'Criminal Minds: Evolution' Season 2 Fate Revealed

The minds of criminals continue to evolve, and the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit is staying on the case. Paramount+ renewed the Criminal Minds revival, Criminal Minds: Evolution, for a second season. Most of the original Criminal Minds cast returned for the first season of Evolution, including Joe Mantegna and Paget Brewster.

Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 1 was the 16th overall season of the crime drama, which originally ran on CBS from September 2005 to February 2020. Evolution debuted in November 2022 and brought back the BAU to investigate a serial killer network established during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second half of the season will resume on Jan. 12, with new episodes released on Thursdays through Feb. 9. Evolution is one of the top five original series in Paramount+'s history and helped boost viewership of the original Criminal Minds series. Evolution Season 2 will start production later this year.

"We're thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans of Criminal Minds: Evolution with the order of another season," Tanya Giles, the chief programming officer of Paramount Streaming, said in a statement Thursday. "The series has always been a consistent top performer for Paramount+ and fans have quickly embraced this new season with its more serialized elements. There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU this season and we can't wait for fans to see what's in store."

Evolution stars Mantegna, Brewster, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, and Adam Rodriguez reprising their original series roles. Zach Gilford has a recurring role as the criminal who set up the serial killer network. David Henney and Matthew Gray Gubler did not return for the new show, although their characters are still alive in the universe of the series. Executive producer Erica Messer returned and wrote the premiere episode.

In the premiere episode, Gubler's Dr. Spencer Reid and Henney's Matt Simmons were off on a secret assignment. This will "come into play next year what they've been doing," Messer told TV Insider. In the real world, Gubler and Henney do not appear because of their schedules. They had other projects scheduled and were unavailable. 

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"It was literally logistics; we just couldn't get them," Messer explained. "But we are all talking regularly, and fingers crossed we can make something work out, but we're cheering on what Matthew and Daniel are doing when they're not with us. And so it's definitely bittersweet that we haven't been able to have them for the big arc this season."