Holy Moly, A Lot Of People Watched That Criminal Minds Twist

Criminal Minds has been on the air for 11 seasons now, a remarkable feat in the TV world. In that time, the ratings have gone down somewhat from the show’s peak, but the CBS drama is still accomplishing impressive numbers over at the Eye Network. So, when the show throws in a big twist, it’s not surprising that the drama would see even better ratings than usual. In fact, last night’s big episode of Criminal Minds saw the series do a better number in the 18-49 demographic than it has done in well over a year. 

This week's episode of Criminal Minds drew 10.7 million total viewers—many of them in the advertising demographic—and a 2.1 rating. Not only did the show have a great Wednesday night in terms of beating out its ratings this season, it had a great Wednesday night in general. The only show to do better numbers than CBS’ Criminal Minds was ABC’s Modern Family, which did a better rating but fewer total viewers. As reported by TV By the Numbers, Criminal Minds had the largest audience in terms of total viewership during the night. 

Spoilers if you haven’t caught last night’s episode of Criminal Minds, yet.

During last night’s episode, Derek Morgan left the BAU to spend time with his family and new son Hank Spencer. The CBS team did a great job of keeping the Criminal Minds exit under wraps. Usually with long-term procedurals, exits are announced in advance, maybe to give fans a little time to get used to the idea. This is why we knew CSI’s George Eads was leaving before it happened, for instance. It’s also why we know NCIS Michael Weatherly is leaving the other CBS drama this spring. 

The last few episodes of Criminal Minds have been Derek Morgan-centric, with Shemar Moore’s character finding out he was about to be a father, not to mention getting tortured and generally being a badass to take down the bad guys. Because of this, I suppose we should have seen the actor’s exit coming, but I didn’t connect the dots, and I don’t think a lot of other people did either. 

Shemar Moore’s exit worked well because it was a surprise, but also because it leaves the door open for the character to come back. Shemar Moore has already stated that he wants to take some time for himself, but that he would be open to coming back to Criminal Minds in the future. So, we probably haven’t seen the last of Derek Morgan, at all. 

In the meantime, the BAU is likely going to be looking for a replacement to fill Derek Morgan’s shoes. Usually Criminal Minds makes big casting decisions during the off-season, but we’ll let you know when the show figures out who will be a part of the team next fall. (Should it be renewed.)

In the meantime, I will definitely be tuning in for Criminal Minds’ next episode. Especially since Paget Brewster's Emily Prentiss is returning in it. You can catch the series on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, you can see what else the network’s have coming up this summer with our upcoming TV premiere schedule

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.