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CBS' 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior' with Forest Whitaker hunts down strong ratings in premiere

February 17, 2011 | 11:00 am

Forestwhitaker Looks like CBS' new procedural "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" has profiled a solid start for itself.

The natural question was whether the "Criminal Minds" franchise would prove worthy of spinoff, a la the more-popular "NCIS." But Wednesday night any doubt was answered with a 10 p.m. time slot victory for "Suspect Behavior," which stars Forest Whitaker as FBI profiler Sam Cooper. The premiere
(12.9 million total viewers) easily swept past NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" (7.2 million) and ABC's "Off the Map" (4.3 million), according to the Nielsen Co.

For CBS, "Suspect Behavior" delivered its best numbers in the time slot in more than a year. And it held on to 99% of the 9 p.m. audience from the original "Criminal Minds," which is a sign of strong viewer interest.

Fox's "American Idol" -- with a two-hour drama-filled episode devoted to the singers dividing into groups -- dominated the night with an impressive 22.8 million average viewers.

Show Trackers, what did you think of the premiere of "Suspect Behavior"?

-- Scott Collins

Photo: Forest Whitaker stars as FBI profiler Sam Cooper. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times