Thomas Gibson Fans Are Still Loyal And Still Miss Hotch On ‘Criminal Minds’ [Opinion]

Thomas Gibson fans have rallied around Thomas Gibson since his dismissal from Criminal Minds in a way that has rarely if ever been seen in the history of television. Gibson fans have so many hashtags on Twitter that they seem countless, yet one hashtag has gotten considerable media attention.

Named for Thomas Gibson’s character Aaron Hotchner, #NoHotchNoWatch is boycotting not only Criminal Minds but ABC and CBS. After over a year, this boycott is growing. While most boycotts only last about six months, Thomas Gibson fans won’t give up.

The hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch is made up of core Criminal Minds fans. They know all the trivia, recall whole episodes down to the wardrobe, and deeply cared about the show. They aren’t just angry, they are hurt and feel betrayed.

The core Thomas Gibson fans who formed #NoHotchNoWatch, once avid fans of Criminal Minds, are just the tip of the iceberg. When reading Thomas Gibson’s Instagram comments, it becomes obvious fans just miss Thomas Gibson even though some may remain unaware of celebrity news.

Luvsjmjkl Come back to Criminal Minds, PLEASE…we need your expertise….we admire your work! Much love:-)”

Lyannn1993 Miss u so much CM without you is missing a big piece.”

Criminal Minds’ lost viewership includes not only those avid fans at #NoHotchNoWatch who once loved Criminal Minds like Trekkies love Star Trek, but also those who just liked to tune in on Wednesdays, don’t follow the gossip, or #NoHotchNoWatch. They just wonder what happened to the Criminal Minds cast.

Criminal Minds fans, both avid enthusiasts and casual viewers, were once united in their love of their favorite TV show and all its stars. Season 11 enjoyed over 9 million viewers on most weeks, according to TV Series Finale.

Criminal Minds’ most recent episode attracted only 5.8 million viewers, reports TV Series Finale. This is an all-time low, following steady decline. If producers want to know what is wrong, they should pay more attention to what viewers want to see, instead of getting defensive with their dissatisfied customers.

Criminal Minds’ casual viewers are finding other shows to watch.

Many Criminal Minds fans have turned to Netflix and other streaming services to watch old episodes back to back.

TV shows like Criminal Minds are entertainment, not medicine to be forced down unwilling throats, and TV sets come with an off switch. Since network profits are determined by viewership, perhaps it would be better to please viewers than annoy them.

Criminal Minds fans miss Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore; even the ones who still watch mention the absence of Gibson and Moore. Some complained of the abuse Matthew Gray Gubler’s character took in Season 12.

While Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds is a masterful actor and rose valiantly to the occasion of being featured, why put Gubler’s character, Spencer Reid, through such a terrible series of tragedies? Why can’t something nice happen to Spencer for a change?

As one Criminal Minds fan points out Matthew Gray Gubler, the actor who portrays Spencer Reid is one of the few reasons left to watch. Tami says Reid is beautiful, and few would argue that.

Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds at Sundance Film Festival
Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds at Sundance Film Festival [Image by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP Images]

Shemar Moore also has his fans, many of whom have turned their loyalty quite easily to S.W.A.T. How long will they care about Criminal Minds? Only as long as Shema Moore is doing cameos.

Shemar Moore of S.W.A.T
Shemar Moore of S.W.A.T by Kevin Winter

There is no question, Criminal Minds was a one in a million, all-time favorite show. Many still watch. About 65 percent of them, as of last week, but still, that means 35 percent have been lost. It is a shame for such a great show to decline. It isn’t the fault of #NoHotchNoWatch or other fans who are rapidly losing interest. It isn’t the fault of great cast members who work hard, using their ample acting skills. It’s about consistency in casting. Networks don’t seem to understand the importance of great performers and the viewers who love them.

It would be just as sad if Matthew Gray Gubler or Kirsten Vangsness were suddenly fired from Criminal Minds for some hallway collision. It was highly protested when Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook were both fired for no reason, but at least in those days, the networks listened to reason. Paget and A.J. are back, so why can’t they bring back Thomas Gibson and give fans what they want?

Unlike #NoHotchNoWatch, with their empowered cry for justice, the vast majority of Criminal Minds fans are just frustrated their favorite show isn’t the same anymore. When TV viewers don’t like what they see, viewership declines.

Networks seem increasingly out of touch with the public, and Criminal Minds is a prime example of that. Criminal Minds doesn’t have to die, and television doesn’t have to go out of fashion. All it takes is for networks to stop pretending they know what people need to watch, use common sense, and learn more about their lost viewers.

Criminal Minds producers, together with a little network cooperation, could still make the plot work and save Criminal Minds. All they have to do is start listening to viewers again and give the audience what they want.

Criminal Minds could be fixed easily. Bring back Thomas Gibson, continue Shemar Moore cameos, stop tormenting Matthew Gray Gubler’s character, and keep the plots and the cast consistent with previous seasons.


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Thomas Gibson is loved by most Criminal Minds fans, not just #NoHotchNoWatch, and his highly publicized removal alienated viewers.

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