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February 5, 2007
'Super' snip to 'Criminal Minds'


My colleague, Bee TV columnist Rick Kushman, files this missive, which will be featured in his Wednesday column....

...And now, we come to the matter of “Criminal Minds” (photo above) and Channel 13 on Super Bowl Sunday.

First off, if you were watching, and thought you got cheated out of an ending, that’s not actually what happened. Sacramento viewers saw the whole episode, but got cut off from the tease to Wednesday night’s concluding episode, as well as the credits.

It was an honest mistake on the part of Channel 13. ... You gotta give them a pass.

Here’s how Channel 13’s general manager Bruno Cohen explains it:

The station had its A team working Sunday, since the game would draw, it turns out, 93 million-plus viewers. Because the time for a football game is fluid, CBS had to wait until the game finished to send its station what is called an “out time.” That’s when “Criminal Minds” would end and Channel 13 could start the news. (It was 8:26.53 p.m.)

Cohen says his people, rechecking everything as they are supposed to, called the West Coast CBS people. And maybe there was confusion on the CBS end, maybe the Channel 13 people asked the question badly, but the CBS operators said, “Criminal Minds” would end at 8:25:42.

That’s what Channel 13 put into its computer. It turned out, 8:25:42 was the exact end of the action - that last scene in the cornfield was really the last scene of a cliffhanger - and the remaining 1:11 was for the promo for part two and the credits.

“But people didn’t know that,” Cohen says. “It appeared that we cut away from action and people were justifiably upset.”

If you don’t believe him, or if you just want to see the Sunday episode, CBS is repeating it Wednesday night (at 7) before the concluding episode (at 8).

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