Criminal Minds is an American police procedural crime drama television series created and produced by Jeff Davis. The series premiered on CBS on September 22, 2005, and concluded on February 19, 2020. It follows a group of criminal profilers who work for the FBI as members of its Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), using behavioral analysis and profiling to investigate crimes and find the UnSub, (Unknown Subject) the team's nickname for perpetrators. The show tells the story of the team as they work various cases, and tackle their personal struggles.
The show's original main cast consisted of seven characters: Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Jennifer Jareau (A. J. Cook), and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness). The cast underwent major changes throughout the series' run, with several of the show's original members being replaced by nine additional starring characters: Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols), Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Kate Callahan (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler), Luke Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), Stephen Walker (Damon Gupton), and Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney).
Criminal Minds became a rating hit for CBS, regularly featuring as one of the network's most-watched shows throughout its 15-year-long run. Its success has spawned a media franchise, with several spinoffs, including a South Korean adaptation and a video game. The show was renewed for its fifteenth and final season of ten episodes, which aired from January 8, 2020, to February 19, 2020. It was the final series in the franchise to end, following its two spin-off series, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, which had been cancelled previously due to low ratings. In February 2021, it was announced that a 10-episode revival was officially greenlit and will air on Paramount+. A planned true-crime docuseries, titled The Real Criminal Minds, was also ordered by Paramount+.