Here's What The Criminal Minds Spinoff Will Be About And When It Will Air

Good news, folks, the Criminal Minds spinoff is getting some traction, and fans of the franchise will be able to take a look at the series much sooner than later. That’s because CBS has thrown together a backdoor pilot introducing us to the show's new, internationally-based characters. You can get your first taste of the potential drama on April 8, but first, let’s take a look at what the episode will be about.

We’ve known since the project was first announced that the FBI team in the Criminal Minds spinoff will be handling cases of American citizens getting into trouble while abroad. The introductory episode will feature the new team tracking down a killer in Barbados. The killer is a particularly elusive one, and executive producer Erica Messer recently told TV Guide that after a family is kidnapped by said killer, the spinoff crew will team up with Agent Hotchner and co. to finally track down the baddie and bring him to justice.

We find out that this unsub eluded Jack's team two years ago. He killed a family in Aruba and it [haunts] Jack that they weren't able to catch him. Last year, he got away from the BAU when he killed a family in Florida and now this year, he's striking in Barbados, and we're gonna get these two teams together to finally catch this guy.

After 10 seasons, we know a lot about the awesome agents behind Criminal Minds’s BAU team, but who will be making up the new team for the spinoff? So far, CSI: NY alum Gary Sinise has been signed on to play Jack Garrett, the head of the BAU International unit. Garrett is a veteran of the field--similar to David Rossi--who has spent 20 years honing his skills.

He’ll be joined by Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn, who recently cut her teeth in law enforcement with a role in Gracepoint, Fox’s remake of the hit series Broadchurch. She’ll be playing Aly Lambert, the team’s linguist expert. Plus, The Walking Dead's Tyler James Williams has been added as the tech expert on the team.

CBS hasn’t officially ordered the Criminal Minds spinoff to series, yet. Instead, this backdoor pilot should serve as a test of sorts. Audiences will get to see the dynamics of the new team in action and the network will be able to gauge what works and what doesn’t, not to mention what the fans think of the whole process. It’s really a win-win for everyone.

This isn’t the first time that CBS has attempted to introduce a new team during a Criminal Minds episode. When Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior was getting off the ground, that team was introduced in a similar fashion. That backdoor pilot ended up leading to a series order, although Suspect Behavior was cancelled after its first season.

Criminal Minds currently airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. As noted prior, you can catch the two BAU teams working together to solve a case during the April 8th episode, “Beyond Borders.” I smell a subtitle coming together.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.