Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Isn't Out to Scare You From Traveling Again

Going into CBS’ Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, one may wish to view the episodes as “teaching moments” and not let the frightful on-screen events scare you from ever getting your passport stamped again.

Premiering Wednesday, March 16, at 10/9c, Beyond Borders stars Gary Sinise (CSI: NY) as Jack Garrett, head of the FBI’s International Response Unit, a specialized division that solves crimes perpetrated against U.S. citizens abroad. Alana De La Garza (Forever), Daniel Henney (Hawaii Five-0), Tyler James Williams (The Walking Dead) and Annie Funke round out the team.

“Crime can happen anywhere, criminals are everywhere,” executive producer Erica Messer noted Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena. “[This show] might make you think twice in the way that you travel, but we certainly don’t want to scare anyone away from going anywhere in the world, because it is still a beautiful place out there.”

Instead, each episode will typically school the viewer on the sorts of dangers indigenous to specific places, and the roadblocks Americans might run into in the event of the unspeakable. “Culturally, we’re going to show you some differences and challenges that, as an American abroad, you might face and certainly that our team of heroes faces as they’re solving cases abroad,” Messer said.

As for the innate fright factor, Messer noted that the original Criminal Minds “has become less gory on-screen,” adding: “It’s not that the storytelling has gone soft, it’s just that we might not show you what we’ve shown you in past seasons. On Beyond Borders, there are things that are happening — organs are being harvested [in Episode 2] — but we try not to show you a lot of that. We’re not going to want to make you look away, but extreme things are happening that will make you think.”

Presented with the expected question of how/why Beyond Borders might succeed where Criminal Minds‘ first stab at a spinoff, Suspect Behavior, didn’t, EP Mark Gordon said that with the 2011 offshoot, “We were trying too hard to be different. [In creating a spinoff] you want something that’s fresh and different but at same time you want to honor the show you’re spinning off from.” Simply setting a Criminal Minds-type case in a different country each week landed Beyond Borders “correctly in the Criminal Minds family but with its own identity.”

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  1. Dean says:

    Gary Sinise is why I’ll be watching this however I’m worried it may be canned since Alana de la Garza is on it, good actress just not lucky when it comes to establishing tv shows.

    • Frank says:

      Unique premise, timing, time slots, the network, the content, advertising, marketing, etc – there are many factors to a show making it. I’ll be tuning in for them both.

  2. Maria says:

    I’m so happy that Alana has a new show! I may have to check this one out.

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    Wonder if Beyond Borders is going to be a much better CM spin-off than the short lived Suspect Behavior.

  4. Angela says:

    I definitely think the premise for this spin-off sounds better than the one for “Suspect Behavior”, so I’ll be giving it a look when it premieres. I hope it does do well. And I also hope that the team on this spin-off can gel as well as the cast does on the original series. The chemistry between characters is what really makes a show for me, so if these guys can get that right, then I’m all in :).

  5. herman1959 says:

    It sounds like they’ll rely heavily on the case-of-the-week aspect; this could be be good.

  6. HAP says:

    For a guy with but a single facial expression, Sinise has certainly had a long career.

  7. Kenneth says:

    Wait…where is Anna Gunn?

  8. Sheila says:

    How does Alana De La Garza keep getting work? She was terrible on Law & Order, terrible on Forever, why won’t she go away?

    • Shannon says:

      She was brilliant on Forever, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Her and Ioan were wonderful together.

    • pho says:

      She was one of my favorite things about Forever. Good chemistry with the lead, and good actress.

    • Mark says:

      Alana was great on Forever, and I liked her on Law & Order, as well. She’s one of the main reasons I’ll give this show a chance.

    • mary says:

      I liked her on L&O. She held her own opposite Roache. But everyone has their own opinions. Any particular reason you don’t like her?

    • Frank says:

      Well, a large contingent of people would disagree with you. Her performance on the shows you cite are probably part of the reason she’s continued to work.

  9. Diz says:

    This sounds promising. I’ll give it a shot.

  10. Bella says:

    I’m looking forward to this show, in large part because I’ll watch anything with Gary Sinise in it.