CBS’ Criminal Minds is going on its eleventh season this year and the team is going to be taking on different kinds of cases this time around.
The crime procedural that features a team of FBI profilers that travel around the country to solve the strangest of cases, will take on a different format this season. Showrunner Erica Messer has said that the season will take on a more serialized nature, according to TVLine.
This season will look into the investigation of The Dirty Dozen: a network of hitmen. Messer describes the ongoing arc as a really heavy thing for the team to be investigating. She also promises that the conclusion of that storyline won’t come until the season finale.
“It’s a crazy arc,” says cast member Matthew Gray Gubler who plays Dr. Reid according to TVLine. “It’s exciting, spooky, team members might be in peril…. Fun stuff as always!” Speaking of team members, this season’s team will look a little different. Jennifer Love Hewitt who joined the team just last season as agent Kate will not be returning.
This season also loses A.J. Cook’s JJ. Cook is leaving the show for maternity leave (her character on the show is leaving the team for awhile for the same reason) but is expected to be back in later episodes.
Criminal Minds’ fans are no strangers to cast shakeups. Cook has left the show for a short period of time before and Hewitt’s character last season was replacing another one-season-only cast member. Helping to fill the void of those character’s absence is Aisha Tyler.
Tyler will play psychologist Dr. Tara Lewis. “Aisha is such a smart person that playing a really smart character is obviously second nature to her,” Messer said.
Gubler adds, “Comedians make the best dramatic actors, and that’s true for Aisha especially.” There has been some fan speculation that Tyler’s character will be a love interest for Gubler’s, though no official confirmation of those rumors has been made.
Gubler’s character Dr. Reid is expected to get an exciting storyline this season as well. “He gets to do a take down Reid style, which is just using his brain with a physical thing that’s really disturbing — you have to turn away,” Messer says according to Entertainment Weekly. “It’s not a standoff with a gun, it’s a Reid version of a takedown.”
Criminal Minds will premiere on September 30 on CBS.