Shemar Moore makes Criminal Minds decision that changes the show forever

Mar 24, 2016 at 2:07 p.m. ET
Image: WENN

Shemar Moore will say goodbye to Criminal Minds after 11 seasonsaccording to E! Online. As sad as it is for fans, his reason for jumping ship is quite endearing. Moore is hanging up his jacket as FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan to spend more time on his personal life, he says.

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"I need balance in my life,” Moore told TVLine. "I love what I do for a living, I love it from 'action' to 'cut', but I also want to walk my dogs, travel, get married, have kids. I want balance, and it’s hard to do with the schedule that we have."

Moore shared his support for the Criminal Minds family he's leaving behind. "I'm proud of Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Matthew [Gray Gubler], Kirsten [Vangsness]… because not only did we bust our ass and defy the odds and create a hit show together, everything we did was together,” he said.

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So after 11 years as Derek Morgan, what's next for Moore? Drawing on inspiration from his castmates, he may be looking to direct or write while continuing to grow as an actor. "I didn’t direct, I didn’t write, but I grew, and I’m leaving because I want to continue to grow as an actor,” says Moore. "I’m leaving to see what else I’m capable of."

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Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Shemar Moore slideshow
Image: Shemar Moore/Instagram