Criminal Minds returns to our TV screens tonight and there’s going to be some big changes the popular crime procedural drama. After we bid farewell to agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) in season 11, and after the infamous ‘kick’ incident (that led to the series’ lead actor of the past 11 years, Thomas Gibson to be fired from the show), we expect some new additions to the cast including a changed story-line. Fans of Criminal Minds who are dying to know the season 12 cast that’s joining the BAU team, you’re in luck! We have all the latest information about the new cast of Criminal Minds season 12.

Criminal Minds season 12 premieres tonight, September 28 at 9:00 p.m. EST on CBS. You can tune into CBS or catch the premiere episode online on the network’s website.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of Criminal Minds.


Returning Agents

Joe Mantegna will reprise his role as Agent David Rossi, along with Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid, A. J. Cook as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia. Dr. Tara Lewis, played by Aisha Tyler, has been promoted to a series regular in season 12.

What Happens to Aaron Hotchner?

Thomas Gibson’s character, Aaron Hotchner will only appear for the first two episodes of season 12. His appearance in the rest of the season is unlikely, since Gibson has now been fired from the show. The actor, who has been one of the original cast members since the series began, had an on-set altercation with one of the show’s producers, Virgil Williams. Gibson went on the record to explain that he and Williams had a disagreement about something in the script, but that it wasn’t a big argument. Gibson recounted the incident that happened when the producer arrived on the set. “As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg.” According to Gibson, he apologized to Williams later. However, he was fired from the show and the news made headlines. Hotch’s fans were furious and didn’t think the incident warranted Gibson getting fired. But no one knows for sure what’s going to happen to Gibson’s character. For now, we have to watch the first two episodes of Criminal Minds season 12 to find out.


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An Old Face Returns

Criminal Minds fans were overjoyed to see Agent Emily Prentiss return to the show in season 11. Played by Paget Brewster, Prentiss was last seen as a regular character in season 7, before she departed from the BAU to work at Interpol. She made guest appearances in season 9 and season 11 and is making a full comeback in season 12. Prentiss will lead the team in Hotch’s absence. Perhaps, if Prentiss becomes the permanent leader of the team, it means it’s a permanent goodbye for Hotch.

The New Profiler

Derek Morgan left quite a big void after he left the BAU last season. Stepping in his shoes was Luke Alvez of the Fugitive Task Force. Alvez is played by Adam Rodriguez, previously seen on CSI: Miami. Alvez is tasked with capturing 13 escapees who broke out of prison, and he successfully nabs eight of them. He joins the BAU to catch the remaining five fugitives, but first has to deal with Derek’s closest friend, BAU tech analyst, Penelope Garcia.

Other Characters

After the return of Emily Prentiss, another fan favorite is going to make an appearance this season, too. Glee star, Jane Lynch will have a significant appearance this season as Dr. Spencer Reid’s mother. Dr. Diana Reid was last seen in season 4, though she’s mentioned often in the series. Also getting a recurring status this season is Peter Lewis, who plays the mind-controlling villain, Mr. Scratch. The character was last seen on season 10 and will be the main villain this season.

Criminal Minds season 12 will premiere tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST on CBS. Meanwhile, take a look at the preview of the season premiere below.


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