Canceled CBS TV series Criminal Minds inching towards revival on Paramount Plus

The Criminal Minds cast in The Bunker Season 13, Episode 6
(Image credit: CBS vis Paramount Plus)

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Streaming services need new content, and canceled TV shows often benefit from this situation. Thus is the case with the Criminal Minds revival on Paramount Plus that we've long heard about — and once thought was also canceled. 

What's new, though is casting news, as a report via Deadline gives us six names to expect in the series. While the ink isn't finalized on the deals, Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler and Paget Brewster have all apparently "agreed to come back." 

At least if their deals and availability match up. And, yes, original Criminal Minds cast member Matthew Gray Gubler is notable by his absence, as he's previously made it no secret that he wants to move on. Daniel Henney is also missing from the list and seems to be too busy with Wheel of Time season 2 production for that. 

Mantegna, Vangsness, Cook and Brewster were long-time cast members, each appearing in over 100 (and over 300 for Vangsness and Cook) episodes of the long-running CBS drama. All six actors' agreements aren't just subject to availability, but are also not "fully exclusive," according to Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. Their deals would then allow for them to still work on other shows.

Criminal Minds spent 15 seasons telling the stories of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), located in Quantico, VA. 

Once a canceled show revival, now practically confirmed

The new Criminal Minds wasn't a lock, at least as far back as last summer. While Paramount Plus touted the potential show when the service was announced last year (right around this time), it soon looked like Paramount Plus had a failure to launch on its hands.

When replying to a fan question about the Criminal Minds revival, Brewster said
"sadly, we think it's dead. I'll let you know if there is any progress but it seems unlikely. Which is a bummer."

Then, though, on Feb. 1, 2022, Bleeding Cool reported that news of the Criminal Minds revival's death were highly exaggerated. At a Television Critics Association (TCA) event, Paramount Plus president of original scripted series Nicole Clemens said, "We are still very much in development on 'Criminal Minds.' We'll have more to share on that soon, but it is alive and well."

Analysis: Paramount Plus is the home for more of what you know you like

After the popular South Park Post-Covid specials were hits on Paramount Plus, it makes more sense than ever for the streaming service to continue to pursue a Criminal Minds revival. 

Criminal Minds lasted 15 seasons, a run that most fans wish their favorite shows could get. And to tell fans they can get more of the show they loved? With six regulars? Well, that's a clever way to drive subscriptions. 

Paramount Plus is still looking for actually-original original shows, but this seems like a strong strategy until those come along.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.