Which Other Recent Oscar Winners Could Be Headlining CBS Crime Spinoffs?

In one of the more surprising casting choices announced in the new year, Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker is said to be in final negotiations for a leading role in CBS's upcoming Criminal Minds spinoff, a testament to either the hard economic times or else the scarcity of solid feature film roles these days. After all, the star of The Last King of Scotland just earned an Academy Award in 2007, the golden ticket for most actors and actresses to their pick of Hollywood roles for at least several years. If Whitaker is already cashing his Oscar pass in for a lucrative role on a CBS procedural, what other recent Academy Award recipients might be ready to lead a crime procedural spinoff on the Tiffany network?

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Jennifer Hudson

Academy Award: Best Supporting Actress, Dreamgirls (2006)

Spinoff: The Mentalista

Pitch: A second generation psychic who emigrated from the Dominican Republic, Ana Diaz was recruited by the Florida Bureau of Investigation as a police consultant after helping track down the Miami Monstruo, a serial murderer. In addition to her inherited medium ability, Ana frequently employs investigative methods learned through watching Telemundo mysteries.

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Adrien Brody

Academy Award: Best Actor, The Pianist (2002)

Spinoff: CSI: Chicago

Pitch: Hank "Koz" Kozlowski is head investigator of the Chicago Police Department, a hardscrabble cop with little tolerance for errors, enormous pride for his heritage and a penchant for misquoting Springsteen lyrics. Koz's mother often brings authentic Polish lunches into the precinct to Koz's dismay.

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Marcia Gay Harden

Academy Award: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Pollock (2000)

Spinoff: Criminal Hearts

Pitch: Grace McAllister is a single mother who understands the complex emotions of killers. As the only one of four sisters not killed by the Mt. Washington Menace (a serial killer who killed women in the Boston area and buried them near Mt. Washington in New Hampshire), Grace learned to forgive through prayer and has been helping criminals work through their troubles ever since, giving each a hand-beaded rosary once her work is complete.

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Hilary Swank

Academy Awards: Best Actress, Million Dollar Baby (2004); Best Actress, Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Spinoff: NCIS: NOLA

Pitch: Special Agent Georgiana Gibson was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the late nineties, quit her job and fell into a deep depression until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For the city, the flood was a disaster, but for Georgiana, it signified a baptism and a fresh start.



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