By Eden Placer, Editorial Staff ‘24
Nearly two years after the initial 15-season run ended, the Paramount+ series, Criminal Minds, is in the process of making a comeback. The decision to return was made in early February 2022, and as one of the most popular crime dramas in over a decade since its debut in September of 2005, fans of the show have been incredibly enthusiastic about it.
In the past, two spin-offs were attempted, but neither were successful; both lasting only one or two seasons. The future of the show appeared unlikely, thanks to Paget Brewster who played Emily Prentiss in seasons two through seven and seasons twelve through fifteen. Back in July of 2021, Brewster told shocked fans that she thought the revival was dead. “I’ll let you know if there is any progress, but it seems unlikely,” she wrote at the time.
In response to this, president of the original scripted series, Nicole Clemens, told Variety that she could not comment much on star Paget Brewster’s recent tweets about the show being ‘dead’. “As I mentioned,” she told Variety, “I came in the summer, and so it took a second to gear up and figure out, ‘What are we doing?’ There’s not a hidden monster under the water there. It’s just been in its process, so it’s in development.” She went on, “We have always thought it’s a fantastic idea to have Criminal Minds on the service, so that hasn’t changed.” After Paramount+ cleared the air of this rumor, Brewster celebrated on Twitter, explaining that, “When being wrong feels so right…I LOVE IT.”
In the return, the show expects to air using a different format than the original seasons. The new Criminal Minds series is expected to run for ten episodes focusing on a single case, similar to CSI: Vegas. There are some similarities, however, to the first 15 seasons. Erica Messer, who served as an executive producer and showrunner during the show’s original run, is expected to return along with Joe Mantegna (SSA David Rossi), Kristen Vangsness (Penelope Garcia), Adam Rodriguez (SSA Luke Alvez), A.J. Cook (SSA Jennifer Jareau), Aisha Tyler (Dr. Tara Lewis), and Paget Brewster (SSA Emily Prentiss), who have all expressed their interest in signing on for season 16. Once studio ABC Signature finalizes a deal with longtime showrunner Erica Messer, the actors will reportedly sign contracts to return.
On the other hand, two major stars have finalized their decision to not return. Matthew Gray Gubler, who played the beloved Dr. Spencer Reid for all 15 years of the show, expressed that he is currently interested in working on and trying other projects, although Criminal Minds will always hold a special place to him. Daniel Henney, who portrayed SSA Matthew Simmons, is busy with Amazon Prime Video’s, The Wheel of Time. However, Deadline reported that there is a possibility he will make a guest appearance somewhere in the reboot similar to how Shemar Moore (SSA Derek Morgan) did after his leave from the show in season eleven.
Although not much more information has been shared with the public, Tanya Gill, Paramount+’s Chief Programming Officer, spoke out, leaving fans very optimistic about the return. She finalized that, “We are still very much in development on Criminal Minds. We’ll have more to share soon on that, but it is alive and well.”