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The Biggest Similarity Between Criminal Minds And Numb3rs

While brothers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott are mostly known for their films, the duo was also involved in television production, with one of their most notable TV collaborations being the CBS procedural "Numb3rs." Making its debut in 2005, the show focused on an FBI agent who teamed up with his mathematician brother to catch criminals and ran for a total of six seasons. The main cast of "Numb3rs" included David Krumholtz, Rob Morrow, and Judd Hirsch. 

Another notable CBS procedural that made its debut in 2005 was "Criminal Minds." With a cast that included Mandy Patinkin, Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook, and Matthew Gray Gubler, the show followed a unit of criminal profilers as they went around the country solving urgent crimes. Though they both made their debut at the same time, "Criminal Minds" managed to outlast "Numb3rs," running for a total of 15 seasons.

Both shows focused on units in the FBI but diverged from there. However, the two shows had more than a few common points — here's the biggest similarity between "Criminal Minds" and "Numb3rs."

Chess was integral to both shows

One of the most important characters in the early seasons of "Criminal Minds" was Jason Gideon, played by Mandy Patinkin. Gideon was the unit chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, or BAU, and often made the most important decisions. One of his particular non-work skills was that he was excellent at chess, as he almost always beat Dr. Reid — himself a prodigy with multiple Ph.D. certifications — at the game. The only time Reid won a game against Gideon was on Reid's birthday.

On "Numb3rs," Charlie Eppes, played by David Krumholtz, was a consultant with the FBI and the younger brother of FBI agent Don Eppes. A brilliant mathematician who wrote his first paper on the subject while he was still a teenager, Charlie used his considerable talent to help his brother Don and the FBI solve crimes. Charlie was also excellent at chess, holding his own even when both Don and their father Alan team up against him.

Both Gideon and Charlie were important members of their respective teams, whose expertise in their line of work was unmatched by the rest of the team members. The fact that both characters were also near-unbeatable at chess indicates how important the game was to both of them, and to the shows at large as a result.

"Numb3rs" is currently streaming on Hulu, while "Criminal Minds" is available on Paramount+.