The “Criminal Minds” revival on Paramount+ may not feature every original star, but their presence is still felt, showrunner Erica Messer said on Wednesday’s virtual Television Critics Association panel.
Matthew Gray Gubler and Daniel Henney, who portrayed Spencer Reid and Matthew Simmons, respectively, on the CBS procedural, are not currently attached and it’s unknown where the characters are.
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“It’s a little bit more of a mystery what Reid and Simmons are up to. They’re certainly not forgotten. Their desks are still there, still have stuff on it,” Messer teased. “We’re definitely playing that. They are not gone gone.”
The executive producer added that she’s hopeful more original stars “will be able to come back and play at some point” in the series.
“Criminal Minds” aired for 15 seasons from 2005 to 2020.
When “Criminal Minds: Evolution” debuts, the characters will all be in very different places. “We wanted to honor this journey of grief that a lot of people have been through,” Messer said, adding that Joe Mantegna’s David Rossi will be going through an “emotional crisis,” which affects the entire team, who are “suffering with him and for him.”
Although the revival is moving from CBS to Paramount+ and they have the opportunity to go even darker, the writers don’t plan on doing so.
“It has definitely broadened our scope, but I’m very aware that teenage kids watch this show,” she shared. “I never wanted us to go into full Rated-R … but we live in the world longer. So because of that, you just get to live and breathe in this space and it can be disturbing — a disturbing space to live in. I don’t think you’re going to be shocked at the graphics being worst or anything like that.”
That said, the show is now able to use more language. “[It’s] pretty normal for Joe so it was a short stretch for me,” Mantegna quipped.
“Criminal Minds: Evolution will premiere with two episodes on Nov. 24. New episodes will then drop weekly on Thursdays.
In addition to Mantegna, original cast members A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster are set to return for the new series. Zach Gilford has been cast in a season-long recurring guest star role, portraying a serial killer.
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