‘Criminal Minds’: Is Shemar Moore Really Leaving After 11 Seasons? What Will “Baby Girl” Do Without Him? Spoilers!

Shemar Moore is leaving Criminal Minds after 11 seasons. If you watched last night’s episode, you’ve already heard the heartbreaking news and possibly depleted an entire box of tissues. The question of the day remains. What will “Baby Girl” (and his many fans) do without Derek? And, worse yet, will the BAU ever be the same?

Interesting to note, according to TV Line, Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope) co-wrote the script for this episode of Criminal Minds, and Matthew Gray Gubler (Spencer) directed it. Both of them have contributed, in the same manner, before.

When asked if she was able to include memorable “Baby Girl”/Derek moments, Vangsness had this to say.

Oh, yeah. You’ll have to see for yourself. That was one of the things I am the proudest of, that there’s a lot there. It’s easy to write for people who I’ve spent so much time with, and I know what good actors they are and man, really… everybody is so good in it.

Vangsness has known she could co-write a Season 11 episode, ever since she signed her most recent contract. In case you’re curious, Kirsten also had a hand in writing an episode (last season) relating to an old case of BAU team member Jason Gideon.

The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with Shemar Moore, a.k.a. Derek Morgan, who finished filming Criminal Minds over a month ago. He admits to re-watching some of Derek’s best moments, along with the most recent drama.

Moore goes on to explain he’s been pondering whether or not to leave the uber-popular series for quite some time.

“When we started, there were 102 cop shows … and I questioned why they needed 103 but what we found out was that Criminal Minds was a different type of show. We were the little train that could. There were so many doubters and 11 years and 251 episodes later, I’m very proud. It’s nice to exhale now. I feel really at peace with the fact that I left it all out on the field.”

It’s been quite a few harrowing weeks for Derek Morgan and the people who love him. First, he gets abducted and tortured. He gets rescued, only to find out he’s going to be a father. He gets married and booted from the case in which he’s trying to capture his abductor. He secretly stays on the case, almost getting his wife and baby killed. In the end, love conquers all. Wife and baby are ok. Derek decides to leave the chaos of the BAU behind him.

Besides Criminal Minds, Shemar is known for the part he played on Young and the Restless. He credits his risk-taker parents and actors such as Denzel Washington and George Clooney for giving him the inspiration he needed to advance his career.

He tells readers it was Young and the Restless that made him popular in Hollywood. However, it was Criminal Minds that proved he could handle a dramatic role and keep his shirt on at the same time.

As you might guess, Moore has mixed feelings about leaving the rest of the cast behind. He summed it up by saying:

“It’s a weird experience. I just spent 11 years with a group of people and it’s a weird thing to walk away from — but I did it on my terms and in the right way.”

What is the one thing you’re going to miss most about Shemar Moore/Derek Morgan? Feel free to share your comments below. More importantly, do you really think Criminal Minds will be just as popular without the heartfelt relationship between Derek and his “Baby Girl?”

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]