‘Criminal Minds’ Sees Low Ratings Despite Matthew Gray Gubler Arc [Spoilers]

Criminal Minds’ Matthew Gray Gubler is an amazing young actor with a sizable fan base, but that might not be enough to pull the crime drama’s ratings out of the doldrums brought on by the absence of Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore. Season 12 features a nine-episode arc about Gubler’s character, Spencer Reid.

Sadly, Matthew Gray Gubler’s wonderful story arc has actually seen a drop in ratings despite Gubler’s talent and popularity. Recent Criminal Minds casting changes, particularly the firing of Thomas Gibson soon after Shemar Moore’s departure, had a very negative impact on ratings for a show that until this season has been a mainstay of CBS. Thomas Gibson’s fans are boycotting the show with the hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch on Twitter.



This Article Contains Mild Spoilers

Criminal Minds Season 12 has rested largely on the delicately boned shoulders of Matthew Gray Gubler, who portrays the shy but devastatingly handsome Spencer Reid on the very popular (until recently) crime drama. Matthew directed Episode 6, “Eliot’s Pond,” and was featured opposite veteran actress Jane Lynch in a story arc in which his already mentally ill mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Although it was a beautiful story, perfectly executed by Matthew Gray Gubler and Jayne Lynch, ratings continue to drop for Criminal Minds, according to TV Series Finale. The total viewers are down 15.15 percent for the entire season and 19.51 percent for the coveted 18 to 49 age group. Episode 12 was the lowest yet, with only 6.7 million total viewers and 1.17 million of those were 18 to 49-years-old.

The loss of Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds has driven the embattled series into serious problems despite Matthew Gray Gubler’s best efforts. As fans who loved Thomas Gibson’s character “Hotch” boycott and protest the show they once loved due to the firing of Thomas Gibson. Shemar Moore fans also feel disenchanted with the multiple casting changes.

Losing two out of three male heartthrobs would be difficult for any show, even one as popular as Criminal Minds. Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, and Matthew Gray Gubler all served as eye candy as well as playing their roles flawlessly.

Matthew Gray Gubler and Thomas Gibson of ‘Criminal Minds.’ [Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]

Since Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore are no longer on Criminal Minds, casting has brought in numerous new cast members and guest stars trying to fill the void. Apparently, it just isn’t working for Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore fans, though, as ratings continue to plummet.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, and A.J. Cook as JJ remain as original cast members. Paget Brewster and Joe Mantegna, as Emily Prentiss and David Rossi, are also long-time favorites.

Replacing Shemar Moore on Criminal Minds are Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis. While Aisha Tyler was hired before Shemar left, it seems likely that she was brought on board to smooth the transition.

Since Thomas Gibson departed Criminal Minds, Damon Gupton and Harold Perinneau (formerly of Lost) have been hired. Perinneau will make his first appearance in Episode 15.

Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 13 Spoilers Below

Now, it appears that Matthew Gray Gubler will be featured in an extension of this Criminal Minds plot arc, which will continue throughout the last nine episodes of the season, according to TV Line. This one will be a game changer, according to Buddy TV. Dr. Spencer Reid will have some sort of mental blackout and find himself accused of murder in Mexico.

As Criminal Minds continues without Thomas Gibson’s Hotch and Shemar Moore’s Morgan, Dr. Spencer Reid seems especially vulnerable. Spencer’s fate lies in the hands of just a few of his old teammates. Matthew Gray Gubler’s performance will be masterful as he makes audiences feel Spencer’s worst fears.

Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 13, titled “Spencer,” will be an unlucky one for Dr. Spencer Reid. The February 15 episode will find Spencer in a motel room with a corpse that’s been stabbed 25 times. Reid’s possessions are scattered around the room, and his DNA is on the body, according to Buddy TV.

Criminal Minds Episode 13 was written by Erica Messer and Kirsten Vangsness. This is also the team that wrote the episode that killed off Gideon and the one that explained Shemar Moore’s exit.

Vangsness explained her writing to TV Line.

“I seem to co-write the episodes that change the course for people. That does not mean the ends of people, it just changes their course. So [Episode 13] is a course changer.”

Four weeks after Thomas Gibson was dismissed from Criminal Minds, it was Matthew Gray Gubler who worked as director when Hotch’s absence was explained during Episode 6. Erica Messer wrote the episode.

Matthew Gray Gubler of ‘Criminal Minds.’ [Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]

Matthew Gray Gubler’s story arc on Criminal Minds will be a journey for Spencer Reid, says Erica Messer to TV Line.

“‘Spencer’ episode launches a journey for [Reid] and for the team that I would argue we never even imagined would happen — and yet it happens, and we’re along for this ride. And it’s an intense one.”

How long will Matthew Gray Gubler fight the plummeting ratings? That’s the real question. Matthew Gray Gubler is a young, talented, and drop-dead gorgeous actor who might decide he doesn’t want to go down with the Criminal Minds ship so to speak. Shemar Moore already jumped ship. Now with Gibson gone too, is Matthew Gray Gubler calculating his own next move?

Is the Matthew Gray Gubler story arc preparing viewers for the possibility of losing Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid? Matthew’s departure on the heels of losing Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore would signal the end of Criminal Minds.

Matthew Gray Gubler’s talent is one way to possibly save Criminal Minds, but the loss of Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore may be too much to compensate for. It is very doubtful the faltering show could survive losing Matthew Gray Gubler as well.

Matthew Gray Gubler’s story arc on Criminal Minds at least has Erica Messer excited. She is still certain that Season 12 will end in success, even without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore. She believes her writing can unify the new cast and eventually win over the skeptical audience.

“We can do [a serialized saga].’ If we hadn’t been on as long as we have, with such an amazing fan base who can’t get enough of our character work, this wouldn’t be possible. But we have people who want to be with our characters as much as possible, and they’re going to have the opportunity to be with them on a journey they’ve never been on before.”


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One aspect of the Criminal Minds Matthew Gray Gubler story arc that does make a lot of sense though is the sense that Spencer is having difficulty and feeling rather lost. Between having to commit his mother to an institution and losing two of his closest work friends portrayed by Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore it is likely that Spencer Reid would feel quite lost and alone. Reid and Morgan were especially close and Hotch was his mentor.

Can Criminal Minds with Matthew Gray Gubler survive without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore?

[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

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