Criminal Minds Damon Gupton

Criminal Minds: New Series Regular Cast in Wake of Thomas Gibson's Exit

Criminal Minds‘ Season 12 cast evolution continues with the addition of Damon Gupton in a series regular role.

TVLine has learned that Gupton will be introduced in this season’s eighth episode as Special Agent Stephen Walker, a seasoned profiler from the Behavioral Analysis Program (the counterintelligence division of the FBI) who will bring his spy-hunting skills to the BAU.

“Our BAU family is growing,” Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer said in a statement. “We’re excited to have Damon join the show and work alongside our amazing cast and crew.”

Gupton’s TV credits include Bates Motel, The Player, Empire and Amazon’s upcoming Goliath.

Gupton’s casting comes amidst a season that added Adam Rodriguez as a series regular (to fill the void left by Shemar Moore’s March exit), found original cast member Thomas Gibson fired in the wake of an on-set altercation, and promoted Paget Brewster, who was already returning for a short arc as Emily Prenttiss, to series regular status.

CBS’ Criminal Minds airs Wednesday at 9/8c.

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84 Comments
  1. wrstlgirl says:

    I find this unnecessary but nobody asked me so whateva :-) I still think the show will have a huge hole without Hotch and making Prentiss Unit Chief, which I think is where they are going is not gonna help. Wish they’d bring back Esai Morales (wait, did he die, can’t recall) or make Rossi Unit Chief. But like I said above…….

    • Angela says:

      Cruz didn’t die, no. He’s still section chief, he just only pops in every great once in a while, like Strauss did when she was section chief.
      .
      As for Rossi being team leader, I don’t know if he even wants the job. Plus, he’s not that far away from official retirement age (or is around there now), so I think that’d be a strike against him, too (at least, in the eyes of the section chief/anyone above the BAU who makes such calls). I think Emily Prentiss makes perfect sense as unit chief-she’s already had experience running Interpol, and I think she’ll be a natural fit to take over Hotch’s job.
      .
      As for the new guy, I’m with you and the others in wondering how exactly they’ll make him fit into an already crowded group. But I’ll give him a shot when he appears on the show all the same.

      • Patricia Angelica says:

        Esai Morales’ character didn’t die… he just haven’t appeared on the show since season 10 CMBB pilot episode. I agree he would be great to “replace” Thomas/Hotch! He’s been on the show already, so, easier for us to get used to him.

        But I also agree, I will give him a shot. It’s not his fault all the mess the show has been through lately. But… eight is too much on the team… HAHAHAHA

  2. Paco says:

    Greg never kicked Dharma…

  3. dean says:

    Adam is Shemar’s replacement and Paget is Thomas’s, so why did they need another person? I hope the show doesn’t start to feel crowded.

    • Brent says:

      Because heaven forbid they have more women at the BAU than men!

      • Pickle8182 says:

        I’m guessing this is sarcasm. CBS has always had the reputation of not treating men and women equally.

        • Brent says:

          Yes, definitely sarcasm. Despite the huge talent of the women they have on this show, they HAD to bring in another man to even it out. Personally I think the cast at 7, even without Gibson, had serious potential to be as strong as ever.

        • Elyan says:

          Actors’ hirings, and their contracts, all fall under ABC Studios responsibility… CBS only suffers their decisions.

        • SharonP says:

          I agree with your statement about CBS not treating women fairly. I mean look at what they did to Blue Bloods Jennifer Esposito.

          • Leanne says:

            it was a nasty split and she instigated it and before you blow a fit I do like her. She has since made amends with CBS and is now on NCIS. Maybe things happen for a reason. She was in mistresses but pulling the racist card left hard feelings but ive given her a chance. she left I know for medical reasons but medical reasons has no age, gender or nationality preference.

      • Jane R says:

        Hilarious! This is what the minds over at CM came up with … Damon Gupton? Paget Brewster and this guy over Gibson? Too funny. I think they really, really want the show to get cancelled. Just plug in the holes with a lot of cheap talent and cross your fingers. What a joke!

    • Elyan says:

      The show has felt crowded for many seasons now; this batch of writers have seemed unable to write for 7 regulars – hence why a couple disappeared at some point during most of the episodes, – and now they have EIGHT? This is a joke!

      • Roxy says:

        LoL it wasn’t the writing but the money.. to keep them all previous season they had a reccuring instead of regular and some of the regulars do less episodes instead of all.
        It says plenty that with what Gibson earned they can afford 3 regulars, even if two are women – so they pay them less.

