Joe Mantegna reckons that the upcoming eighth season of US procedural Criminal Minds will be a cracker.

There’s going to be a serial killer replicating the MOs of captured unsubs and the BAU team will be on the case. “I think you’ll see that it gets put together pretty quickly,” says cast member Mantegna.

“And it’s going to be something that I think the fans will appreciate because it gives you that other impetus of like, ‘OK. Now where are we going with this thing?’”

There’s also something meaty on the horizon for Jennifer Jareau, played by AJ Cook. She calls the story – which will be directed by Thomas Gibson, aka Aaron Hotchner - a “really big JJ episode”.

“I think that after we got to see her kick some serious ass in the season finale, they were like, ‘Oh, we didn’t know you were good at that’ - so we’re going to see her kick a little more ass,” Cook told TV Line.

“We’re also going to see her do something we’ve never seen her do before that may get her into trouble.”

Criminal Minds returns in the New Year to RTÉ Two.