Criminal Minds Renewed For Season 12 By CBS

CBS may have an eye for its logo, but it should be a big evil smiling mouth, considering how long the network has been toying with us over the fate of Criminal Minds. Fans watched that crazy finale the other night, not knowing (but probably assuming) just what would happen to the show. Thankfully, CBS didn’t make us wait every second until the network upfronts to make its announcement, and it’s now official that Criminal Minds will return later this year for Season 12. I’d ask for a high five, but everyone is probably too busy hiding from all the killers. 

Are we surprised that CBS is bringing Criminal Minds back for at least one more season? Not at all. The crime drama is one of the network’s most dependable shows, even with ratings that don’t match up to earlier seasons, and CBS has had no problem renewing just about everything else on its schedule. (Except for Supergirl, anyway.)  And given how much the story just opened up thanks to showrunner Erica Messer guiding the finale to a bonkers cliffhanger, it’ll be way more surprising when the day comes that CBS says no more cases for the BAU. 

Criminal Minds spoilers are below, for anyone who didn’t watch the season finale yet.


In “The Storm,” Hotch found himself being framed for a conspiracy he wasn’t a part of, and the team worked to stop a bomb threat and prison break. But just when it looked like everyone would be going to bed that night with a smiling face, it was revealed that there were other prison breaks that went down, and those weren’t thwarted. So 13 serial killer unsubs that have already been put away by our fearless team are back on the streets and will likely be looking to cause some more havoc on the outside. There was no possible way that CBS would let the show end on such an exciting note, especially not when it’s got top 10 numbers in total viewers and in key demographics. It’s also the second highest-rated drama in the key demo on CBS, so there’s no turning a blind eye to that.

The Criminal Minds cast will look a little different in Season 12 than it did at the beginning of Season 11. The glaring absence in the group now is Shemar Moore, who took Derek Morgan out of the equation some weeks back. Aisha Tyler’s Tara Lewis was a fine addition to the season, spinning a smaller recurring role into one that lasted through the majority of the episodes. We certainly hope she will return in the future, especially since her character played a role in inspiring the cliffhanger. 

Season 12 of Criminal Minds won’t be around on CBS until this fall, but the wait doesn’t feel quite as long now that we know it’s definitely happening.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.