'Criminal Minds' Renewed For Season 14 By CBS – Will It Be Series' Last? – Deadline

As usual, the renewal of veteran crime drama Criminal Minds came down to the wire with CBS and lead studio ABC Studios going back and forth on terms. Making things less complicated this time was the fact that all Criminal Minds veteran cast members already had deals for next season.

Also as usual, CBS is not confirming the size of the order or any other details. There had been speculation that the network may renew Criminal Minds for a final 13-episode season but for now, that is just speculation. We will get a better sense when CBS releases its schedule on Wednesday morning.

After a long run at 9 PM, Criminal Minds moved to 10 PM this season. It has improved the time period and is doing well in delayed viewing.

The crime drama ended its 13th season on a cliffhanger, I hear with the blessing of CBS. A cancellation would’ve robbed its loyal fans of a proper ending and would’ve deprived the series of hitting the 300th episode milestone, ending its run with 299.

Now Criminal Minds‘ Season 14 premiere will also mark the show’s 300th episode, giving it an extra promotional juice.

Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Joe Mantegna stars as David Rossi, along with Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid, A.J. Cook as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and Daniel Henney as Matt Simmons.

ABC Studios produces in association with CBS Television Studios. Long-time showrunner Erica Messer, Mark Gordon and Breen Frazier executive produce. Jeff Davis was the series creator.

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CBS renews 'Criminal Minds,' 'Elementary;' cancels 'Kevin Can Wait,' 'Scorpion' – USA TODAY

CBS renewed four series and canceled three more as it prepares to announce its 2018-19 schedule Wednesday.

Criminal Minds, Elementary, Man With a Plan, Life in Pieces and Instinct, a midseason drama starring Alan Cumming, were all given greenlights for new seasons.

The network also added several new series, including a remake of Magnum, P.I. 

But Kevin Can Wait, which marked King of Queens star Kevin James’ return to the network, won’t return for a third season. Neither will Superior Donuts, the sitcom that stars Judd Hirsch as a coffee-shop owner. And procedural drama Scorpion was stung by cancellation after four seasons.

Following the earlier foregone exits of Wisdom of the Crowd, 9JKL, Living Biblically and early fall casualty Me, Myself and I, that leaves only medical drama Code Black “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation.

More: ‘Magnum P.I.’ rises again on CBS, with a diverse cast

More: Which network TV series are returning, nearly dead or in limbo? Check out the complete list

Executives not authorized to speak publicly said the fate of Code Black, which started its third season April 25, remains up in the air given its late return.

Kevin had the most ignominious exit. It opened strongly in the fall of 2016, but at the end of its first season the show killed off the wife of James’ lead character, played by Erinn Hayes, in an offscreen car accident, sparking outrage among fans. It then added Leah Remini, James’ Queens co-star, as a series regular and lost much of its ratings luster. 

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CBS renews 'Criminal Minds,' cancels 'Kevin Can Wait' – USA Today – USA TODAY

CBS renewed four series and canceled three more as it prepares to announce its 2018-19 schedule Wednesday.

Criminal Minds, Elementary, Man With a Plan, Life in Pieces and Instinct, a midseason drama starring Alan Cumming, were all given greenlights for new seasons.

The network also added several new series, including a remake of Magnum, P.I. 

But Kevin Can Wait, which marked King of Queens star Kevin James’ return to the network, won’t return for a third season. Neither will Superior Donuts, the sitcom that stars Judd Hirsch as a coffee-shop owner. And procedural drama Scorpion was stung by cancellation after four seasons.

Following the earlier foregone exits of Wisdom of the Crowd, 9JKL, Living Biblically and early fall casualty Me, Myself and I, that leaves only long-running Elementary and medical drama Code Black “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation.

More: ‘Magnum P.I.’ rises again on CBS, with a diverse cast

More: Which network TV series are returning, nearly dead or in limbo? Check out the complete list

Executives not authorized to speak publicly said the fate of Code Black, which started its third season April 25, remains up in the air given its late return.

