, though, like the others, is often annoyed by his ways. He is shown to have a good friendship with Cho. His father was a biker, which led to his own hatred of bikers.

Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti)
The newest member to the CBI. She has a deep belief in religion and psychics and will butt heads with Patrick every time he dismisses it or does something she sees as morally or religiously inappropriate. Van Pelt is secretly involved with Rigsby, after months of reluctance due to the regulations prohibiting romantic relationships between agents. She is very strict, organized, and somewhat high strung, but is overall a very valuable addition to the team.

Recurring characters

Red John
The unseen antagonist of the series. Jane has stated that "Red John" sees himself as a "showman", as he always makes sure that his trademark, the smiley face drawn with the victim's blood, is the first thing one sees before one sees the body. The trademark face is created by using the index, middle and ring fingers of his right hand together in one motion, Red John wears rubber gloves for this act. After Jane mocked Red John on a talk show, Red John retaliated by killing Jane's wife and daughter. Though only focused on three times during the first season, he is portrayed to be very intelligent. For instance, Red John hacked into the CBI's computer system and has been using the system to monitor them for some time. So far he has been known to have three accomplices, a man that has been mentioned to have died in prison and that man's son, who held Red John in high regard. The third was revealed to be Bosco's assistant in the episode "His Red Right Hand." However, Jane states Red John doesn't have partners but tools. The episodes that Red John is involved in are gradually becoming more and more frequent as is Jane's obsession over "Catching"(finding) him and "taking care of him"(Killing him).

Virgil Minelli (Gregory Itzin)
Minelli was the Special Agent in Charge of the CBI until the second-season episode "His Red Right Hand," wherein he retired from the CBI after the murders of Sam Bosco and his team in the same episode.

Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney)
Bosco was a Senior Special Agent with the CBI. He was Lisbon's mentor when she was a junior agent. He became director of the new Serial Crimes Unit, which took over the responsibility for catching Red John. He had a severe hatred for Jane as he was not a police officer and Bosco believed he corrupted the people around him. He also had secret feelings for Teresa (that everyone besides her seemed to notice) even though he was married. Bosco and his team were murdered in the second-season episode "His Red Right Hand," shot by their secretary Rebecca, who was a mole sent by Red John. Rebecca, in turn, was fatally poisoned by Red John (or another of his "partners") while being transported to prison. After she died, Jane was distraught. When Jane visited Bosco, he asked Jane to kill, not arrest, Red John to which Jane responded that was always the plan. Bosco then whispered something inaudible to Jane and went into cardiac arrest. Later the CBI team were seen mourning Bosco back at headquarters after attending his funeral.

Main crew

Episode list


Season Timeslot (EST) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Ranking Viewers

(in millions)
1 Tuesday 9:00pm/8c September 23, 2008 May 19, 2009 2008–2009 #6 17.47
2 Thursday 10:00pm/9c September 24, 2009 Spring 2010 2009–2010 #5 17.19 (to date)

US ratings

Season 1 (2008–09)

# Episode Air Date Timeslot (EST) Rating Share 18-49 (Rating/Share) Viewers (m) Weekly Rank (#)
1 "Pilot" September 23, 2008 Tuesday

9:00 P.M.
9.5 15 3.5/9 15.6 #10
2 "Red Hair and Silver Tape" September 30, 2008 9.7 15 3.6/9 15.5 #6
3 "Red Tide" October 14, 2008 9.4 14 3.4/8 14.9 #7
4 "Ladies in Red" October 21, 2008 9.7 15 3.5/9 15.3 #6
5 "Redwood" October 28, 2008 10.1 16 3.9/9 16.1 #7
6 "Red Handed" November 11, 2008 10.1 15 4.0/10 16.5 #8
7 "Seeing Red" November 18, 2008 9.9 15 3.5/8 15.8 #7
8 "The Thin Red Line" November 25, 2008 9.7 15 3.7/9 15.9 #5
9 "Flame Red" December 2, 2008 11.7 18 3.8/9 18.8 #1
10 "Red Brick and Ivy" December 16, 2008 11.6 18 4.2/11 19.3 #2
11 "Red John's Friends" January 6, 2009 12.2 18 4.0/10 19.5 #4
12 "Red Rum" January 13, 2009 11.2 16 3.8/9 18.1 #7
13 "Paint It Red" January 18, 2009 Sunday

10:00 P.M.
10.0 17 4.6/12 16.4 #10
14 "Crimson Casanova" February 10, 2009 Tuesday

9:00 P.M.
12.0 18 4.2/10 19.7 #3
15 "Scarlett Fever" February 17, 2009 11.3 17 3.8/9 18.3 #5
16 "Bloodshot" March 17, 2009 9.8 16 3.2/8 15.5 #6
17 "Carnelian, Inc." March 24, 2009 Tuesday

10:00 P.M.
11.2 18 3.2/9 17.8 #4
18 "Russet Potatoes" March 31, 2009 Tuesday

9:00 P.M.
10.5 16 3.8/9 16.9 #6
19 "A Dozen Red Roses" April 7, 2009 10.3 16 3.6/9 16.8 #6
20 "Red Sauce" April 28, 2009 10.5 16 3.7/9 16.9 #4
21 "Miss Red" May 5, 2009 10.4 16 3.6/9 16.7 #5
22 "Blood Brothers" May 12, 2009 10.2 16 3.3/8 16.2 #5
23 "Red John's Footsteps" May 19, 2009 10.4 16 3.7/10 17.2 #5

January 18's episode followed the AFC Championship Game
  • 6:44-10:21pm ET: 40.64 million viewers, 14.7 (18-49 demo rating), household peak: 25.5 rating (10-10:15)
  • 10:21-10:34pm: AFC Championship Post Game - 25.44 million viewers, 9.0, household peak: 15.0 rating
  • 10:34-11:34pm: The Mentalist 16.39, 4.6, household peak: 10.6 rating

The NFC Championship peaked at 6:00-6:15pm with a 25.4 household rating.

