Is Criminal Minds being cancelled? That question alone doesn’t exactly make it easy being a fan of CBS’ riveting series that pits a team of FBI profilers against a different serial killer who, conveniently, pops up each week just in time for a new episode. Cancellation is actually a bigger concern than occasional fluctuations in the cast or fear the writers can no longer come up with inventive ways of killing off victims (unnervingly, that never seems to be a problem).
So, is Criminal Minds cancelled or renewed?
The short answer: We don't know yet. But don't be alarmed that Criminal Minds is getting canceled after Season 13 and won't be renewed for Season 14. CBS always keeps fans hanging on until the last moment. In fact, it's become a yearly, hang-on-to-your-seats guessing game until the series is inevitably renewed.
Think we’re joking? Renewal for Season 13 was still an issue in March 2017, when CBS announced the renewal of 14 shows on their lineup — but conveniently left out Criminal Minds. Well, considering we're in the middle of that 13th year, obviously the network stuck with it. Which brings us to where we are now, where renewals for next season are already being talked about, and, yes, people are wondering whether Criminal Minds will be canceled or return for Season 14. If history has any say, we probably won't know for a while.
Back on April 4, 2016, it was rumored that Criminal Minds would not be renewed for Season 12 due to Shemar Moore's exit. Spoiler: The show was picked up for Season 12.
Flash forward to Nov. 4, 2016, when, in the middle of the that 12th year the question arose on whether or not Criminal Minds would be coming back for Season 13. Thomas Gibson, who played Aaron Hotchner, was kicked off the show for getting into an altercation with one of the writers. After he left, the ratings dropped by 10 percent and fans started a hashtag campaign, #NoHotchNoWatch. For the record, Thomas Gibson was not recruited back to the show, but the series was renewed for Season 13.
In contrast, its spinoff series, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, were swiftly canceled after one and two seasons, respectively.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Why does CBS wait so long to renew Criminal Minds every year?
Whereas CBS owns most of their dramas outright, Criminal Minds comes from CBS Television Studios and ABC Studios, which means that CBS only owns half the show. That means there is a lot of negotiation to be had. And the reality is that the longer a show goes on, the more expensive it becomes. Cast and crew salaries usually go up every year and it eventually reaches a point where there are diminishing returns, leading to cancellation no matter how strong the ratings are.
In a story posted on Mar. 27, 2018, Deadline commented on this fact, pointing out that CBS already renewed SEAL Team, S.W.A.T. (starring Criminal Mind’s Shemar Moore), The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and so on, with expected renewals for the two NCIS shows, Blue Bloods, Bull, and Hawaii Five-O. But no word on Criminal Minds. They do note, however, that the show’s renewal “usually comes down to negotiations between CBS and ABC Studios that go to the wire, but so far have not led to an agreement.”
See, that's the key and the explanation for why fans have to go through this waiting game every single year. Yet with all of that being said, the odds are most definitely in favor of the Criminal Minds team getting another year to track down those sickos out there.