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‘Criminal Minds’ Revival: Why Matthew Gray Gubler Did Not Return as Reid

Dr. Spencer Reid and Special Agent Matt Simmons will be “gone” yet not at all forgotten when Paramount+’s Criminal Minds: Evolution arrives in November.

Criminal Minds‘ quasi-Season 16 finds the FBI’s elite team of criminal profilers going up against “their greatest threat yet,” an UnSub (played by Friday Night Lights‘ Zach Gilford) who spent the pandemic cultivating a network of other serial killers. Said BAU team is comprised of veteran cast members Paget Brewster (as Prentiss), Joe Mantegna (Rossi), A.J. Cook (JJ), Kirsten Vangsness (Garcia), Aisha Tyler (Tara) and Adam Rodriguez (Luke).But as previously reported, neither OG cast member Matthew Gray Gubler nor Season 13 addition Daniel Henney will be reprising their roles, as Spencer and Matt respectively.

“It’s a little bit of a mystery what Reid and Simmons are up to,” returning showrunner Erica Messer told TVLine on Wednesday, during the show’s Television Critics Association press tour panel, “but they’re certainly not forgotten.Daniel HenneyIn fact, “Dr. Reid’s and I believe Matt Simmons’ desks are still there, still have stuff on it…,” the EP shared. “Like, if any of you went back [to the office after the pandemic], you still have stuff on your desk that was there for two years. So we’re definitely playing that. But [Spencer and Matt] are not gone gone.”Regarding the two actors’ absences, Messer said, “Our hope is that the team members we ended the series with on CBS will be able to come back and play at some point, but everybody does have other projects. We started shooting in August and we’re going to be wrapped in December… so there was a short window to try to get all of our friends to play.”

Criminal Minds: Evolution is set to premiere the first half of its 10-episode season on Thanksgiving Day — Thursday, Nov. 24 — when it will release the first two episodes. New episodes will release weekly every Thursday through Dec. 15, at which time the series will take a holiday break. The season will then resume on Thursday, Jan. 12, building to a Feb. 9 season finale.

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