For those of you not keeping track, here's a list of everything that's happened in regard to the Criminal Minds cast since the beginning of Season 11: Shemar Moore left after having played SSA Derek Morgan since the show began in 2005. Paget Brewster (SSA Emily Prentiss) returned for an episode and then announced that she'd be coming back for six episodes in Season 12. Adam Rodriguez joined the cast for Season 12 as SSA Luke Alvez, and Aisha Tyler, who played Dr. Tara Lewis in Season 11, was promoted to full-time cast member. Then, after filming began for Season 12, Thomas Gibson (SSA Aaron Hotchner) was fired after he kicked one of the show's writers. And now the show is looking to hire two new series regulars. Is this just good old-fashioned upheaval — the kind we've seen on other long-running dramas, such as Law & Order — or is this the beginning of the end?
Fans are freaking out about the prospect of Criminal Minds without Hotch, but some have, in my opinion, gone a little bit wackadoo in creating a petition to bring back Gibson and threatening to boycott the show if the network doesn't. I can't emphasize this fact enough: Gibson kicked a writer. This isn't, as one fan in the comments of an article reporting the addition of the new cast members noted, the same thing as A.J. Cook (SSA Jennifer Jareau) and Brewster getting fired for no reason back in 2006. (They were later brought back due to fans' outcry.) This wasn't the first time Gibson freaked out on set, and it is 100 percent excellent that the network responded so promptly and appropriately. I seriously hope this isn't the hill these fans are willing to die on, because if viewership for the show declines, CBS won't keep it around. Priorities, people.
So many actors have come and gone from Criminal Minds over time, and the show has not only managed to survive but to do super well. Even after Mandy Patinkin, who played SSA Jason Gideon for the first two years it was on, left abruptly and then referred to joining the show as "one of the biggest public mistakes" he ever made, it went on to make 200 more episodes, which proves how loyal fans of the show have been. It would be awful if Gibson's defenders are successful in bringing an end to Criminal Minds instead of trusting the writers to do their jobs in giving us more show, which is what we all — theoretically, at least — want.
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