Without Thomas Gibson, ‘Criminal Minds’ Ratings Drop Despite Matthew Gray Gubler
Warning: Possible spoilers ahead!
Thomas Gibson was terminated from Criminal Minds during the filming of Season 12 Episode 2 due to an altercation with associate producer Virgil Williams. This only compounded the shock from Shemar Moore’s sudden departure near the end of Season 11.
Matthew Gray Gubler stepped up powerfully to shoulder great performances as Dr. Spencer Reid. Gubler is a tremendously popular, talented, and handsome young heartthrob. If anything could possibly offset the loss of Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore on Criminal Minds, it would be Matthew Gray Gubler.
Matthew Gray Gubler was awarded by TVLine for his performance last week, as his character, Spencer Reid, stands accused of murder. It was a strange twist of fate, but now Spencer is looking at interrogation from the other side of the desk in tonight’s episode.
Sadly, even Matthew Gray Gubler cannot fill in the void left by his two male co-stars, Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore, who also served as the masculine eye candy for Criminal Minds. The average total viewers for Season 12 of Criminal Minds were only 7.623 million viewers, and only 1.43 million young adult viewers 18-49 years old, according to TV Series Finale.
Criminal Minds Season 11 with Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore as well as Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Joe Mantegna, and Kirsten Vangsness averaged 9.011 million viewers per episode including 2.15 million young adults, according to TV Series Finale.
Criminal Minds has brought back Paget Brewster and added Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, and Damon Gupton in an attempt to fill the void left by Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore, as agents Aaron Hotchner and Derek Morgan.
As Criminal Minds‘ new guys try to settle in, Matthew Gray Gubler has stepped up his game. Criminal Minds is featuring a Matthew Gray Gubler story arc that will likely spread to the end of the season.
Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore are sorely missed, as fans continue to protest Thomas Gibson’s firing from Criminal Minds. Massive protests continue to be held on Twitter at #NoHotchNoWatch, and so many other related hashtags.
Still, Criminal Minds ratings are very low compared to previous seasons, and February 8 hit an all-time low at 6.700 million and 1.17 million for the 18 to 49 age demographic. Last week on February 15, ratings regrouped a little with 1.27 million young adults and 7.340 million total viewers for a highly publicized and almost guaranteed thriller featuring Matthew Gray Gubler.
Criminal Minds without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore continues to struggle with falling ratings, but producers and ABC studios are ignoring the connection between massive casting changes and a huge drop in ratings. Sadly, certain casting decisions do seem to be the most likely factor killing their ratings.
Criminal Minds is playing one of its best cards left with Matthew Gray Gubler. Gubler is handsome, young, and one of the finest actors working today, yet with fans angry, hurt, and frustrated, there is a limit to what even Matthew Gray Gubler can do to attract viewers.
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Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Joe Mantegna, and Matthew Gray Gubler, coupled with Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook, and Paget Brewster, have been a winning combination for 11 years.
Criminal Minds has been a stable flagship for CBS. Ratings for those 11 years were solid and stable and it is very sad for viewers who loved the show to watch it erode. Fans on #NoHotchNoWatch are disgruntled with the absence of Thomas Gibson as Aaron Hotchner. Hotch has been integral to the plot and has never missed an episode in 11 seasons. Thomas Gibson has been incredibly reliable and a mainstay of the onscreen action, and he’s also directed some episodes.
Is Matthew Gray Gubler enough to save Criminal Minds without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore?
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]