Kevin had the most ignominious exit. It opened strongly in the fall of 2016, but at the end of its first season the show killed off the wife of James’ lead character, played by Erinn Hayes, in an offscreen car accident, sparking outrage among fans. It then added Leah Remini, James’ Queens co-star, as a series regular and lost much of its ratings luster. 

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'Scandal' and 'Criminal Minds' get biggest finale bumps in week 30 broadcast Live +7 ratings – TVbytheNumbers

Several shows had their season or series finales in the week of April 16. “Scandal” and “Criminal Minds” got the biggest delayed-viewing boosts.

Both shows grew by 0.8 points among adults 18-49 after seven days (1.3 to 2.1 for “Scandal”, 0.9 to 1.7 for “Criminal Minds”). A second episode of “Minds” leading into the finale also grew by 0.8.

“Criminal Minds” had the largest viewer boost among the finales, adding 3.35 million people within a week. “Jane the Virgin” had the the biggest percentage gains, more than doubling in both the 18-49 demo and total viewers.

Here are the broadcast Live +7 rankings for April 16-22, 2018. They include only first-run series and specials, not repeats.

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

Rank Show Net L+SD L+7 7-day increase
7-day % increase
1 ROSEANNE ABC 3.5 5.6 2.1 60%
2 THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS 2.4 4.1 1.7 71%
3 GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 1.7 3.0 1.3 76%
4 YOUNG SHELDON CBS 1.9 3.0 1.1 58%
5 SWAT CBS 0.8 1.7 0.9 113%
CHICAGO FIRE NBC 1.0 1.9 0.9 90%
CHICAGO PD NBC 1.2 2.1 0.9 75%
8 SCANDAL – F ABC 1.3 2.1 0.8 62%
CRIMINAL MINDS 10 p.m. – F CBS 0.9 1.7 0.8 89%
CRIMINAL MINDS – 9 p.m. – S CBS 1.0 1.8 0.8 80%
NCIS CBS 1.1 1.9 0.8 73%
EMPIRE FOX 1.8 2.6 0.8 44%
CHICAGO MED NBC 1.2 2.0 0.8 67%
LAW & ORDER: SVU NBC 1.4 2.2 0.8 57%
15 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ABC 0.6 1.3 0.7 117%
SPLITTING UP TOGETHER ABC 1.0 1.7 0.7 70%
STATION 19 ABC 1.1 1.8 0.7 64%
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS 0.8 1.5 0.7 88%
BULL CBS 1.1 1.8 0.7 64%
SURVIVOR CBS 1.6 2.3 0.7 44%
THE RESIDENT FOX 0.9 1.6 0.7 78%
22 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC 0.4 1.0 0.6 150%
SCORPION – F CBS 0.7 1.3 0.6 86%
NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 0.8 1.4 0.6 75%
LIFE IN PIECES CBS 1.0 1.6 0.6 60%
MOM CBS 1.4 2 0.6 43%
THE FLASH CW 0.7 1.3 0.6 86%
NEW GIRL FOX 0.6 1.2 0.6 100%
LETHAL WEAPON FOX 0.8 1.4 0.6 75%
TIMELESS NBC 0.5 1.1 0.6 120%
SUPERSTORE NBC 0.8 1.4 0.6 75%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

