'Criminal Minds' Season 12 Faces Extensive Casting Changes

Criminal Minds Season 12 seems beset by problems. Two major cast members have left the show, and fans are wondering if the Behavioral Analysis Unit or BAU will be short-handed for Season 12. If not, who will be replacing them? Read on to learn who will be coming back for another season, and which two new actors will be joining the team.

Shemar Moore, who plays Derek Morgan, exited the show a few episodes before the Season 11 finale, leaving fans and cast dejected. Shemar promised he'd be back for guest appearances from time to time. Moore's character was very popular.

Criminal Minds fans and cast were especially fond of Shemar and his character Derick Morgan. Will Derek come back sooner and more often than Moore had initially planned? Perhaps, but there are two new cast members set to join the BAU crew already.

Aisha Tyler was introduced into the cast as Dr. Tara Lewis in the last few episodes of Season 11. It has now been confirmed that she will be joining the team as a full-time cast member. Tyler is considered to be Moore's replacement, according to CDA News.

Adam Rodriguez will also be joining the Criminal Minds cast as part of the BAU team. There is no word yet on what his character's name will be. Rodriguez will play an FBI Fugitive Task Force agent and will be joining the Behavioral Analysis Unit as a regular cast member according to CBS News. Erica Messer is pleased to announce the addition of this award winning actor to the cast.

"We're thrilled to introduce a new special agent by adding the very talented Adam Rodriguez to our amazing cast."
New Criminal Minds Cast Member by Jamie McCarthy r
New Criminal Minds Cast Member Adam Rodriguez. [Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]Thomas Gibson, who played Aron Hotchner or Hotch as he was more affectionately known on the show, was fired yesterday. There was an argument over creative differences in an episode Gibson was directing which got out of hand. Gibson allegedly kicked one of the show's writers according to TV Line. It was originally stated that Gibson would only be suspended for a couple of episodes, but now Thomas is out of a job.

Criminal Minds writers plan to write the character Hotch out of the show after the first three episodes, which are already complete according to TV Line. Thomas Gibson will apparently not be working a notice. That could have been complicated since, at the BAU, Hotch is the boss. So, not just anyone in the existing cast would be able to replace him. Bringing in an outsider for the job would be awkward. Shemar Moore's character Derek Morgan was at one time being groomed as a temporary replacement for Hotch, but Shemar has left the show.

Criminal Minds Thomas Gibson Waves Goodbye [Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]
Criminal Minds actor Thomas Gibson waves goodbye alongside Joe Mantegna. [Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]Criminal Minds writers made a quick plan to bring Paget Brewster back to the show for even more episodes than planned. Paget plays Emily Prentiss, one of the most highly qualified team members. According to the storyline, Paget's character was overqualified and had been promoted away from the team. So now the writers have that job covered, at least temporarily. Producers made up their minds they did not need Thomas Gibson any longer. Showrunner Erica Messer has been quoted by TV Line explaining the plan to temporarily replace Hotch with Emily until a permanent leader for the team can be found.
"Prentiss is doing essentially temporary duty with us, while Hotch is on temporary duty doing something that the Director tapped him to do."
Criminal Minds still have some solid regulars coming back for Season 12. Returning cast members include Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid, A. J. Cook as Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, Kirsten Vangness as Penelope Garcia, and Joe Mantegna as David Rossi.

Criminal Minds is well staffed for Season 12, though losing Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson, they will be gaining two new faces and regaining Paget Brewster.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]