Criminal Minds has looked very different throughout Season 12, largely thanks to the departures of Thomas Gibson as Hotch and Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan. Fans probably won't be getting Hotch back any time soon, but we'll be seeing Morgan sooner rather than later. Shemar Moore is slated to make his grand return to Criminal Minds in the Season 12 finale.
Derek Morgan will return to deliver a lead to the BAU that will hopefully help them make their case on the dastardly Mr. Scratch, who has served as the major antagonist throughout Season 12. Given that Reid is currently stuck in prison after being framed for murder, presumably by Mr. Scratch, the agents of the BAU can undoubtedly use all the leads they can get to free Reid and catch Scratch ASAP. TVGuide reports that Shemar Moore is on board to return as guest star in the May 10 season finale.
Unfortunately for any who were hoping that Shemar Moore would be back on a full-time basis, he's only slated to drop in on the BAU team in the Season 12 finale. It's possible that he'll be on board to return more in subsequent seasons, but there's a chance that he'll be busy elsewhere on CBS sooner rather than later. Moore landed the starring role in a new CBS adaptation of the 2003 movie S.W.A.T. Although the project is still only in the pilot stage, it could well land a series order and keep Moore plenty busy without reprising the role of Derek Morgan on a regular basis.
We'll have to wait and see. The only thing we can really say for sure at this point is if S.W.A.T. does land a series order with Shemar Moore as the leading man, we can bet that it probably won't be set in the same universe as Criminal Minds. Other CBS series have shared universes and been able to crossover, but unless Moore's S.W.A.T. character is an undercover version of Morgan, the two shows will need to stay separate. For now, we can just look forward to Moore's upcoming return to Criminal Minds in May.
The season finale appearance will be the first time that Shemar Moore returns to Criminal Minds since departing at the end of Season 11. Fans will likely get to check in and see what Morgan has been up to over the past year as well as see him back at work with the BAU. Something tells me that they'll make a lot more progress with him on board than they did when just spinning their own wheels to try and free Reid. Be sure to tune in to CBS on Wednesday, May 10 at 9 p.m. ET to see Moore's big comeback on Criminal Minds, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule and summer TV premiere schedule for a peek at all your other viewing options in the not-too-distant future.