‘Criminal Minds’ Is Renewed For Season 13, But Will Thomas Gibson Ever Return As Hotch? [Opinion]

Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds 2005

Criminal Minds will be back in the CBS fall lineup for Season 13. While ratings have fallen considerably since Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore left the show, CM still outperforms many other CBS shows.

Thomas Gibson was terminated following an altercation with executive co-producer Virgil Williams. It was first thought that Gibson would only be suspended from the show for a couple of episodes, but the decision came from CBS that Thomas Gibson would be leaving Criminal Minds.

Criminal Minds fans are both heartbroken and outraged, as the CBS “official story” came out. Thomas Gibson remained silent at first while the spin cast Gibson in a bad light. When Thomas Gibson finally told his side, fans came to his aid on Twitter, alleging Gibson was smeared in the press.

Thomas Gibson’s cause is being powerfully supported by tens of thousands of fans every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Fans are supporting Thomas Gibson and his character Hotch with the #NoHotchNoWatch twitter campaign. The group has been boycotting Criminal Minds for the entirety of Season 12.

Criminal Minds cast and crew has made it clear that it was not their decision to fire Thomas Gibson. The decision came from CBS and possibly ABC since the two share Criminal Minds profits. ABC is responsible for the international distribution of Criminal Minds.

Thomas Gibson fans at #NoHotchNoWatch have continued their protest all season, and their numbers appear to be growing, not shrinking. Fans are active, commenting on articles and working hard to make their case in every way possible.

Even Criminal Minds fans that are not part of #NoHotchNoWatch miss Thomas Gibson as Hotch. as Jill Silar-Richeal commented on a recent Inquisitr article’s comment section about Thomas Gibson’ absence from Criminal Minds.

“The powers to be at CBS need to open their eyes and bring Gibson back. Losing Moore was bad enough, but then Gibson. I still watch, but it’s not the same. Thank God for Netflix!”

Thomas Gibson and Kirsten Vangsness

Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore are painfully missed even by fans who have remained loyal to Criminal Minds, and more viewers are being lost from among those every week Here is a comment from Delores Campos.

“I love Criminal Minds, and I miss both Moore and Thomas. I ‘very seen the newest episode and do not like it. I want Moore and Thomas back. I love the original cast member. I do like the new cast member, but it’s not the same. I will not watch next week. Thank you.”

Criminal Minds owners at CBS and ABC need to take note that Dolores watched last week, and will not be watching this week. “I will not watch next week, Thank You, ” says it all, and this is not coming from #NoHotchNoWatch. This is another dissatisfied customer entirely because #NoHotchNoWatch obviously doesn’t watch Criminal Minds.

Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds

It isn’t that Thomas Gibson fans are being cruel or mean on Twitter. It isn’t that they just want to cause problems with the show. #NoHotch No Watch loves Criminal Minds, but only with Thomas Gibson. CBS is being accused by fans of an arbitrary firing, just as Paget Brewster described when CBS dismissed A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster from Criminal Minds years ago. Paget explains in a quote from Cinema Blend.

“CBS had just called Ed Bernero and said, ‘I want new women.’ So we were fired, the fans were upset, there was a petition… I was heartbroken. I was so happy there. I loved everyone there, and it was easily one of the most hurtful things that have ever happened, to be fired because they wanted ‘new women.’ Our showrunner quit after that.”

Criminal Minds actresses Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook were unfairly dismissed but were brought back due to fan protests. How is it even legal to fire someone because the company wants “new women”? Isn’t that discriminatory, and degrading?

Thomas Gibson is now going through the same problems as Paget describes as “hurtful” and heartbreaking. Paget and A.J.’s case seems to indicate that CBS terminations can be very arbitrary. But at least that time CBS listened to reason. CBS can change their minds, but will they?

Criminal Minds’ rating problems are not the result of #NoHotchNoWatch protests. While these protesters could number in the tens of thousands they do not account for 2 million viewers lost. The situation is that people don’t like the show without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore. They don’t like the way Gibson and his character Hotch were treated. Shaaron Phillips speculated further.

“I haven’t missed Shemar since he left. I like Morgan, but Shemar got a proper, complete and logical send off. Since it was what Shemar wanted, I was happy for him. On the other hand, the producers wanted Thomas gone, and they wanted to retool the series. The incident between Thomas and Virgil Williams simply provided the excuse.”

Did Criminal Minds want Thomas Gibson gone? Whether true or not this is what some fans believe. The infamous “kick” story is falling on deaf ears with fans. Manow Lemon, who referred to the “kick” story as a “smear campaign,” had this to say on the Inquisitr comments board.

“Did Williams release pictures showing his bruises, why not release the police report that way, you can shut Gibson & his fans up… I haven seen anything that substantiated the claim that Williams was physically abused. Just because he was fired doesn’t mean he is was fired for this reason. Just ask Paget Brewster & AJ Cook when they were fired for no reason.”

Thomas Gibson’s fans and people who were hardcore Criminal Minds fans do not believe the official story due to past practices of the company. CBS seems more than willing to write off a large percentage of the Criminal Minds fan base. Erica Messer told TV Guide back in January that there had been “no discussion” of bringing back Hotch.

“If the show goes on 10 more years, who the heck knows? But there’s nothing I can think about right now because it’s not in the immediate future.”

So Criminal Minds fans and Thomas Gibson fans are ignored. No matter what the public wants, CBS isn’t giving in just yet.

Thomas Gibson fans are angry and hurt. Most aren’t buying the official story about the alleged kick, which when described by both Virgil Williams and Thomas Gibson really sounded more like two men who were already angry, bumping into each other. Here is what Gibson told People.

“As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home — and I never got to go back.”


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Thomas Gibson might not be back to Criminal Minds for a long while. Is this fair to fans who love Hotch?

[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]