The American procedural crime drama series, Criminal Minds, ended its Season 11 with a thrilling cliffhanger finale that aired May 4 leaving fans wanting more. Luckily for fans, CBS officially announced a renewal of the Criminal Minds for a 12th Season with 22 episodes that’ll premiere this Fall for the 2016-17 television season.
While not much is known about the upcoming season, we assume all current cast members are returning alongside a new FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) agent to replace Derek Morgan.
Since Shemar Moore’s Derek Morgan bid adieu to the show back in March, fans have been waiting for a new agent who would replace his character. There were talks about a new agent even back in Season 11 but executive producer Erica Messer declined to add a new character to replace Moore because she said it’s not the best move to do so in the middle of the season. Messer said she wanted fans and the other Criminal Minds characters to deal with their loneliness of losing Derek Morgan.
However, Derek Morgan will finally be replaced by a new BAU agent in the upcoming Season 12 of the series. “It (introducing a new BAU member) feels like something that would be natural to do in a premiere, just as we did for almost everybody else who has ever come in,” Messer hinted about the new BAU agent.
So this fall, we can expect a new BAU agent to join the rest of the FBI crew, though it remains unclear as to who will be cast alongside Thomas Gibson, Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook and Kirsten Vangsness.
In addition, Messer also dropped teasers, giving fans a brief description of what could be happening in the next season. As reported by TV Guide, Messer said, “We do know that we want Mr. Scratch to be part of Season 12 in some capacity, or at least the idea of Mr. Scratch being out there.”
Mr. Scratch had proven to be a very clever criminal as he managed to stage the prison break by using BAU team leader Aaron Hotch in the season finale. Mr. Scratch’s ability is such that he can control minds that will make everyone in danger of manipulation so it’ll be quite an interesting watch next season.
Messer further revealed the possibility of a serial storytelling including the risks that the team will encounter as they face off with deadly serial killers who are now on the loose.
“You can get away with a little more serialized storytelling than when we started the series. We’re excited to catch these bad guys all over again. Some we will have known, like Mr. Scratch, and others will be bad guys that maybe some of the team hasn’t caught before. That allows us to have some creative license. And of course, there will be our case of the week that may or may not be running parallel with catching a guy who escaped. I feel like, going into Season 12, we’ve had more opportunities for stories than we’ve had in a really long time,” said Messer.
Criminal Minds is on a hiatus at the moment. However, production is expected to begin in July for Criminal Minds Season 12 which will air September or October on its usual schedule on CBS.