Criminal Mind is a critically and commercially acclaimed television show in America. The show which was created by Jeff Davis began airing on CBS network on September 22, 2005. The American police drama tells the tale of a group of FBI behavioral profilers who use their profiling skills to solve difficult cases. The mystery thriller show original cast featured Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudinin, Shemar Moore, Mattew Gray Gubler, A.J Cook, and Kristen Vangsness. Over the years, the cast has undergone some major changes which brought in the likes of Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Rachel Nichols, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, Damon Gupton, and Daniel Henney. More so, Criminal Minds has seen a lot of fan-favorite characters and cast come and go, leaving room for heavy speculations. Read on as we put an end to some of these speculations surrounding the exit of 12 Criminal Mind cast who left the show.
12 Criminal Mind Cast and Characters Who Left The Show
1. Mandy Patinkin
Patinkin was one of the very first members of the original Criminal Minds cast to leave the show. Throughout his time on the show, he played the Jason Gideon character. Gideon was the FBI’s most rated profiler and head of its Behavioural Analysis Unit. The younger version of Jason was portrayed by Ben Savage.
However, Mandy Patinkin left Criminal Mind abruptly in 2007 after his appearance on the second episode of Season 3 of the TV series which was broadcasted on October 3, 2007. His character, Jason Gideon, quit as head of the Behavioural Analysis Unit citing emotional distress as his reason. Jason Gideon was killed off-screen by one of the suspects he had been previously trailing.
Some years later, Patinkin’s reasons for leaving were revealed in an interview he granted in 2012. The actor made it known that the show was highly destructive to his personality and soul due to the very emotional episodes he featured in. Mandy went on to reveal that he didn’t feel much inclined to appearing on television shows any longer.
2. Thomas Gibson
Thomas Ellis Gibson is a popular American director and actor well known for his roles in Chicago Hope, Dharma & Greg, and Criminal Minds. In the latter television show, he portrayed the character of Aaron Hotchner from Season 1 to Season 12. Aaron Hotchner served as one of the major characters of the widely acclaimed television show. Hotch, as he was fondly called by his fellow agents, was a prosecutor before joining the FBI as an agent. He took over from Jason Gideon as Chief of the Behavioural Analysis Unit after the latter quit his post.
However, the producers of Criminal Minds officially dismissed Thomas Gibson from the show on August 12, 2016. The public announcement stated that the decision to let the American star actor go was based on Gibson’s physical confrontation with one of the writers on the show. The showrunners creatively removed this Criminal Minds cast member by placing him on temporary assignment somewhere else and then later he retired to spend time with his son Jack.
3. Shemar Moore
Shemar Moore played the Derek Morgan character on the popular television show. Morgan, a popular Criminal Minds character, appeared on the show for 10 seasons. Moore first left the show after its 10th season but later returned as a guest star in one of its episodes.
Shemar’s reason for leaving the show was the same reason his character left the show which was to spend quality time with his family. However, reports elsewhere stated that his reason for leaving was due to the fact that he was named among the cast for an upcoming CBS television show titled S.W.A.T. Irrespective of the various reasons given, Shemar’s sendoff was quite emotional for fans and actors alike as he was loved by many including the producers and distributors of the show.
4. Jeanne Tripplehorn
The veteran American actress first appeared on Criminal Minds in its eighth season. Jeanne Tripplehorn portrayed the character of Dr. Alex Blake. Tripplehorn’s spell on the show was quite a short one as she featured for only two seasons. The reason for her leaving was due to failure on the part of the show’s producers to renew her contract. Our guess is that they were not able to fulfill the financial obligations of the contract proposed by Jeanne.
The showrunners removed Tripplehorn’s character in a rather creative way. Dr. Blake quit her job at Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) on the grounds it reminded her of her dead son.
5. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Many fans and followers of the widely acclaimed TV show must have seen Jennifer Hewitt in Criminal Minds Season 10 as one of the main cast members but that was for only a brief moment. Hewitt had to quit the show in order to properly take care of herself as she was expecting her second child and that was the same reason her pregnant character, Kate Callahan gave before her departure from the show.
6. Rachel Nichols
This Criminal Minds cast member made her debut as a guest star but her status was later upgraded to that of a full cast member. Rachel Nichols portrayed the character of Ashley Seaver, an FBI recruit trainee. The show producers brought Rachel on to replace the characters played by Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook who were briefly unavailable. Following the return of Cook and Brewster, Nichols was removed from the show.
7. Damon Gupton
Another Criminal Minds cast who left the show is Damon Gupton. His stay on the show was quite short as he appeared in just a few episodes of Season 12. Gupton played the role of an FBI Special Agent known as Stephen Walker. CBS took a decision not to renew Damon’s contract which brought an end to his appearance as a member of Criminal Minds cast.
8. Lola Glaudini
Lola Glaudini appeared on the first season of Criminal Minds as FBI agent Elle Greenaway. Reports indicated that Glaudini personally opted to leave the show stating that she was not happy living in Los Angeles which is the set location of the show. This Criminal Minds cast member was removed from the storyline after her character was killed in a shootout with some notorious suspects.
9. A.J Cook
A.J Cook is one of the original cast of the American television show. The American actress who starred as JJ faced a minor setback on the show towards the end of its Season 5. The producers were not able to finalize her contract renewal due to some financial issues they faced at the time.
Despite not having a contract with CBS, A.J was still featured in a couple of episodes in the following season – in a bid to finish up the storyline. Following her exit, fans and followers of the show expressed their great displeasure at the showrunners for letting go of one of their favorite Criminal Minds cast members. However, the producers of the show finally gave in to the pressure and just before the commencement of Season 7 renewed the contract of the talented actress. Criminal Minds has been renewed for its final season and Cook is still very much a part of the cast.
10. Paget Brewster
Paget Brewster‘s time on the award-winning show has not been entirely fun for her. She played the role of Emily Prentiss and she was introduced on the show in its season 2, shortly after Lola Glaudini’s character left the show. Paget continued to star as Emily Prentiss up until Season 7 when she decided to quit the show to chase other ventures.
After her exit as a full-time Criminal Minds cast member, the American actress guest-starred on some future episodes of the show. Paget Brewster, however, returned back fully to the show in Season 12. Her character is currently the Chief of the FBI’s BAU.
11. Jayne Atkison
Erin Strauss was one of the recurring characters on Criminal Minds. She started appearing from Season 2 and made her final appearance in Season 9. The character was played by popular American actress Jayne Atkinson. Initially, Straus was an FBI assistant director and superior to BAU’s Unit Chief. In later episodes of the show, she was revealed as an alcoholic. She decides to seek help and finally regains her sobriety. Erin Strauss was removed from the show following an event that led to her death in Season 8.
It was later revealed by Erica Messer who was the showrunner at the time that the reason for removing Erin Strauss from the show was solely based on the fact that the character had reached full circle since its introduction.
12. Nicholas Brendon
Last but not the least on our list of 12 Criminal Minds cast who left the show is American star actor Nicholas Brendon. He portrayed the character of Kevin Lynch. The Kevin Lynch character was a recurring one as he was listed as one of the major characters. Lynch was first introduced in Season 3 as a computer analyst under the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. Lynch had a good run on the show appearing from Season 3 up until Season 10. Aside from his appearance as one of the Criminal Minds cast, Kevin had previously starred on other top-grossing television shows before which include, the award-winning American horror show titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The superb performance on the show earned him wide praise and fame.