Who would’ve ever thought that the Behavioral Analysis Unit, or BAU, could be so exciting? Since 2005, Criminal Minds has been baffling, intriguing, and enticing us with so many amazing stories throughout the show’s 13 seasons. We’ve seen just as many changes over the years as well, especially when it comes to the cast. Over the seasons, the team behind the BAU has changed–sometimes for the worst, other times for the better. Some changes were more shocking than others, but they happened regardless. We’ve since moved on and looked forward to the future. Here’s a quick timeline of some of Criminal Minds’ major cast changes over the past few years.
Lola Glaudini — Her role may have been shot but it was impactful enough to notice. Played by Elle Greenaway, Glaudini was around from 2005 to 2006 for only a total of 28 episodes. She left early in Season 2.
Mandy Patinkin — Patinkin played Special Agent Jason Gideon and was one of Criminal Minds’ original cast members. Patinkin left after Season 3 due to creative differences. However, the showrunner at the time, Ed Bernero, claimed that it was more one-sided in some ways. Apparently, the departure wasn’t as amiable as it seemed, since Bernero said that the production team has bent over backwards to give Patinkin everything he asked for. Patinkin has been seen in many projects since, including his role as Saul Berenson in Homeland.
A.J. Cook — Cook is actually still on the show, but there was a time when she was let go abruptly. Her character, Jennifer Jareau or JJ, is one of the most beloved characters in the show. When the network decided to let her go to cut costs, it didn’t sit very well with fans. Next thing we knew, she was back on the show and hopefully for good this time.
Rachel Nichols — When Paget Brewster left, there was a giant void in the show that needed to be filled. Nichols played the character Ashley Seaver, but somehow, it just didn’t work out. It was either Nichols or the character Seaver; either way, there was no connection made, so she was out after just 13 episodes.
Paget Brewster — Brewster played the character Emily Prentiss for 6 years, including a break in season 5. She started out in Season 2 and was instrumental to many of the shows greatest moments. Brewster said was ready to move on, except maybe she really wasn’t. She has had multiple appearances in the show after her supposed departure, and she still does to this day.
Jeanne Tripplehorn — Tripplehorn’s character, Alex Blake, was another replacement for Brewster’s Prentiss. However, this was another failed attempt, and Tripplehorn was gone after only 2 seasons, Season 8 and 9.
Jennifer Love Hewitt — It was a good move for the show to procure such a high-profile namej; however, Hewitt barely even lasted for an entire season. She exited after just one season in Season 10. We’re just glad she was gone before we even got attached.
Shemar Moore — It was a shocking revelation because Moore was one of the faces of the show itself. He played Derek Morgan, a beloved character that was there in the beginning. Since then, Moore picked up another TV series, even though he stated that he wanted a break from work in order to focus on family.
Thomas Gibson — Gibson left the show under unfortunate circumstances. He was fired for literally kicking a writer, an incident for which he was initially suspended and then eventually let go. Gibson has been part of the show since the beginning and had hoped to see it through to the end; however, things don’t always end up the way we intend for them to.