One of the longest-running dramas on television will take its final bow in the 2019-2020 season. CBS’ “Criminal Minds” will end its run after the upcoming, 10-episode Season 15.
According to Deadline, the network has decided that it will use the abridged season to wrap up all the series’ loose ends before sending them off into the sunset. The cast and crew are currently filming the Season 14 finale and will remain in continuous production to knock out the last 10 episodes.
“It is the quintessential CBS hit. We are so proud to have aired it,” Amy Reisenbach, CBS’ EVP current programs told the outlet. “It speaks to everything we do best, which is air quality television. It’s been successful not only on air but online, in syndication, internationally for ABC (Studios).”
Apparently, the decision to end the series was made last fall when executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer was writing stories for the end of Season 14 and asked the network if she should be writing a season finale with cliffhangers or a series finale.
“We wanted to make sure Erica had the time and ability to write a season (14) finale that honors the characters and the fans,” Reisenbach said. “We discussed wanting to keep the show in continuous production so 10 felt like the right number for us to roll straight into and give Erica enough episodes to end the series the way she wanted to.”
At 15 Seasons, “Criminal Minds” will join some of the longest-running series in TV history, matching both “ER” and “CSI.” Only “Gunsmoke,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “NCIS” and “Grey’s Anatomy can top it.
As Vulture notes, despite its longevity, the series’ production has been anything but smooth. Cast shakeups and behind-the-scenes drama have been the standard on “Criminal Minds” for the past several years. Mandy Patinkin left the show after just two seasons, Thomas Gibson was fired in 2016 after an on-set altercation and Shemar Moore left to star on a different series.
Most recently, director of photography Greg St. Johns kept his job after he was accused by 18 former crew members of inappropriate touching in the workplace in an expose done by Variety.