Leaving behind a legacy. Criminal Minds is back with a revival on Paramount+ titled Criminal Minds: Evolution — but fans have watched the cast change on and off screen since the procedural first debuted.
In 2005, viewers were introduced to a group of criminal profilers who work for the FBI as members of its Behavioral Analysis Unit. The crime drama, which was created by Teen Wolf‘s Jeff Davis, explored different fictional cases and showed how behavioral analysis helped the team locate their unknown subjects.
The first season of Criminal Minds starred Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook and Kirsten Vangsness. After two seasons on the show, Patinkin announced his departure and later offered a reason for the decision.
“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place. I thought it was something very different,” he said during an interview with New York Magazine in September 2012. “I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year.”
Patinkin recalled struggling with the subject material, saying, “It was very destructive to my soul and my personality.”
At the time, the Princess Bride actor noted that he didn’t judge viewers who enjoyed the procedural. “I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” Patinkin, who joined Homeland after his exit from the CBS show, added. “But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about.”
Over the years, Criminal Minds continued to see cast changes until it wrapped up in 2020. The police drama was later picked up for a revival which included the return of Joe Mantegna, Cook, Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster. The Paramount+ series will also introduce Zach Gilford in the role of the first season’s villain.
Ahead of the revival’s debut in November 2022, Gilford opened up about joining such a memorable franchise.
“Because it’s on Paramount+, instead of CBS, they’re doing it a little different. They want to make the same show, but in a slightly different way and they want me to be a part of doing that. So, I think I’m cocky enough to think I will do nothing the fans are going to hate,” the Friday Night Lights alum told Nerds and Beyond at the time. “I’ve watched the show and I love the show, so I think I understand the appeal of it.”
Gilford continued: “I have much respect for the fans of this show and what this show has been, and I think being directed by the cast members and how collaborative the writers are, hopefully I don’t stick out like a sore thumb.”
Scroll down to see then and now photos of the Criminal Minds cast members: