‘Criminal Minds’ Losing Battle For Ratings Despite Matthew Gray Gubler And Kirsten Vangsness [Opinion]

Criminal Minds experienced a slight uptick in ratings last week for Season 13 Episode 7, “Dust and Bones,” but it hardly takes a mathematician to see overall the trend, despite heroic efforts from the remaining cast, including the capable actor Matthew Gray Gubler and the amazingly perky Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia.

Even cameo visits from Shemar Moore don’t give any significant relief from the post-Thomas Gibson blues that have beleaguered the 13-year-old crime drama. Criminal Minds had a great run, with extremely high ratings for 11 seasons. Criminal Minds had over 10 million viewers, and many of them had a strong interest in the show.

Season 13 of Criminal Minds has not been the same. Season 12 saw a sharp decline in viewers, but in Season 13, Criminal Minds appears to be going down like the Titanic.

Criminal Minds is making an effort tonight with “Neon Terror.” In tonight’s Criminal Minds, a showboating serial killer is trying to become a media darling by providing too much information to the press, according to TV Guide. Emily Prentiss, portrayed by Paget Brewster, will try to keep the lid on it long enough to catch the unsub, according to TV Buddy. The big question is really how many will be watching Criminal Minds?

Below are Criminal Minds Season 13 ratings as listed by TV Series Finale.

9/27/2017 Episode 13-01 [18-49 demographic] 1.32 total viewers in millions 7.001
10/04/2017 Episode 13-02 [18-49 demographic] 1.11 total viewers in millions 6.169
10/11/2017 Episode 13-03 [18-49 demographic] 1.10 total viewers in millions 5.865
10/18/2017 Episode 13-04 [18-49 demographic] 1.05 total viewers in millions 5.939
10/25/2017 Episode 13-05 [18-49 demographic] 1.00 total viewers in millions 5.907
11/08/2017 Episode 13-06 [18-49 demographic] 0.90 total viewers in millions 5.500
11/15/2017 Episode 13-07 [18-49 demographic] 1.00 total viewers in millions 5.639

The Criminal Minds plot is about a team of FBI agents, the elite BAU, who would take a bullet for each other. Their fans were fiercely loyal as well. For 11 years, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook, and Paget Brewster were most of the original cast and crew of Criminal Minds.

But what happens to a hardcore fan base suddenly confronted by a network publically firing the star of such a show? What happens when a feud develops between fans and what was once their favorite show? Well, CBS and ABC are finding out with Criminal Minds.

Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds
Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds by Peter Kramer Getty

Is Criminal Minds making other mistakes that are contributing to the problem? Well, yes. The many casting changes on Criminal Minds last year were disturbing. There were also some major plot holes last season. Both the writing and the cast have taken a turn toward yen energy outbalancing the yang.

Criminal Minds is getting a little bit warm and fuzzy for a crime drama about serial killers, but all that would be forgiven, maybe even appreciated, if only the network had not fired Thomas Gibson and stirred a major scandal surrounding the beloved actor over what many former viewers consider nothing at all.

Was Criminal Minds destroyed by a violent altercation between Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams, or was it more like two men bumping into each other in the hallway? In what way was antagonizing Thomas Gibson fans worth the cost to Criminal Minds for CBS or ABC?

Criminal Minds was a great show with a huge fan base, but now it is in a dire ratings situation because CBS and ABC refuse to bend for the sake of viewers.

Criminal Minds is sinking, and even the considerable talents of Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness don’t seem enough to pull those ratings back up.

[Featured image by DFree/Shutterstock and Danny Moloshok/AP Images]