the-mentalist-season-7There’s good news for TV mystery fans: CBS-TV has announced that The Mentalist will return for its seventh and final season beginning November 30. In the first week of January the show will switch to Wednesdays at 8:00 EST. The show will wrap up with a two-hour series finale on Feb. 18.

Starring Simon Baker as the title character, a consulting detective working, for five seasons, with the California Bureau of Investigation, and then with the FBI in the most recent season, The Mentalist presented interesting storylines underscored by the protagonist’s tragic past: his wife and daughter were murdered just before the events of the first episode. Baker, however, kept things from becoming too lugubrious, lending the character a good deal of personal charm and times of cheerfulness. That was an excellent decision on the part of the actor and writers.

Unsure of whether the show would be renewed after season six, the producers resolved the main storylines in the last few episodes of last season, with Baker’s character, Patrick Jane, finally expressing his romantic feelings toward his boss, Special Agent Teresa Lisbon, in the final episode of the season. right before the last couple of episodes aired, CBS announced that the show would return this season.

With the big, emotional storylines having been settled (while leaving plenty of room for new complications), the show’s creator and executive producer, Bruno Heller, has described the upcoming season as an “encore.” That suggests that the show will be more like TV series used to be: a collection of episodes, each of which largely stands on its own. Now, that would be a real innovation.