Fans will have to wait a little longer to catch the final season of Criminal Minds, as CBS is holding the police procedural crime drama for midseason.
News that the series would not be returning this fall with a fresh batch of episodes was made on Wednesday, May 15 alongside the networks 2019-2020 fall TV schedule, making CBS the fourth broadcast-TV network to announce its fall TV schedule.
The series is being held back for midseason along with new dramas FBI: Most Wanted, from Dick Wolf, and Edie Falco- starring series Tommy, as well as Pauley Perrette-starring new sitcom Broke. Big Brother, MacGyver, Man With a Plan, The Amazing Race, and Undercover Boss will also premiere at midseason.
It had been expected that Criminal Minds’ 15th and final season would follow tradition with a fall premiere, though its usual spot on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET has been given to Shemar Moore-starring series S.W.A.T.
News that they will have to wait until 2020 for a fresh batch of episodes did not settle well with die-hard fans of the long-running and dearly beloved series.
really gonna have to wait until 2020 for the next season of criminal minds and i don’t even know if pll:tp is gonna get picked up i always lose— ً (@sashneI) May 15, 2019
CBS had announced in January that the crime drama, which premiered on the network in 2005, would be coming to an end following a 10-episode 15th season, meaning that the series will end with 325 episodes, making it among the Top 20 shows of all time by episode count. Currently, only Gunsmoke, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS, and Grey's Anatomy have had longer runs by season among primetime TV dramas.
“It is the quintessential CBS hit. We are so proud to have aired it,” Amy Reisenbach, CBS’ EVP current programs, said at the time. “It speaks to everything we do best, which is air quality television. It’s been successful not only on air but online, in syndication, internationally for ABC (Studios).”
Although a top performer and a favorite in syndication and on Netflix, Criminal Minds had suffered a downward trend when it came to ratings, and Season 14 of the series had only been given 15 episodes. The network chose to renew the drama for Season 15 in order to allow the show a proper ending.
“We wanted to make sure Erica had the time and ability to write a season (14) finale that honors the characters and the fans,” Reisenbach explained. “We discussed wanting to keep the show in continuous production so 10 felt like the right number for us to roll straight into and give Erica enough episodes to end the series the way she wanted to.”
Details regarding the final season, including any potential returns from former series stars, have been kept mum, though it was revealed in April that the series finale would be titled “And in the End…”