  4. Morisot says:

    Hotch’s grimness always seemed to lend the proper weight/gravitas to the horrific crimes. He was like the “portrait of Dorian Grey” and in that way gave a certain balance to the show that I think will be missed.

  5. andrew hass says:

    Maybe this new character was planned even Gibson hadn’t left and Gibson had Brewster wouldn’t have been rehired.

  6. Pickle8182 says:

    Why is another agent even needed? I never heard of this man, but would have bet my house he was going to be African American. So are we now making up characters to ensure every sex and race are represented? Move David into the leader role he deserves (I’m meaning agent leader role, not actor), Adam fills in the missing male role (I thought he did a great job), and Prentiss already brings in an extra agent. Why another? As it is, Aisha’s acting is bringing the show down. Loved her on Ghost Whisperer, but not here. Damn. First NCIS with poor actors filling in, except for Jennifer Esposito, now this. Come on CBS!!! You’ve always been my favorite!

    • Bella says:

      Oh, yeah. Bring race into it! Because he couldn’t just be the best guy for the job, could he? What’s wrong with you?

      • Dan Hetland says:

        Being as no one knows this person from Mrs. Jones house cat, except for the fact that he happens to be of AA descent, it makes it extremely difficult to determine if he’s the best person for the job or not. To be perfectly honest, I think most of us are simply quite comfortable with Thomas Gibson as the lead character of the series making it hard to imagine anyone else in that role. Too bad they killed off the Mandy Patinkin character, but I guess he too would be a little old by now.

        • Angela says:

          To be perfectly honest, I think most of us are simply quite comfortable with Thomas Gibson as the lead character of the series making it hard to imagine anyone else in that role.
          .
          Except in this case, Emily Prentiss is the one who’s going to be taking over Hotch’s job, based off what I’ve heard thus far. Gupta’s character’s just going to be an extra team member, not the unit chief. So he’s not replacing Gibson in that regard.
          .
          Also, Gibson’s character may be the lead of the team, but this is an ensemble series, so there’s really no “lead character of the series”.

        • One, it’s not true that no one knows this actor. Two, Mandy Patinkin left CM on his own and hasn’t stopped bashing it since.

        • Leanne says:

          I really don’t know this person but Ill give him a chance. Prentis or Rossi character could be advanced. Mandy not good fit. He always quits a series. Always. I think they get to large of a cast unless they don’t feature all of them or are going to do 2 story lines in an episode. time will tell. I most aways give them a chance.

        • mary says:

          I love how some people think because they don’t know an actor, no one does. I’ve seen him on the other shows mentioned above. He’s been good in the different roles. I’d give him a chance before judging. And by the way there are numerous races out there in the acting world.

      • dan says:

        Seems like you’re the one “bringing race into it”. And yeah, he COULD be the best guy for the job, but just because he is black doesn’t mean he is, nor does it mean people do not have the right to criticize his acting ability. There are plenty other black actors that would do the job fine, but by his past career, he is not good for this show. Make it about race if you’d like, but you may as well live your life wearing noise cancelling headphones, because everyone has the right to their opinion whether you want to hear them or not. Grow up.

  7. Leanne says:

    I would like them to grow up as professional and resolve their issues and bring back Thomas Gibson..however I don’t think it will happen. They should advance Rossi and I like Prentiss coming back, hated when she left. I don’t think adding a new cast member is a good fit.

  8. sofia says:

    For 11 seasons the team works great with 7 members, but as soon that they have more women than men on the team they feel the need to add another team member.
    THIS IS BULLS#!T

  9. Ange says:

    Well they needed to add someone at minimum cost. I’m sure his salary is maybe a third of gibsons

    • Roxy says:

      Look at it this way.. with what Gibson earned they paid 3 regulars: Paget, Aisha’s new regular status and the new guy Gupton. Rodriguez for certain doesn’t earn as much as Shemar… so they still have more money for this season.

      • sofia says:

        Aisha was already a regular before Thomas got fired. She became a regular while he was suspended, but 2 days before he got fired.
        Only Paget and now Damon were added after.

  10. Kevin K says:

    Really missed The Player even though Damon Gupton was on that show.

  11. Shirley Hitzel says:

    I hope the people responsible for these decisions choke on the money they are saving from Gibson’s salary. Cheaper is not better and the fans deserve better. I will follow Thomas Gibson wherever he goes but Good Bye CM. Gibson was the major talent on the show and you are going to lose a lot of viewers with this insane decision making. Watch your ratings drop!!!

    • Carm says:

      When people assault other people at work they lose their jobs. Seriously not sure why that is so hard to understand. Just because you liked his character on a TV show does not mean he should get away with what is technically a crime.

