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Four years after “The Guardian” finale and two years after the conclusion of the short-lived series “Smith,” Simon Baker heads back to CBS’ lineup in “The Mentalist” as Patrick Jane, a man who uses his keen sense of observation to solve crimes.

After landing parts in big-budget films including “The Ring Two” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” Baker needed convincing to return to the smallscreen.

“It’s a huge time commitment,” skein’s exec producer Bruno Heller admits. “But it’s not the feast-or-famine life of doing movies.”

Although he has 17 features to his name, including a breakout role in “L.A. Confidential,” Baker’s TV work has won him recognition, including a Golden Globes nom. Both Heller and CBS are hoping critics and viewers will find the thesp even more captivating this time around.

“I don’t think television audiences have seen the best of him,” Heller says. “Simon’s weaponry is in his charm, humor and sexiness, which wasn’t particularly there in previous smallscreen roles.”