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Jose Ramirez
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Criminal Minds - Season 16 ((INSTALL))

After 15 seasons of highly-watched procedural drama, "Criminal Minds" ended its run on CBS, with the genius profilers and bad guy hunters at the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit taking down a particularly cruel and crafty "unknown subject" (or UnSub) known as The Chameleon, and then going on to other law enforcement adventures. Barely a year later, per Deadline, CBS's streaming sibling Paramount+ made moves toward reviving "Criminal Minds" for Season 16.

Criminal Minds - Season 16

"Criminal Minds" is as much an ensemble drama series as it is a crime procedural, and any new season or revival of the franchise would need to include at least some of the familiar faces playing the characters that anchored the show and kept viewers coming back episode after episode for a decade and a half. According to Deadline, six longtime "Criminal Minds" cast members agreed to return to the series early in its pre-production stage, provided they were available and could work out agreeable contracts. When the series was officially green-lit, per Deadline, all six actors were locked in.

There are two notable omissions from that "Criminal Minds" cast list. Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid) isn't likely to return, as he's looking forward to new roles, rather than backward at one he played for 15 seasons, nor is Daniel Henney (Matt Simmons), due to his commitments to Prime Video's "The Wheel of Time."

After serving on the writing staffs of early 2000s TV favorites like "Alias," "The O.C.," and "Charmed," Erica Messer joined "Criminal Minds" in its debut season in 2005. She'd pen 52 episodes of the series in all, both as a staffer and the show's head writer, also earning promotions to supervising producer, executive producer, and showrunner. Messer remained a chief figure on "Criminal Minds" until it ended its long run in 2020, but returned in much the same capacity for the revival, "Criminal Minds: Evolution," once again in the position of showrunner.

Among the top 40 most-watched broadcast shows in its debut season, "Criminal Minds" would be a top 10 hit by 2010, and still ranked in the top 30 during its fifteenth and final season. It's much easier to watch broadcast TV than it is to seek out a show on a subscription-based streaming service, particularly a relatively new and unproven one like Paramount+, but the "Criminal Minds" fans showed up for "Criminal Minds: Evolution." According to Deadline, the revamped series quickly established itself as one of Paramount+'s top five most streamed original series. The most ardent "Criminal Minds" fans seemed to like the new season, too. "Criminal Minds: Evolution" tallied an audience score of 81% on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, a higher figure than the show could muster for its latter broadcast seasons.

The original "Criminal Minds" was never an outright critical hit or awards magnet; it earned only three Emmy Award nominations over 15 seasons, all for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. TV writers who reviewed the show found it middling and formulaic, according to Rotten Tomatoes. But not "Criminal Minds: Evolution," a certified critical smash with an 85% Rotten Tomatoes score. "'Criminal Minds' accomplishes a difficult feat for any long-running procedural," wrote Max Gao of The A.V. Club in a representative review. "It finds a way to add new (and somewhat surprising) layers to characters who have graced the screen for more than a decade."

"Criminal Minds" is no longer available on Netflix, the service that made it a streaming hit, but it's easily found. As of March 2023, the full gamut of 15 seasons' worth of the original "Criminal Minds" installments are currently exclusive to paying Hulu subscribers and on Paramount+. "Criminal Minds: Evolution" is available only on Paramount+, the streaming sibling of the original series' network home of CBS.

"Criminal Minds: Evolution" represented a departure from the older show's case-of-the-week concept, with one grand crime story told over the course of the entire limited series. That experiment apparently worked, because another round of episodes of "Criminal Minds," under that specific and self-contained "Evolution" banner, is forthcoming. In January 2023, before the entire season had even been unveiled to the public, Paramount+ was so pleased with the results that it ordered another season of "Criminal Minds: Evolution," according to Deadline. Production is slated to start sometime in 2023, and it sounds like viewers can expect more of the same from the revamped crime drama. "We're thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans," Paramount Streaming executive Tanya Giles said in a statement. "Fans have quickly embraced this new season with its more serialized elements. There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU."

Though it remains unclear what exactly the new season focuses on, many believe that it will include ten episodes and will highly revolve around one case. Typically, each episode of the show includes the team focusing on a different case, so this change should bring some interesting new depth of detail in the case the team follows.

Rumors have swirled about the season since little details have been revealed. One of the biggest rumors includes social media star and science educator Hank Green. A now debunked article circulated the internet claiming Green would join the cast for Season 16, a rumor that he took to TikTok to deny.

Friday Night Lights vet Zach Gilford, meanwhile, will play the aforementioned season-long baddie, Elias Voit, an operations analyst for a global cyber-security firm who has a dark side and obsession with death.

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Since 2005, Criminal Minds has explored countless cold-blooded killers and criminals. In the latest installment, the subtitled series Evolution, one killer takes center stage. With the recent airing of the finale, many are itching to know, will Criminal Minds: Evolution return for season 2?

In season 16, an elite team of FBI criminal profilers is faced with a new pandemic-based problem as they uncover an online network of serial killers, set to unleash murder on the world as society opens back up.

Have you seen our review of the Criminal Minds series finale, or what could be known now as the end of season 15? You can check that out below! Once you do watch that, we recommend that you subscribe to Matt & Jess on YouTube. After all, that is your source for even more coverage.

Season 16 of Criminal Minds recently concluded on Paramount+. Titled Evolution, this new season was a revival of the original series, and it's seen so much success that another season is on the way. While the show was once known to bring a new dangerous villain to every episode, the revival has featured a more consistent plotline.

One of the biggest twists at the start of the new season was the change in the formula. In the previous fifteen seasons of Criminal Minds, each episode - except for a couple of two-parters - focused on a different case.

In this new season, however, Criminal Minds focuses heavily on an overarching case. The show kept going back to Elias Voit throughout the season while the BAU team were trying to figure out who was the mastermind behind the serial killer network. This was a fresh twist after many years of the series following the same plotline.

In Criminal Minds: Evolution, the plot focused more on the personal relationships of the team members than previous seasons. Notably, the audience saw more of JJ and her husband Will, who were one of the best romantic relationships in the original series.

One of the shocking twists in their personal subplot was Will suspecting he might have cancer. While he was reassured later on in the season, he still made it clear that he had to have more tests, and he wasn't entirely healthy. This plot twist left the audience in suspense, waiting for the next season to see where Criminal Minds will take this character.

While that was never definitively clarified, Voit proved his criminality knows no boundaries when he attempted to shoot his wife after the BAU agents rescued his daughters. Their relationship proves to be even more complex when he tells her Rossi's location after she came to speak to him.

There was a lot left up to speculation by the end of Evolution, including the "Gold Star" plot twist and Voit's fate. While some viewers may think that catching Voit brought an end to the Season 16 case and the BAU would tackle another in the next season, the finale was also open-ended.

The last scene showed Voit being brought through the FBI office and into an interrogation room where a mysterious figure entered. This ending could mean several different things for the upcoming season and Voit's future involvement, but this twist ending did suggest that the audience has not seen the last of Elias Voit.

Criminal Minds: Evolution sees a number of the original show's cast returning, including Joe Mantegna, AJ Cook, Aisha Tyler and Paget Brewster. It will also see Midnight Mass' Zach Gilford join the cast as Elias Voit, in a recurring season-long arc. 041b061a72


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