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Criminal Minds closed out Season 11 last night with a big cliffhanger twist, as has become popular with television dramas of late. It was actually a bold choice for the CBS drama, as Criminal Minds has not been renewed for a 12th season, yet. However, showrunner Erica Messer has a lot of positivity related to a potential Season 12, making that cliffhanger ending less of a suspect choice. Here’s what she had to say in a recent interview.
You and I will probably hear at the same time. They'll let us know right before upfronts, before they announce it to everybody. We will get the courtesy heads-up. There are discussions being had that are above my pay grade, so I don't know when we'll hear, but I can tell you that creatively we're all incredibly excited for Season 12... It's more of that kind of thing right now of dotting Is and crossing Ts than anything else. We don't have big negotiations [with the actors] this year or anything like that. We're just waiting patiently.
While Hulu already had its upfronts, most of the major networks are currently figuring out which shows will fit into their 2016-2017 lineups. Over the next couple of weeks, CBS, ABC, NBC and more will all announce what shows have been renewed and cancelled, alongside the new programming that will be hitting the schedule next year. What I find most interesting about Erica Messer's comment to TV Guide is that she doesn't think she will know until just before we know, which means the decision is really coming down to the wire.
Honestly, if I were Erica Messer, I would probably be a little more annoyed. If this were any other year, very few renewals would have been handed down at this point. A lot more shows would be on the bubble. However, it's been an increasing trend of late to hand out early renewals and a lot of CBS shows--especially the long-running ones--have already been renewed. This includes shows like NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, but also Madam Secretary and Hawaii Five-0. You can see the full list here. Among these, Criminal Minds has been a staple on the network for more than a decade now. While the show is far past its heyday prime, the drama still does respectable numbers. We don’t have the ratings for last nights finale, yet, but from the numbers we do have, we know Criminal Minds has averaged a 1.8 rating. In addition, the show occasionally even bumped over the 2.0 mark in the 18-49 demographic. It has routinely done better than its spinoff Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, although the newbie drama hasn’t been a total disaster, either.
If Criminal Minds does return for Season 12, it will be a bit of a rebuilding year for the show, which saw veteran actor Shemar Moore leave the series a good chunk of the way into the season. In addition, newcomer Aisha Tyler ended up being in additional episodes this season, but may or may not be around if the show returns for Season 12.
While we wait to hear about the fall schedule, you can find out what shows are airing this summer with our TV premiere schedule.