Rank Show Net L+SD L+7 7-day increase
7-day % increase
1 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC 0.4 1.0 0.6 150%
JANE THE VIRGIN – F CW 0.2 0.5 0.3 150%
3 ARROW CW 0.3 0.7 0.4 133%
4 TIMELESS NBC 0.5 1.1 0.6 120%
5 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ABC 0.6 1.3 0.7 117%
6 SWAT CBS 0.8 1.7 0.9 113%
7 NEW GIRL FOX 0.6 1.2 0.6 100%
FOR THE PEOPLE ABC 0.5 1.0 0.5 100%
BLINDSPOT NBC 0.5 1.0 0.5 100%
ONCE UPON A TIME ABC 0.4 0.8 0.4 100%
DYNASTY CW 0.1 0.2 0.1 100%
12 CHICAGO FIRE NBC 1.0 1.9 0.9 90%
13 CRIMINAL MINDS – 10 p.m. – F CBS 0.9 1.7 0.8 89%
14 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS 0.8 1.5 0.7 88%
15 SCORPION – F CBS 0.7 1.3 0.6 86%
THE FLASH CW 0.7 1.3 0.6 86%
17 GOTHAM FOX 0.6 1.1 0.5 83%
18 CRIMINAL MINDS – 9 p.m. – S CBS 1.0 1.8 0.8 80%
BLACK LIGHTNING – F CW 0.5 0.9 0.4 80%
SUPERGIRL CW 0.5 0.9 0.4 80%
SUPERNATURAL CW 0.5 0.9 0.4 80%
22 THE RESIDENT FOX 0.9 1.6 0.7 78%
23 GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 1.7 3.0 1.3 76%
24 CHICAGO PD NBC 1.2 2.1 0.9 75%
NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 0.8 1.4 0.6 75%
LETHAL WEAPON FOX 0.8 1.4 0.6 75%
SUPERSTORE NBC 0.8 1.4 0.6 75%
THE ORIGINALS – P CW 0.4 0.7 0.3 75%
RIVERDALE CW 0.4 0.7 0.3 75%


Viewers – Total gain

Rank Show Net L+SD (000s) L+7 (000s) 7-day increase
7-day % increase
1 ROSEANNE ABC 13271 19507 6236 47%
2 THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS 12912 17820 4908 38%
3 CHICAGO FIRE NBC 5390 9516 4126 77%
4 CHICAGO PD NBC 6622 10622 4000 60%
5 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ABC 3507 7482 3975 113%
6 YOUNG SHELDON CBS 11669 15556 3887 33%
7 CHICAGO MED NBC 6305 10148 3843 61%
8 BULL CBS 10831 14644 3813 35%
9 NCIS CBS 11447 15153 3706 32%
10 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS 8458 12160 3702 44%
11 SWAT CBS 5318 8978 3660 69%
12 GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 6947 10347 3400 49%
13 CRIMINAL MINDS – 10 p.m. – F CBS 5390 8744 3354 62%
14 CRIMINAL MINDS – 9 p.m. – S CBS 5920 8968 3048 51%
15 LAW & ORDER: SVU NBC 6577 9526 2949 45%
16 NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 7575 10521 2946 39%
17 THE RESIDENT FOX 4300 7190 2890 67%
18 MADAM SECRETARY CBS 6060 8830 2770 46%
19 HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS 7520 10288 2768 37%
20 SCORPION – F CBS 5225 7965 2740 52%
21 SCANDAL – F ABC 5468 8122 2654 49%
22 LETHAL WEAPON FOX 3585 6022 2437 68%
23 STATION 19 ABC 5426 7844 2418 45%
24 MOM CBS 8826 11242 2416 27%
25 THE CROSSING ABC 4088 6400 2312 57%

