The Criminal Minds revival has been officially confirmed, but long-time fans still have questions about which characters and cast members will be returning. With the line-up still wide open, some are even wondering if actor Thomas Gibson might return as FBI analyst Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner. It's not impossible, but given Gibson's dismissal from the original series, it is unlikely.
Criminal Minds ended in the February of 2020 after 15 seasons, and many fans were devastated. After just one year off the air, reboot and revival rumors were already running rampant, and Paramount+ confirmed them last week. The streaming service is producing 10 brand new episodes, with one major case spanning the entire "season," according to a report by Deadline. Rather than focusing on a "crime of the week" like most procedurals, it will experiment with a longer format. The cast has not been finalized, however.
Given the number of questions surrounding the revival, fans are considering all kinds of theories for who could be in the series. However, any hopes of seeing Hotch return are slim are best. Gibson was dismissed from the series in 2016 after a confrontation with a writer and producer. According to a report by CNN, he had physically kicked the writer over a disagreement about the script.
"There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement. I regret that it occurred," Gibson said in a public statement at the time. "We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible. We always have and we always will."
Gibson had reportedly had other combative moments on the set by then as well, after 11 years in the cast of Criminal Minds. He had reportedly gotten into an altercation with an assistant director, prompting the studio to send him to mandated anger-management counseling. Gibson was suspended from work for two weeks.
"Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds," the studios announced. "Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date." In the end, other characters explained that Hotch had simply retired early to spend time with his children. His job went to Emily Prentiss (Paged Brewster).
With all this in mind, Hotch is not the most likely character to return for the special 10-episode Criminal Minds revival. Keep an eye on PopCulture.com for more information on this series, and when it will be available on Paramount+. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.