      • dan says:

        Nice job trying to take the moral high road, but unless you were there when it happened, you have no more insight on the incident than my neighbor’s cat. No “crime” was committed. Do you see Thomas Gibson going to jail or receiving criminal charges? Nope.

  12. Pam Neasbitt says:

    Have faithfully watched this program from the beginning, have remained with the comings and goings of female agents….. However, when Hitch goes, so does this viewer… he is the balance which makes the program believable…
    I do not care that we have a black and a Hispanic
    Rodriguez is NOT a strong enough actor…
    It’s a shame to mess with a good product

  13. SoFla says:

    They can hire an army I could care less, will only watch if Thomas Gibson/Hotch returns. Otherwise it is Empire all the way on Wednesday nights for me.

  14. You are making a huge mistake by not letting Hotch back on the show!!! A suspension would have sufficed!!! Don’t be surprised if you lose thousands of viewers!!!!

  15. Christopher Krug says:

    i predict this being last criminal minds season without hotch..you all can still watch it,but im done

  16. SJ says:

    And of course, they go and hire a minority. So flippin’ predictable.

  17. amysue4772 says:

    So they upped Aisha Tyler to series regular, and added Adam Rodriguez, and brought back Prentiss, and now this new guy. Hope this doesn’t mean we’re losing another cast member in addition to Thomas Gibson. Their private jet is going to be crowded

  18. Cecilia Randall says:

    Take Head** if you fired Thomas Gibson**You should get him back tooo many people like the show with him in it**** *****Look what happened to Charlie Sheehan show after they fired him that ruined the whole show 21/2 men went off the air** **must give the viewers what they want don’t ruin this show**it’s great the way it was*** ***PLEASE DON’T RUIN THIS PERFECTLY GOOD SHOW BECAUSE OF A DISSAGREEMENT BE THE BIGGER PERSON TO SAVE EVERYONES FACE AND KEEP VIEWERS HAPPY SO IT CAN BE A GREAT SHOW AS IT ALWAYS WAS*********

    • Angela says:

      1. Tone down the freaking caps and use of asterisks.
      2. Charlie Sheen had been involved in serious criminal behavior and was completely mentally unstable. CBS had very good reason to let him go.

    • Simon Jester says:

      Um, yeah, let’s look what happened after Charlie Sheen left Two and a Half Men: it *did* go off the air… after another four seasons! :-D

  19. Sheila says:

    So there’s a Behavioral Analysis Program and a Behavioral Analysis Unit? Ran out of naming ideas, did we?

  20. Must be what it was like to be the last guy hired to work on the Titanic.

  21. JBC says:

    Congratulations Damon Gupton on your new gig as series regular on Criminal Minds. I hope the fans will give you a chance.

    • Angela says:

      *Looks at other comments in this thread*
      .
      Yeah, we may want to keep hoping on that one.

    • Bwine says:

      I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or not, because based on the comments so far, most CM fans don’t want to give this guy a chance either because he is replacing their beloved Thomas Gibson, or his addition is going to make the cast too big or simply because he is African American, because heaven forbid, there are two black people on the show, but either way, it’s a shame, because Damon is a good actor who has been on a lot of really good tv shows. He just reoccured on this past season of Bates Motel as Norman’s psychiatrist. He was on the Player, and he was on that short-lived, scripted WE tv show, that was surprisingly really good so I wish fans would just give the guy a chance before lighting the torches.

      • Queeny says:

        Don’t you get? No one wants whats his face around. Bring back Hotch.

      • Angela says:

        @Queeny: And don’t YOU get it? Gibson got fired for doing something stupid. He’s not coming back anytime soon. Also, you don’t speak for what other fans do or don’t want. Deal with it.
        .
        @Bwine: I loved his character on “Bates Motel”. Some of the best scenes that season involved Norman talking with his psychiatrist.

        • Queeny says:

          My opinion! Look who’s talking? Yap, yap, yap all over the place. You his agent. Look in the mirror before pointing fingers!

  22. Brad says:

    Im sorry. But who??

  23. Patricia says:

    Criminal minds was always on my must see tv list. I liked the regulars starting with Mandy Pantikin. I definitely won’t be tuning in to the new season. I don’t care about the new cast members. Damon Gupton was a good fit on Bates Motel. I hope Thomas Gibson isn’t gone for good.

  24. Di says:

    I am about done with the show. I’ve watched from the beginning. I was not happy when Mandy left. Now Shemar. I never liked the Rossi character, as well as the new Aisha. You always ruin show by changing characters. I don’t care if Gibson kicked all of you. Like Mandy, Prentiss, Shemar and Gibson, they are irreplaceable! When Gibson is gone, so am I. What a shame for what was a great show.