Viewers – Percentage gain

Rank Show Net L+SD (000s) L+7 (000s) 7-day increase
7-day % increase
1 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ABC 3507 7482 3975 113%
2 JANE THE VIRGIN – F CW 587 1197 610 104%
3 FOR THE PEOPLE ABC 2036 3951 1915 94%
4 TIMELESS NBC 2309 4385 2076 90%
AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC 1668 3162 1494 90%
6 THE FLASH CW 1882 3428 1546 82%
7 ARROW CW 978 1754 776 79%
8 CHICAGO FIRE NBC 5390 9516 4126 77%
9 RIVERDALE CW 1104 1931 827 75%
10 BLINDSPOT NBC 2718 4637 1919 71%
11 SWAT CBS 5318 8978 3660 69%
THE ORIGINALS – P CW 969 1642 673 69%
13 LETHAL WEAPON FOX 3585 6022 2437 68%
14 THE RESIDENT FOX 4300 7190 2890 67%
SUPERNATURAL CW 1413 2363 950 67%
IZOMBIE CW 814 1360 546 67%
17 NEW GIRL FOX 1580 2615 1035 66%
18 DECEPTION ABC 3245 5333 2088 64%
19 CRIMINAL MINDS 10 p.m. – F CBS 5390 8744 3354 62%
GOTHAM FOX 2183 3545 1362 62%
21 CHICAGO MED NBC 6305 10148 3843 61%
22 CHICAGO PD NBC 6622 10622 4000 60%
23 THE LAST MAN ON EARTH FOX 1537 2432 895 58%
24 THE CROSSING ABC 4088 6400 2312 57%
25 SUPERGIRL CW 1912 2943 1031 54%

Source: The Nielsen Company.

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Cancel Bear vs. CBS, week 32: Final predictions for 'Criminal Minds,' 'Kevin Can Wait' and 7 other shows – TVbytheNumbers

The broadcast networks will present their 2018-19 lineups to advertisers the week of May 14. Ahead of that, the Bear makes his last predictions for renewal or cancellation for shows still in limbo. Nearly every such show will have its future determined in the next few days.

Per usual, CBS has already picked up a sizable number of shows. Odds for the remaining ones, featuring good chances for “Instinct” and “Life in Pieces” and bad ones for “9JKL” and “Superior Donuts,” are below. The “Status” column will be updated as decisions are announced.

Show Renew/Cancel Index Renewal chances Status
9JKL (O) 0.27 10%
Superior Donuts (O) 0.19 13%
Code Black (O) 0.0 51%
Scorpion (O) 0.12 65%
Instinct (O) 0.11 67%
Criminal Minds (O) 0.29 75%
Man with a Plan (O) 0.3 75%
Life in Pieces 0.42 80%
Kevin Can Wait (O) 0.48 90%

A couple of notes: As the Bear stated a couple weeks ago, he’s not wasting any mental energy on “Ransom.” There’s also no prediction for “Elementary,” which has just one episode in the books at posting time and is for all intents a summer show this year.

Already renewed: “The Big Bang Theory,” “Blue Bloods,” “Bull,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “MacGyver,” “Madam Secretary,” “Mom,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “SEAL Team,” “SWAT,” “Young Sheldon”

Already canceled: “Living Biblically,” “Me, Myself & I,” “Wisdom of the Crowd”

—-

The Renew/Cancel Index is the amount above (or below) a replacement-level rating — i.e., the expected adults 18-49 rating of an emergency fill-in show should a series be canceled. For the 2016-17 season, replacement level is a 0.7 same-day rating in adults 18-49 for the Big 4 networks and a 0.2 for The CW. (Read more here.) The index number is taken by subtracting 0.7 (or 0.2) from a show’s average same-day rating.

Friday scripted shows (denoted with an “F” above) on the Big 4 have average ratings about 30 percent lower than those of other nights, therefore their ratings are multiplied by 1.43 (1/0.7, or 70 percent) before subtracting the replacement-level number. Any scripted show on Saturdays will use the same formula.

Shows that have ended their seasons have their R/C Index number frozen at the point of their final episode.

(O) – Owned: All other things equal, shows owned by studios affiliated with their networks have a better shot at renewal than those from outside producers.

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How to Watch Criminal Minds Episodes Online – TVOvermind

Keeping up with the latest episodes of various series on the TV screen can be a huge hassle. After all, people have lives to live, meaning that it is not uncommon for them to have something come up that makes it difficult for them to catch their favorite series even if they are particularly determined to keep up. Luckily, while this might have been a serious problem in the not so distant past, this is more a minor inconvenience than anything else for those of us in the present.

