‘Criminal Minds’ Ratings Drop To New Lows Without Thomas Gibson As #NoHotchNoWatch Predicted [Opinion]

Criminal Minds was a terrific show that enjoyed stellar ratings for 11 seasons. Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness, and Matthew Gray Gubler were among those who made the show a consistent hit for over a decade, along with A.J. Cook, Paget Brewster, and Joe Montegna.

Criminal Minds with Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore enjoyed an average of 9.011 million viewers in Season 11 according to TV Series Finale. It was 2015-2016, so not that long ago, yet TV Series Finale, using the same standards, in October of 2017, to report Criminal Minds ratings have fallen to below 6 million for the last three weeks without Thomas Gibson.

A 33 percent drop in Criminal Minds ratings in two years, after such a long successful run, seems strange. Are CBS and ABC completely mystified that Criminal Minds ratings took such a rapid path of decline since Thomas Gibson was terminated and Shemar Moore is no longer a regular?

Most companies, noting a 33 percent drop in sales of a product, would feel compelled to listen to, and resolve customer complaints. Yet #NoHotchNoWatch has made it clear why people stopped watching Criminal Minds. They even warned this would happen without Thomas Gibson. Yet CBS and ABC remain unmoved despite any loss in profits.

Criminal Minds is a shared interest between CBS and ABC. It is unclear who made the decision to fire Thomas Gibson. However, Paget Brewster reportedly said CBS fired her, along with A.J. Cook in Season 6.

A.J. Cook explained to TV Guide that fans protested, and CBS let the ladies return to Criminal Minds.

“Their outpouring of support really blew me away. That’s definitely the silver lining to being let go. The fans really let me know how they felt, and I guess they really let CBS know too.”

Criminal Minds’ problem seems pretty obvious to #NoHotchNoWatch who predicted this would happen when they began a boycott of the show. #NoHotchNoWatch merely reflects a larger public opinion among viewers. These hardcore fans say Criminal Minds needs Thomas Gibson.

#NoHotchNoWatch alone isn’t bringing down Criminal Minds ratings, the absence of Thomas Gibson and perhaps Shemar Moore is the main thing hurting Criminal Minds. Also, the way Thomas Gibson’s firing was handled so publicly, probably offended other fans, as well as #NoHotchNoWatch.

Criminal Minds portrays violent situations, and the characters portray strong emotions, action, and violence, so why would Criminal Minds fans be shocked and appalled by the story that Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams accidentally bumped into each other on the set, and someone called it a fight?

Fans were appalled when Thomas Gibson was fired over it though, especially when Co-Producer and Writer Virgil Williams was not terminated. Is CBS applying a double standard?

Thomas Gibson and Kirsten Vangsness
Thomas Gibson and Kirsten Vangsness by Helga Esteb Shutterstock

Criminal Minds is a violent crime show. Fans are hardly squeamish about even intense TV violence. It is hard for them to consider whatever happened between Virgil Williams and Thomas Gibson as violence, much less be shocked by it.

#NoHotchNoWatch believed CBS and ABC would realize their mistake, due to the protests. Instead, CBS and ABC remain unmoved by complaints, protests and plunging ratings this time. Unlike when Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook were fired, CBS and ABC seem determined to destroy Criminal Minds rather than bring back Thomas Gibson.

Paget Brewster was quoted in Cinema Blend, saying she was forced to go back after CBS fired her.

“So I was forced to go back or… terrifying things were inferred. And I was kind of p***ed, but then I went back and thought, ‘I love everyone there!’ I hated CBS. [What they did] was just scummy.”

Why didn’t CBS and ABC listen to #NoHotchNoWatch, and bring back Thomas Gibson as they did when they wrongfully fired A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster?

#NoHotchNoWatch is made up of hardcore Criminal Minds fans. #NoHotchNoWatch is to Criminal Minds what Trekkies are to Star Trek. They faithfully watched the show for 11 seasons and still watch reruns of the first 11 seasons on a regular basis.

Criminal Minds cast Paget Brewster, Matthew Gray Gubler and A.J. Cook
Criminal Minds cast by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]

Would Thomas Gibson return to Criminal Minds if he were asked? Even NoHotchNoWatch doesn’t know, but there have been no indications CBS and ABC would consider asking him.

Criminal Minds was a great show and it hurts to see it in decline, but #NoHotchNoWatch is just the visible tip of a very big iceberg. Three million fans, fully one-third of their viewers, have stopped watching. That is far more than the numbers of #NoHotchNoWatch protesters standing up to producers and demanding they fix Criminal Minds by bringing back Thomas Gibson.


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Criminal Minds producers should thank #NoHotchNoWatch and join with them to petition CBS and ABC to bring back Thomas Gibson and save Criminal Minds.

[Featured Image by Christian Alminana/AP Images]