Erica Messer has signed a new deal with ABC Studios to continue on as executive producer and showrunner of CBS’ Criminal Minds, our sister site Deadline reports — assuming the crime drama is renewed for Season 9.
The hold-up: Longtime castmembers A.J. Cook, Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore and Kirsten Vangsness all have yet to negotiate their own Season 9 returns, though that process is expected to be expedited now that Messer’s officially on board.
During a TVLine interview about the show’s season finale (airing May 22), Messer said that if CBS’ May 15 Upfront presentation “rolls around and we’re not the schedule, I won’t have any words for you, because i will be in shock, on the floor.”
CBS already has renewed 19 shows to return for the 2013-14 TV season, but Criminal Minds remains a conspicuous omission from the list. “Five of our seven actors aren’t negotiated for next year — it wasn’t just one or two [as in past seasons] — and good business says you can’t pick something up until those [talks] are at least well underway,” Messer explains. “And when CBS put out that press release [about pick-ups], they weren’t.”
For her part, Messer admits, “I’m calling business affairs [for updates] every day saying, ‘How bored are you with me calling?’ And they are very, very bored with me calling. But I feel very confident that the show is beloved both by ABC Studios and the CBS Network, and by fans around the world. I’d be shocked if we didn’t come back.”
As previously reported, Criminal Minds‘ Replicator-centric Season 8 finale will feature one fatality and one possible death — one of which is a character played by a series regular.