After all, the popularization of online services means that the latest episodes of the current TV shows can be found on the Internet, which represents a huge step up in pure convenience. This is because people who choose to watch series on the Internet rather than on the TV screen can choose to watch whenever as well as wherever they want, thus eliminating their need to care about scheduling conflicts for the most part. Something that is particularly useful for people who want to binge TV shows such as Criminal Minds, which isn’t really possible when following such series on the TV screen but very easily done when watching over via online streaming.

How Can You Watch Criminal Minds Online?

Since Criminal Minds is broadcast on CBS, it should come as no surprise to learn that it can be found on the CBS website. After all, modern TV channels tend to offer episodes of their series on their websites, which is a huge benefit for their potential viewers that happens to serve their interests as well by keeping said individuals interested in those series. With that said, interested individuals should be warned that the website offers no more than a limited selection of episodes for normal visitors to CBS’s website, which is perhaps unsurprising considering the existence of CBS All-Access. If they are interested in a wider range of content that is much more up-to-date, they might want to check out CBS’s streaming service for further information. Luckily, there is a trial period for CBS All-Access. Unluckily, CBS All-Access hasn’t really been getting good reviews since its launch, though for what it is worth, CBS has been working to add more content to it as time passes.

Naturally, people who are living in other countries might have to check out the websites for other TV channels. To be exact, they should check out the websites for the TV channels on which Criminal Minds is broadcast, which should offer them the best chance of finding what they are looking for. For example, if interested individuals are living in Canada, they should check out the website for CTV, which is the Canadian TV channel that has the rights.

Generally speaking, it can be useful to search for series on various streaming services as well. However, this is not an option in this case. Criminal Minds used to be on Netflix, but it has since been removed because CBS has strong incentive to keep it for its own streaming service. Something that might become more common in the future for other TV shows as other TV channels launch their own streaming services to grab a slice of the market.

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CBS Bubble Show Update: Latest Renewal/Cancellation Buzz – TVLine

The clock is ticking, and it would seem time is not on the side of several established CBS programs. With the network’s “upfront” presentation roughly two weeks away, all, ahem, eyes are on CBS’ remaining bubble series, including — but definitely not limited to — venerable drama Criminal Minds

And while CBS’ recent mass renewal spree resolved the fate of roughly a half-dozen in-limbo dramas (including Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary and MacGyver), the news also left several series (hello, Scorpion!) more vulnerable.

Peruse our freshly-updated gallery above for the latest intel on your favorite CBS shows (or click here for direct access) and then share your anxiety in the comments section. And, of course, for all up-to-the-minute pickup buzz, visit our 2018 Renewal Scorecard.

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Criminal Minds executive producer: 'It would be a crime' if drama wasn't renewed – EW.com

Spoiler alert! Don’t read this unless you’ve watched Wednesday’s season finale of Criminal Minds.

In tonight’s episode, an FBI agent who’s really a member of a serial killer cult threatens to kidnap Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) if the BAU doesn’t release her creepy leader. Considering how CBS has yet to say whether it wants a 14th season of Criminal Minds, it was a pretty optimistic move by Executive Producer Erica Messer to end the drama with a cliffhanger. So we asked her why!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: A cult with serial killers! Where did you get this idea?
ERICA MESSER: I know! It’s crazy-town. We knew we wanted to take it to an unexpected place. The idea of a cult is something that’s been done before, but the idea of a specific cult of people who are not only willing to kill but might actually have joy in doing it felt very unique to Criminal Minds, especially in terms of a 300th episode, which we are heading into. We got excited and decided that would be a tease at the end of episode 299, so in 300 we could really run with the why now of it all.

300 episodes! It seems wrong not to renew Criminal Minds when it’s about to celebrate such a huge milestone.
Exactly! That’s how I feel.