    • Leanne says:

      I hate when they lose an already great cast. I do like Mandy but he always leaves a series, ALWAYS, his choice. we shall see how it goes but very glad Prentis is back. I really like her. I hope maybe they address their issues and bring back Gibson. I think the fans have spoken so time will tell

  25. Oh, I loved him on ‘Bates Motel’. Still not watching but CM is an old love of mine and I like to keep up with the cast :).

  26. Bruce says:

    The Show is dead too me

  27. jw says:

    This would have been an ok move if they ditch Aisha Tyler. Was annoying even last season as a weekly guest.

  28. Iris says:

    You’d think that when losing a core character, showrunners would focus on the remaining veterans, in order to remind the upset audience why they watch the show to start with and soften the blow.
    Instead, they choose to bloat the cast with newbies. Bloated cast means not enough time to develop properly the new characters and make the audience care about them. At the same time, it means less screentime for the characters the audience actually cares about and could alienate the viewers who stayed in spite of the initial casting change.
    I find it completely illogical.

    • L says:

      This exactly. The writers are cramming too much exposition into every scene; there are fewer momemts of suspense, of NOT KNOWING WHO THE UNSUB WAS. Plus the new characters are just eating into time better spent with the originals.

      I think Aisha Tyler is fine, but I cannot make myself care about her character. Will no doubt be the same for new people.

      Honestly, at this point I’d much rather see a a show of Hotch, Rossi, Morgan, Reid, Prentiss, and Garcia just hanging out, maybe opening a restaurant together. Maybe be PIs on the side or something. I couldn’t care less about unsubs anymore, esp as they get increasingly improbable. CBS, you take Criminal Minds and ruin it, but leave Hotch, et al with me. Kthnx.

  29. Wayne Kitchens says:

    Sorry will never watch again, you took the best of the best and fired him so it will never be the same, have watched for years but no more.

  30. Tamme says:

    I used to love the show but don’t watch anymore :(.
    It was an adjustment when Morgan left but now Hotch and adding so many new characters? I don’t like it. It’s too much to get used to and I hate when good shows start adding alot of new people. Thank you for the wonderful past episodes. I will continue to watch re-runs with all my favorite characters.

  31. jj says:

    Don’t need new series regular. They already brought Emily back.

  32. liame says:

    Good for Damon, such a wonderful actor.

  33. Bogus says:

    BLM at work. Guess him and Virgil are tight. Aisha and Rodriguez ain’t enough. What no wheelchair people? Wheelchairs up in 30. Politically correct crap just stinks.

    • dan says:

      Lmao, I just got home from work and was reading through the comments and you should know your comment made me laugh so hard that beer shot out of my nose lol. Thank you It was refreshing to read something realistic in these comments instead of all of the pc morons saying “you just don’t want gupton because you’re a racist”. Nope, I don’t want gupton because he isn’t Gibson, and I’ve never even heard of him. if they want to turn it into a racial issue that says a lot about their own racially discriminatory views. But I forgot, I guess it’s illegal to dislike a minority for any reason these days, whether it’s about race or not.

  34. Eva says:

    I thought then and more so even now that it was a bad idea killing off Gideon. I always wanted him to return in the finale of the show like Grissom did in CSI. But now if he had lived, they could have brought the actor back to take hotch’s place.

  35. Donna Strach says:

    Well I think Mr Williams is acting like a spoil brat, see what I can do to you if you cross me. Both are at fault for the incident. Act like a grown up Mr Williams and get Thomas Gibson back to the show. I love the show but not sure if I will watch any more. Knowing its being run by bullies

  36. Chris Acker says:

    Prentiss is good as Unit Chief but the new character “Steven” is hard to watch. Whenever he is speaking I feel like he is reading his lines. Everyone else is so believable …. I’m going to try and finish watching the season but when Steven speaks it is hard…

  37. Gloria Davis says:

    This idiots are stupid as dirt. Thomas Gibson made “Criminal Minds”. I have watching this program since it originated, it is bad enough Shemar Moore left, what an “hunk” and great actor, but firing Thomas Gibson, you must have a very huge ego! Wake up and smell the roses, of course someone like you already smells. Get over it and write him back into the BAU!!! Stupid!! You have lost my viewing forever.

    • Leanne says:

      I agree. don’t fix what’s not broke. I like Rodriques but gupton doesn’t add anything. They tried this before long time ago with Prentiss and AJ Cook and brought them back. Its not that I don’t like Gupton, he is just not a good mix in this series. Its like he is reading a book..