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Criminal Minds was shaken up in a big way back in Season 11 when actor Shemar Moore chose to leave his character of Derek Morgan behind and move on to other projects. As one of the original actors of the series, his departure left a big hole in the series. Fortunately for fans, he reprised the role last spring for the Season 12 finale, and Morgan survived the episode, leaving the door open for another return in the future. Now, we know that future isn't too far off. Shemar Moore will be back as Derek Morgan in the fifth episode of Season 13.
The fifth episode will air on Wednesday, October 25 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS, so fans have less than two weeks to wait until Shemar Moore is back as Derek Morgan. He'll only be a guest star, so we shouldn't count on Morgan back on even a semi-regular basis, but it's better than nothing. Morgan will return to the BAU to help out Garcia when a case comes up that will affect her emotionally. She'll undoubtedly need all the support she can get, and Morgan should be uniquely qualified to lend a hand.
Even if Shemar Moore is returning for what seems to be a one-off guest shot, fans can take heart that he was able to squeeze in an appearance on Criminal Minds. He's currently starring on the new CBS show S.W.A.T., which meant that his chances of returning to Criminal Minds got a lot worse once the project was ordered to series. If he could make the time for one episode now when S.W.A.T. is just getting started, perhaps he'll be able to pop into the B.A.U. every now and then once the new show is established, assuming S.W.A.T. scores high enough ratings to stick around when it debuts.
We can bet that CBS will be willing to occasionally share Shemar Moore between the two shows if necessary. It might be trickier getting him back to Criminal Minds if S.W.A.T. aired on NBC or ABC or Fox; Moore didn't leave the CBS network when he decided to leave Criminal Minds. It should be fun to see him back on his old stomping grounds in the upcoming episode ahead of watching him in action on S.W.A.T.
All things considered, it's possible that his appearance on Criminal Minds on October 25 will help raise the profile of S.W.A.T., which doesn't premiere until November 2. Perhaps Shemar Moore's guest shot on Criminal Minds will remind viewers of what he can do on the small screen and motivate them to check out S.W.A.T. We'll have to wait and see.
Be sure to tune in to CBS on October 25 at 10 p.m. ET to catch Shemar Moore back in action as Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds, and don't forget to take a look at our fall TV guide.