Michael Yarish/CBS

You must have felt confident enough about a renewal because you ended with a cliffhanger.
I feel that we have been such a good show for CBS for so long, and we have such a loyal fan base who has been with us through ups and downs. It would almost be a crime to not allow us to finish out our show. That’s how strongly I feel, they wouldn’t let us just go off and into the sunset like that. I’m profiling CBS to say I don’t think they would be that cruel. [Laughs]

Well, Criminal Minds hasn’t received an early pickup for years now.
It’s been years and years of that, actually. [Earlier Wednesday, CBS announced the renewal of 11 series]. The last time we got the early order was going into season 8. It’s been for different reasons over the years. Sometimes there are a lot of actors who are up for renegotiation. Sometimes there are issues between ABC and CBS studios as partners in the production of the show. This time we have our actors ready to go and our producers and writers are all lined up. I’m sure CBS has many reasons why they are holding back on a pickup. It’s business.

So you haven’t received any indication of a 14th season?
Zero. It’s so funny. After 13 years of being on one show, people assume I have a stress-free May. And I say, oh no. We wrapped March 28. I won’t know until they are in New York. That’s when I get the call.

Michael Yarish/CBS

At this point, would you consider adding anyone for a new season if the show were renewed for a 14th season?
No, I think we’re doing great. We added Daniel Henney last year. We are at a really good place right now. A nice, diverse cast. Half women, half men. This is a really great group. I would love to see it stay as is.

If you have a 300th episode, will it be a one-hour or something longer?
I was planning on a one-hour to kick off the year unless they told me otherwise. I really want it to be a big reward for all of us who have been loving this show for 300 episodes. I feel hopeful. The thing is, it’s not like I’m sitting here saying, “We’ve run out of stories! We’re plum out, got nothing else to tell.” It’s not true! We can keep on going.

Want to know what other shows are on the bubble? Click here to read our annual Deathwatch roundup.

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Why Criminal Minds Season 13 Was So Great For Stars Joe Mantegna And Kirsten Vangsness – Cinema Blend

Doing the same job week in and week out can be a mental struggle for many people, but that’s not so much the case for two of Criminal Minds‘ biggest stars, Joe Mantegna and Kirsten Vangsness. The pair had a blast making Season 13, with familiar faces occasionally dropping by to help and hinder the newest iteration of the BAU squad. CinemaBlend spoke with the two stars about Criminal Minds‘ shocking Season 13 finale, and here’s what Mantegna told me about putting the most recent season together.

Criminal Minds faced quite a few changes in Season 13, starting with the aftermath of the deadly Season 12 cliffhanger, which cemented the exit of the fired Damon Gupton, who played Agent Stephen Walker. It was the second full season without longtime star Shemar Moore, and the second full season with Moore’s replacement Adam Rodriguez, and this year saw Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders star Daniel Henney joining this cast after the spinoff’s cancellation. Plus, CBS pushed the show back an hour on the weekly schedule, giving it a 10:00 p.m. ET start time, as opposed to its longstanding 9:00 p.m. time. That’s a lot of ways for the season to be a headache, but the Criminal Minds cast and crew faced the challenges head-on, and it apparently made the season go by even faster than expected.

Having new faces around will always be good to keep conversations fresh, and showing newer cast members the ropes could provide instances for the longtime stars to get excited about their own characters all over again. Not that Joe Mantegna should have lost his jubilance for playing Agent Rossi over the years, even though the character is constantly dealing with his best agents being put in life-threatening situations.

Fans got to watch Garcia and Daniel Webber’s Matt Simmons share quite a bit of screentime this season, so it makes sense that Kirsten Vangsness was also fond of Criminal Minds keeping Simmons active within the overall franchise. Here’s what the actress told me.

Indeed, Criminal Minds offered viewers more than a few memorably disturbing episodes in Season 13, with the crown jewel being the Matthew Gray Gubler-directed installment “The Capilanos,” which highlighted the actor’s fascination with clowns in a creepy way. That plague doctor episode was also hair-raising, as was the episode with the killer who released videos of his murders to the media. (And, of course, the return of Jamie Kennedy’s cannibal Floyd Feylinn Ferell was a delectable treat.) Spoilers for the Season 13 finale are below, so please be sure to watch before reading on.

