One of CBS' longest-running TV shows is coming to an end. In a move that will not be altogether shocking for fans who keep up with news of the series, Criminal Minds has officially been cancelled by the network. There is some good news for fans, however. The current Season 14 will not be the very end of the show. Here's what's happening.
Criminal Minds has received an order for a fifteenth season, so there's no need to worry that Season 14 will end on a massive cliffhanger never to be resolved. Season 15 will be significantly shorter than all the seasons that came before, unfortunately, but some episodes after Season 14 are still better than no episodes! The fifteenth and final season will run for ten episodes.
Interestingly, Variety reports that the final ten episodes of Criminal Minds will be shot back-to-back with the final episodes of Season 14 that have not yet been completed. If nothing else, that should guarantee that the folks on set have a handle on keeping continuity from the end of Season 14 to the beginning of Season 15!
By the end of the final ten episodes next TV season, Criminal Minds will have aired a grand total of 325 episodes, which is a massive number and huge achievement for everybody at the show. The ratings recently may not have been what they once were, but lasting for as long as it has is a sign that Criminal Minds was a solid show with an intriguing enough premise to drive it for more than a decade.
Hopefully those final ten episodes will be used to wrap up the series in a way that satisfies longtime fans and delivers some closure. Could Hotch return? The show found a solid way to write him out in Season 13, and the reasons for Thomas Gibson's firing seemingly make it unlikely that he'd be welcome back on set, but stranger things have happened, and many fans would likely love to see Hotch one more time. Still, I wouldn't put any money on it.
Criminal Minds currently averages a 0.8 rating in the key 18-49 age demographic according to Live+Same day calculations, with 4.7 million people tuning in. Criminal Minds also happens to be a show that benefits from delayed viewership. The cancellation news comes not too long after it was noted that CBS did not order more episodes than the 15 that were originally ordered for Season 14. Previous seasons ran for 20+ episodes.
Additionally, rumor had it back in October 2018 that CBS has limited interest in continuing Criminal Minds due to the fact that ABC is actually the lead studio; throw in the disappointing ratings, and CBS may not have felt justified in putting up the resources for the show to continue indefinitely. Fans should probably count themselves lucky to have gotten one more season at all, even if it is shortened! Plenty of time for more gnarly serial killers, right?
New episodes of Criminal Minds air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. For more of what you can catch in primetime now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our midseason TV premiere guide.