Criminal Minds: 9 Behind The Scenes Secrets

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Since 2005, fans have been absolutely hooked on Criminal Minds. Despite 12 complete seasons, the show has not faltered for new material and new exciting cases for the BAU team to work on. After so much time, the show has gained millions of loyal and passionate fans who soak up everything there is to know about the show. What is less talked about with the series, however, is what goes on behind the scenes to make Criminal Minds one of the longest-running and most popular series on TV season after season. From set life to drama we don’t see on-screen, here are 9 behind the scenes secrets from Criminal Minds:

9. First Shocking Exit

Over its many seasons, Criminal Minds has seen many cast change-ups including its unusually fair share of dramatic and shocking exits. The very first one was from Mandy Patinkin, who starred in Criminal Minds for two seasons and two episodes of season three as Jason Gideon before he just stopped reporting to work in 2007. He didn’t inform any member of the cast or crew and never came back. “He gave us no advance notice that anything was wrong, no opportunity to find a way to make the loss of this character work, no indication that we should be looking for someone else,” executive producer Ed Bernero said. Five years later, Patinkin spoke out about why he left the way he did, and the impact the show had on him. “The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place. I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again. I’m not making a judgement on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals]. But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about.”

Carole Segal/CBS
©2005 CBS


8. Filming 

With all of the exits of stars and firings, it was especially difficult for writers and filming because of the timing of getting the show filmed. Many fans assume that entire seasons are completed before they air, but that is not the case. Criminal Minds has at most three episodes filmed and ready before each season starts and are about two weeks ahead at any time, but when someone abruptly leaves the show, the filming is thrown into turmoil.

Monty Brinton/©CBS/courtesy Everett Collection