Since Thomas Gibson was fired from Criminal Minds following an altercation with co-producer and writer Virgil Williams the ratings have been plummeting. While the #NoHotchNoWatch protests on twitter may account for part of the rating drop, it isn’t quite the whole story.
Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore left Criminal Minds recently, but for very different reasons. Shemar left the show near the end of Season 11 to seek out a new role. He might have even had an offer. The CM door is always open for Moore though, provided there is a show to come back to. Gibson, however, was terminated around Episode 2 of Season 12.
While Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore are both desperately missed on Criminal Minds, the firing of Gibson has upset more fans because of the circumstances of his departure. ABC Studios insists that Gibson’s absence is permanent and that just doesn’t sit well with fans who have watched the show for all 12 seasons.
#NoHotchNoWatch, and associated posters and lurkers to the Criminal Minds boycotting twitter movement, definitely account for some fraction of what Parent Herald reported an at least 10 percent or more rating drop. According to the Morning News USA, that drop is even bigger at 17 percent of the prime age 18-49 category. These numbers represent millions of people, so there are no doubt a lot of people who are just quietly dissatisfied and missing the show more frequently. Most are not officially making any statements. One could call them a silent majority.
Thomas Gibson fans in the #NoHotchNoWatch protest are really doing ABC Studios a huge favor if they would only listen. #NoHotchNoWatch is simply pointing out the problem. For every one person who stands up in protest, there are always thousands who quietly opt out.
Criminal Minds does not have to be canceled. It does not have to be this way. All ABC Studios has to do is hire Thomas Gibson back and get Shemar to do a guest appearance or two now and then. The rating problem would then be solved.
Thomas Gibson is rumored to be returning to the show but is he being invited back, or are the writers just going in for the kill. There is a chance, depending on how this works out that Hotch could return, considering the obviously related rating drop. Parent Herald reports that Gibson might come back, but what will happen when he does.
“Writer Erica Messer is working on a special episode for Gibson to appear again, hoping to increase Criminal Minds ratings. This would give Hotch a final closure, and theories abound that he could be assigned to another department or he could be killed – disappointing fans.”
So will Thomas Gibson’s character Hotch be killed if Gibson returns to the set? Perhaps they’d have him back and then have a change of heart. With the first 11 episodes most probably already filmed, it will take quite a while to find out.
Criminal Minds is a 12-year-old show, but the plot lines still pack a punch. It has been a fascinating show, and many people do still watch, but many say it isn’t the same without Thomas Gibson’s character Aaron Hotchner, and Shemar Moore’s character, Derick Morgan.
With Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore both gone from the original cast, it still leaves some pretty impressive cast members. Unfortunately, there is no one for the best remaining cast members to have those special interactions with.
Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore both had a lot of scenes with Kirsten Vangsness and Matthew Gray Gubler over the years. Both Vangsness and Gubler are amazing actors, with a lot to offer the show. Unfortunately, their characters, don’t have those magical interactions with Hotch and Morgan.
Dr. Spencer Reid and Penelope Garcia are surrounded by strangers, and just a few old friends like SSA Rossi, Emily Prentiss, and J.J. Jareau. Sadly as well, Hotch and Morgan were the muscle so to speak. They were the two alpha males who typically manhandled the bad guys. Without them, obviously, there are some problems, despite Adam Rodriguez’s recent arrival.
Criminal Minds ratings have always been variable, even with Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore on the show. When the show premiered in 2005, ratings were at their highest for Episode 1, Season 1 with 19.57 million viewers. Sadly that was not the case for the rest of the season. Season 1 ended up with an average of 12.63 million viewers.
Criminal Minds average ratings per episode for each season, during the past ten years, have been 12.15 – 14.95 million viewers. It hasn’t been a steady rise or decline just a fluctuation. The show started to actually decline toward the end of Season 11, with a poor rating for the season finale. This could be where the ten percent reduction figure comes from. Compared with the average views per episode, each season for the last 11 years, even lower years, this season’s losses are far more dramatic.
Without Thomas Gibson, and everyone knowing he’s been fired, the four episodes so far this season have averaged only about 8.15 million. In other words, there are at least four million viewers less this season so far, than for the average of any other season. That is pretty huge, about one-third less. That is bigger than what has been reported elsewhere.
Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore are both missed tremendously, and that much is obvious. It isn’t just a protest. A boycott alone would not show up as that overwhelming. This is a clear message from about one-third of the overall fan base.
Thomas Gibson’s #NoHotchNoWatch fans are just pointing out the reason for the decline. With or without the protest, a lot of people would have stopped watching, because a lot of viewers are upset, not just the ones being open about missing Gibson.
#NoHotchNoWatch, lets everyone know why this is happening, which should be considered a favor to the show. They see what the problem is. It would be easy to fix, just rehire Thomas Gibson.
Criminal Minds ratings are in the gutter, but it might not be too late to save the show if ABC Studios act now. Ratings for Criminal Minds have been up and down over the past 12 years and there is no reason the show cannot move past this if the studio will take the right actions quickly.
Rehiring Thomas Gibson, and arranging for Shemar Moore to at least pay them a visit would definitely boost the ratings considerably. Will ABC Studios, CBS, and Disney decide to save Criminal Minds? Why on earth would they not?
Criminal Minds is a great show. Kirsten Vangsness, Matthew Gubler, A.J. Cook, and Joe Mantegna certainly deserve better, and so does Thomas Gibson. Will CBS and ABC swallow their pride and bring back Aaron Hotchner?
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Criminal Minds Needs to be fixed now before the show has to do yet another character resurrection. Remember how awkward it was when Emily Prentiss had to rise from the grave so to speak, with that whole, “certain government agencies faked my death story.”
Thomas Gibson fans would accept that, though, if that’s the only way to get Gibson back #NoHotchNoWatch will take it, and most of the four million fans who have stopped watching would likely buy it as well.
Rehiring Thomas Gibson and bringing Shemar Moore back as often as possible would put Criminal Minds back on track.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/GettyImages]