First airing September 23, 2008, this CBS drama follows the story of Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), detective and former fake psychic. He quit his job, pretending to speak to the dead on television, after serial killer Red John murdered his wife and child. Since then, he's become obsessed with bringing Red John to justice. To this end, he became an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation, under Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon. Lisbon grudgingly tolerates Jane's methods, but the two have a very friendly relationship. Other agents on the team are Wayne Rigsby, newbie Grace van Pelt and Kimbal Cho, who adds deadpan comic relief.
Like other shows such as Monk and House, MD, Jane uses his Holmes-like eye for details and ability to read people to solve problems. In addition, he can hypnotize or otherwise manipulate the thoughts and actions of others, hence the title. His disregard for rules and standard procedure get him into trouble with various head honchos, but his coworkers at the CBI always get him out.
The Mentalist won Favorite New T.V. Drama in the 2009 People's Choice Awards, and it was well-deserved. This show is an amusing and intriguing spin on the Holmes formula, and I certainly look forward to Thursday evenings because of it.