Season 2 (2009–10)

# Episode Air Date Timeslot (EST) Rating Share 18-49 (Rating/Share) Viewers (m) Weekly Rank (#)
1 "Redemption" September 24, 2009 Thursday

10:00 P.M.
9.6 16 3.6/10 15.07 #11
2 "The Scarlett Letter" October 1, 2009 10.1 17 3.8/10 15.75 #6
3 "Red Badge" October 8, 2009 9.4 16 3.3/9 14.70 #6
4 "Red Menace" October 15, 2009 9.7 16 3.5/10 15.38 #6
5 "Red Scare" October 29, 2009 15.53 #8
6 "Black Gold and Red Blood" November 5, 2009 3.6/10 16.21 #8
7 "Red Bulls" November 12, 2009 16.17 #9
8 "His Right Red Hand" November 19, 2009

UK ratings

Season 1 (2009)

The Mentalist airs on Thursday nights at 9pm on Five. The first season will be released on DVD February 1, 2010 in the UK.

Episode Number Episode Air Date Viewers (million) Ranka
1 Pilot March 26, 2009 4.21 #1
2 Red Hair and Silver Tape April 2, 2009 3.80 #1
3 Red Tide April 9, 2009 3.45 #1
4 Ladies in Red April 16, 2009 2.91 #2
5 Redwood April 23, 2009 3.03 #2
6 Red Handed April 30, 2009 2.87 #2
7 Seeing Red May 7, 2009 2.57 #5
8 The Thin Red Line May 14, 2009 3.00 #2
9 Flame Red May 21, 2009 2.89 #2
10 Red Brick and Ivy May 28, 2009 2.08 #3
11 Red John's Friends June 4, 2009 3.03 #1
12 Red Rum June 11, 2009 3.16 #2
13 Paint it Red June 18, 2009 3.12 #2
14 Crimson Casanova June 25, 2009 2.85 #2
15 Scarlett Fever July 2, 2009 2.90 #2
16 Bloodshot July 9, 2009 2.52 #2
17 Carnelian, Inc. July 16, 2009 2.34 #2
18 Russet Potatoes July 23, 2009 2.19 #2
19 A Dozen Red Roses July 30, 2009 2.19 #2
20 Red Sauce August 6, 2009 2.24 #3
21 Miss Red August 13, 2009 2.19 #3
22 Blood Brothers August 20, 2009 2.85 #3
23 Red John's Footsteps 2.87 #2

a Ranks are for FIVE weekly, not for overall TV.

* Overnight ratings.On August 20, 2009, the night of the double-bill season finale, FIVE aired two half-hour specials at 8pm and 8.30pm. The first "The Mentalist: Revealed" was watched by 1.22 million and was the 22nd most watched broadcast on FIVE for the week and the second "Inside The Mentalist" was watched by 1.31 million and was the 17th most watched broadcast on FIVE for the week.

DVD releases

DVD Name Region 1

(US and Canada)
Region 2

(UK and Ireland)
Region 4

No of discs No of episodes
The Complete First Season September 22, 2009 February 1, 2010 September 23, 2009 6 23

International broadcast

Country Network Start date
Australia Nine Network Season 1: October 5, 2008
Season 2: September 28, 2009
Austriamarker ORF 1 March 1, 2009
Argentinamarker Warner Channel November 6, 2008 Belgiummarker VT4 (Dutch)
BeTV/La Une (French)
February 4, 2009
May 18, 2009/September 2009
Brazilmarker Warner Channel November 6, 2008
Bulgariamarker PRO.BG September 22, 2009
Canadamarker A Channel (English)
CTV (English)
V (French)

September 23, 2008
January 9, 2009
September 2, 2009

Czech Republicmarker TV Nova November 30, 2009
Croatiamarker RTL Televizija March 4, 2009
Denmarkmarker TV 3 February 2, 2009
Finlandmarker MTV3 September 3, 2009
Francemarker TPS Star/TF1marker April 20, 2009/September 2009
Germanymarker Sat.1 March 1, 2009
Greecemarker Nova Cinema February 4, 2009
Hong Kongmarker TVB Pearl July 15, 2009
Hungarymarker RTL Klub February 2, 2009
Indiamarker WB TBC 2010
Irelandmarker RTÉ One April 16, 2009
Israelmarker yes stars Action HD November 16, 2009
Italymarker Joi
Italia 1
April 28, 2009
September 2, 2009
Latin America Warner Channel November 2008
Malaysiamarker NTV7 July 11, 2009
Middle east MBC Action April 2009
The Netherlandsmarker SBS 6 January 1, 2009
New Zealandmarker TVNZ TV2 August 10, 2009
Norwaymarker TV3 January 7, 2009
Philippinesmarker C/S 9 June 15, 2009(?)
Polandmarker N
Canal+ Poland
December 3, 2008
April 16, 2009
Portugalmarker RTP2
May 12, 2009
September 19, 2009
Singaporemarker Channel 5 July 28, 2009
Slovakiamarker TV Markíza
Spainmarker La Sexta/TNT January, 2009
South Africa M-Net January 14, 2009
South Koreamarker tvN April 6, 2009
Swedenmarker TV3 February 17, 2009
Switzerlandmarker TSR 1 (French)
3 Plus TV (German)
La1 (Italian)

September 2, 2009
March 23, 2009
August 26, 2009

Thailandmarker True Series July 9, 2009
Turkeymarker DiziMax February, 2009
United Kingdommarker Five/Five USA March 26, 2009



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