'Criminal Minds' Boss Talks Beloved Characters' Possible Return During Final Season

Criminal Minds might bring some of your favorite characters back for its 15th and final season.

The CBS crime procedural was officially renewed for a 10-episode 15th and final season Thursday, with only a few episodes left until the Season 14 finale.

Executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer spoke to Deadline about reaching the end of the series.

"In some ways, the series has always felt like the little engine that could," Messer said, thanking CBS for being "a great home for a very long time."

"What’s so bittersweet about it, is that we are going out still with stories to tell, and we're not on life support," she added. "We're not a show that got moved from night, to night, to night. I'm not talking ill of any of those shows, but all those signs that you usually see before a show is gone, we didn't have any of that."

The final season announcement comes with possibility of former beloved characters to possibly return for the series. Criminal Minds has said goodbye to many stars, including original lead Mandy Patinkin — who left after two seasons. Thomas Gibson was fired in 2016 after an on-set altercation.

"I am very hopeful that we can honor all of those characters who have been beloved and with this team, with the audience for years, but I don't know what that's going to look like; I don't know the logistics of anything or the story. That won't be shooting until the spring, so I have some time to think about it, but the hope is to be able to honor all of that history, all of those heroes who have come and gone."

Along with the announcement, Messer commented on how the end of the series has changed as the showed ran through the years.

"That journey has changed a lot from the early days on the show because I wouldn't have anticipated all the changes that've happened. I also don't know if I would've anticipated that we'd have 325 episodes by the time it's all said and done. It's such an honor to be part of a series for that long," she said.


Created by Jeff Davis, Criminal Minds has aired on Wednesdays since its premiere, spending 12 seasons in the 9 p.m. time slot before going to the 10 p.m. slot in fall 2017.

"It is the quintessential CBS hit. We are so proud to have aired it," said Amy Reisenbach, CBS’ EVP current programs. "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)."