We won’t believe that any of Kirsten Vangsness’ episodes will be more impactful than the Season 13 finale, though, since it put Garcia in the kind of high-stakes danger that she usually gets to avoid. Reid found himself facing a deadly dilemma, where he could either guarantee Garcia’s safety by allowing the influential Messiah to go free, or to keep the Messiah locked up, which would almost definitely mean Garcia’s demise. Glad we aren’t the ones having to make that decision, though it sucks to have to wait so long to see how it gets resolved.

Check out what the stars told us about the chances of Season 14 getting ordered up at CBS, which has yet to renew the longtime hit. And while waiting on that announcement, head to our summer premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows that are on the way.

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'Criminal Minds' showrunner on CBS drama's potential end | EW.com – EW.com

Spoiler alert! Don’t read this unless you’ve watched Wednesday’s season finale of Criminal Minds.

In tonight’s episode, an FBI agent who’s really a member of a serial killer cult threatens to kidnap Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) if the BAU doesn’t release her creepy leader. Considering how CBS has yet to say whether it wants a 14th season of Criminal Minds, it was a pretty optimistic move by Executive Producer Erica Messer to end the drama with a cliffhanger. So we asked her why!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: A cult with serial killers! Where did you get this idea?
ERICA MESSER: I know! It’s crazy-town. We knew we wanted to take it to an unexpected place. The idea of a cult is something that’s been done before, but the idea of a specific cult of people who are not only willing to kill but might actually have joy in doing it felt very unique to Criminal Minds, especially in terms of a 300th episode, which we are heading into. We got excited and decided that would be a tease at the end of episode 299, so in 300 we could really run with the why now of it all.

300 episodes! It seems wrong not to renew Criminal Minds when it’s about to celebrate such a huge milestone.
Exactly! That’s how I feel.

Michael Yarish/CBS

You must have felt confident enough about a renewal because you ended with a cliffhanger.
I feel that we have been such a good show for CBS for so long, and we have such a loyal fan base who has been with us through ups and downs. It would almost be a crime to not allow us to finish out our show. That’s how strongly I feel, they wouldn’t let us just go off and into the sunset like that. I’m profiling CBS to say I don’t think they would be that cruel. [Laughs]

Well, Criminal Minds hasn’t received an early pickup for years now.
It’s been years and years of that, actually. [Earlier Wednesday, CBS announced the renewal of 11 series]. The last time we got the early order was going into season 8. It’s been for different reasons over the years. Sometimes there are a lot of actors who are up for renegotiation. Sometimes there are issues between ABC and CBS studios as partners in the production of the show. This time we have our actors ready to go and our producers and writers are all lined up. I’m sure CBS has many reasons why they are holding back on a pickup. It’s business.

So you haven’t received any indication of a 14th season?
Zero. It’s so funny. After 13 years of being on one show, people assume I have a stress-free May. And I say, oh no. We wrapped March 28. I won’t know until they are in New York. That’s when I get the call.

Michael Yarish/CBS

At this point, would you consider adding anyone for a new season if the show were renewed for a 14th season?
No, I think we’re doing great. We added Daniel Henney last year. We are at a really good place right now. A nice, diverse cast. Half women, half men. This is a really great group. I would love to see it stay as is.

If you have a 300th episode, will it be a one-hour or something longer?
I was planning on a one-hour to kick off the year unless they told me otherwise. I really want it to be a big reward for all of us who have been loving this show for 300 episodes. I feel hopeful. The thing is, it’s not like I’m sitting here saying, “We’ve run out of stories! We’re plum out, got nothing else to tell.” It’s not true! We can keep on going.

Want to know what other shows are on the bubble? Click here to read our annual Deathwatch roundup.

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