Why Did Shemar Moore Leave ‘Criminal Minds’? The Untold Truth

Shemar Moore played Derek Morgan on the CBS crime drama, Criminal Minds. He has been in Hollywood for more than two decades, specializing on the small screen, though he has a number of films under his belts. He joined the cast in 2005, had 11 explosive seasons before leaving in 2016. Now he plays Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson on another crime drama series, S.W.A.T.

With Criminal Minds returning for its 15th and final season set to air between 2019 and 2020, the showrunner, Erica Messer has mentioned the possibility of bringing back former characters including Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), and B.A.U. heartthrob, Morgan (Shemar Moore) for a final run. While the news is refreshing, let’s explore the real reason Moore left in the first place.

Shemar Moore In Criminal Minds

After playing Malcolm Winters for 8 years in the long-running series, Young and Restless, Shemar Moore landed the role of the rugged F.B.I. agent Derek Morgan in the CBS crime drama, Criminal Minds. 11 seasons and 251 episodes after, he turned in his badge, leaving many a wet eye. Morgan bid his farewell in March 2016, on a season 11 episode titled A Beautiful Disaster.

Moore was cast as a hunky profiler named Derek Morgan, who wasn’t afraid to chase down the most dangerous of serial killers in the country. Fans crushed on him and were crushed when he left the bureau. Derek had an emotional last season on the show which saw him kidnapped and nearly killed. Also, he found out his girlfriend and future wife, Savannah (Rochelle Aytes) was pregnant. Thankfully, the writers were easy on our hearts – they didn’t kill him off; he left the bureau to take care of his family.

For his role in the series, he earned an Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series; that was in 2015. In addition to that, he got a People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Crime Drama TV Actor in 2016. Moreover, his character was included in TV Guide’s list of TV’s Sexiest Crime Fighters.

Why Did He Leave the Long-Running Series?

After his pregnant wife was shot on a former episode, though she and their baby survived, Agent Morgan saw the need to leave to take care of his family. Interestingly, Moore left the show for the same reason Morgan left the bureau, to care for his family. Learn more about the hunk of an actor’s family.

Moore has always taken his acting career serious and according to him, treated it like a school. For him, Young and Restless was high school, Criminal Minds, college, and now, he’s ready for graduate school. While money, a quest for stardom, contract termination, and hostility could be possible reasons the actor left the show, his reasons include the need to fuel his creativity, grow personally, try new things, and find out what else he is capable of.

Leaving the show, Moore wasn’t sure what opportunities lie ahead of him or what was going to happen. As it were, he told TV Guide that he was ready to grow and just wanted to leap. Even though he doesn’t know where he’ll land, he believed that he’ll definitely find his way around. It wasn’t too long before he landed a regular role in another CBS crime drama show, S.W.A.T., as Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson.

See Also: What Happened To Drs Brenda, Erin, and Sandra on Dr. Pol?

Will Shemar Moore Return for Criminal Minds’ Final Season?

Shemar Moore on set of Criminal Minds
Shemar Moore on the set of Criminal Minds: Image Source

Shemar Moore was one of the actors who left the show on very good terms with both the producers and CBS. Thus, he’s open to returning to Criminal Minds if the producers ever ask him to come back. He is thankful for the series, noting that therein, he grew as a person and also as an actor. It also introduced him to producing. Moore co-produced a movie titled The Bounce Back in which he also starred.

For not killing his character on the show, Shemar Moore said he would go back and salute just like he did in Young and Restless. As earlier stated, Erica Messer is toying with the idea of bringing back former characters for a season finale. So, there’s a pretty good chance he would appear in the final season, to be a part of the show’s goodbye.


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