The series finale of Criminal Minds aired on Wednesday night, offering a sentimental send-off to the crime drama, which had run for 15 seasons. While the final few episodes of the show helped prepare the characters for their next chapters and viewers for life without the BAU, executive producer Erica Messer revealed that the writers had considered venturing into other territory, including a musical episode.
"There was crazy stuff thrown out in the room, and we didn't just shoot it down. We would say, 'Okay, how could that happen?'" Messer told Entertainment Weekly. "The idea of a live episode or… what do you call it?… a documentary film crew following the crew around. We ended up exploring some of those, but ultimately we weren't able to find a way to keep it true to the series. A musical would just take you so far out, that we just didn't know if that would be the right way to go or not."
"Somebody brought it up for our final 10," she continued. "'Do we do a musical?' We were like, how in the world would we do it? And I think the idea was gone by the time we ordered lunch but we did think about it. It's a classic! You have to think about it for a second, right? But we didn't want to go too far off the beaten path in the show's final run."
Messer shared that the writers ultimately decided to keep the show's final episodes in line with what fans had come to expect and love from the series over the years.
"There were a couple of episodes that we thought, 'Oh, let's just make this 100 percent from the unsub's point of view.' But then you're never really seeing the team," she said. "I mean, we loved the idea. We all sort of rallied around it but then said, 'Wait, this is the final 10 hours of this show. If you have one of those hours where you're not seeing all of our favorite people on the screen, fans are going to feel like they're getting cheated out of an hour of our team.' And so while I think that would have been a great idea to do some other season, it didn't feel like the right time to do it in our finale season. So we took a kernel of that idea and made an episode around that."
Photo Credit: Getty / CBS Photo Archive