Wow. We'd only just heard the hit CBS drama Criminal Minds might be dealing with the recent suspension of star Thomas Gibson by giving his character Agent Hotchner a temporary assignment elsewhere for a couple of episodes. But apparently that won't be the case at all, as the actor has reportedly been completely fired from the show, and Hotch will not be around to take on the unsubs when the show returns this fall.
So that means not only will Thomas Gibson not be around in front of the character as Hotchner, but he also won't be making any decisions behind the scenes. He has directed multiple episodes of Criminal Minds in the past, and he was indeed directing the most recent episode when the controversy happened. Here's how CBS Studios and ABC Studios announced the somewhat shocking decision, according to EW.
The damning incident took place recently as a Season 12 episode was being filmed. Thomas Gibson-as-director apparently had an issue with the episode's writer (who was on the set), but instead of a calm discussion between the pair, things got heated and at one point Gibson lashed out and angrily kicked the writer. Afterward, Gibson said it came down to "creative differences" and voiced his regrets, but that just wasn't enough to convince anyone that he should keep his job.
It's definitely worth noting that this isn't the first time the actor had an altercation like this. A few years ago, Gibson reportedly pushed a producer, which landed him in anger management counseling, although he didn't miss any work over it. This is somewhat similar to what happened with Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, which also ended in a termination. Here's hoping no one starts getting litigious in this case.
Things are going to be completely out of sort when Criminal Minds comes back. Not only will we no longer have Shemar Moore's Derek Morgan to root for, but Mr. Scratch is back with his gang of escaped serial killers, and the team kind of needs as many agents as they can get at this point. Luckily, we know Aisha Tyler will be returning as a series regular, and we can expect to see another familiar face returning when Paget Brewster's Emily Prentiss stops by. Here's hoping we get news soon that Brewster will be back full-time.
Criminal Minds, with its casting shakeup, will return to CBS for Season 12 on Wednesday, September 28, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is coming back, check out our fall TV schedule.