Fall TV Preview

Criminal Minds: Damon Gupton Out, Two Series Vets Remain in Limbo

Criminal Minds cast shake-up, Part 2?

Sources confirm for TVLine that due to creative changes at the long-running CBS crime drama, Damon Gupton will not be returning as Supervisory Special Agent Stephen Walker for Season 13. The actor’s departure, revealed via Twitter over the weekend, comes just 15 episodes after he was added to the cast in wake of Thomas Gibson’s controversial exit.

In January, Criminal Minds boss Erica Messer told TVLine that adding Gupton amid so much existing cast churn — Gibson’s aforementioned exit came on the heels of Adam Rodriguez’s hiring and preceded Aisha Tyler’s promotion to series regular and Paget Brewster’s full-time return — was not her choice, but rather “a decision that the network made.”

“It’s always a challenge to bring somebody new into a group that has functioned together as long as [the BAU has],” Messer said. “It’s like, ‘OK, what role needs to be filled?’ So we brought him in with a specialty in the espionage world.”

Last month, our sister site Deadline reported that veteran cast members AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness were in the midst of difficult contract negotiations, seeking parity with their male co-stars (Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler had just inked new deals). Negotiations with the actresses remain at an impasse, with both reportedly willing to walk away from the series if they can’t reach a deal.

Criminal Minds‘ Season 12 finale conveniently left the fate of several characters in the air, as arch nemesis Mr. Scratch arranged for an 18-wheeler to plow into two SUVs filled with BAU agents. Only Garcia and Reid (played by Vangsness and Gubler) were out of harm’s way as the season drew to a close.

Gupton’s exit comes on the heels of fellow CBS procedural NCIS parting ways with Jennifer Esposito after a singular season.

Your take on the latest Criminal Minds cast departure?

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171 Comments
  1. Cranky says:

    I certainly hope they recognize the value of both Ms Cook and Ms Vangsness. They deserve to be paid the same as the men, they are both huge parts of the show.

    • Annie Sisk says:

      Absolutely true. Yet CBS has in the past been fairly difficult for actors to negotiate with – I recall a number of hard lines they took with CSI cast members. I wish the women every success. It’s time to for gender pay disparity to be a thing of the past.

      • Jane R says:

        So AJ and KV banded together and screwed Gupton out of a regular paying gig. Just pathetic. They probably got the idea from KV’s good friend and “writing” buddy EM. Way to force everyone’s hand! But, I guess that’s how things work over at CM. Gupton deserved better, but at least he doesn’t have to deal with the backstabbers anymore.

        • SirWazza says:

          That’s crap and you know it.Damon Gupta wasn’t a good fit at all but sure screw Aj Cook and KV for wanting a pay closer to their cat mates lmao..He was a joke and never should have been hired in the first place.

          • Jane R says:

            Yeah, they wanted to get paid and didn’t care who got in the way. They knew what they were doing. You can’t be that naive.

          • SirWazza says:

            Well they are the staple characters .People actually want to watch them rather than the drab dull character Damon portrayed.Hence they deserved a pay rise to reflect their value on the show.

          • Joyce L. says:

            I totally agree with you. The ladies deserve a long awaited pay bump. Damon was not a good fit. He was too stiff in his acting. Adam fits in much better as he is more experienced with group ensembles.

          • Pickle8182 says:

            You knew the character was going to be weak when he was forced on the show. I wonder why they did that. Must have made him a little uncomfortable too.

        • Pickle8182 says:

          Where did you get that? Did you read the article or only the parts you wanted to? They writers and producers didn’t want him from the start, there was no room for him. Even in the eps it looks forced. He leaves and gets a role more appropriate and where there isn’t like 7 other regulars. They still have too many, Should lose Aisha.

      • Pickle8182 says:

        CBS is only “fairly difficult” with the women actresses. Always has been – they’re known for it.

    • Jessica says:

      Me too I want them all to come back I hope Kristen and A.J cool so

    • PatriciaLee says:

      So right on, Cranky. Women actors have been expected to wear high heels for a hundred years, with sacrifice to their health, expected to act in them with the same intensity and professionalism as the guys in their comfy walking shoes…and they have. Zheeez…network heads, you wouldn’t even have a job without that century. Words escape me.

    • They’re staying. Five days ago, Aisha Tyler posted an Instagram picture with AJ, Kristen and Paget, saying: “So ready for season 13 #womenontop #crimmindscbs”. Some sort of agreement must have been reached. AJ and Kristen don’t look like they’re going anywhere.

      HOWEVER, if they don’t get pay equality and they decide to leave, I’ll be the first one to support them!

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        As of the time stamp on this story, there was no update on Cook/Vangsness.

        • I realize that — no official update — but if you look at what is obviously a personal picture with a personal caption, it doesn’t seem like they’re going anywhere :) (that’s how I saw it anyway!)

          • Michael says:

            That’s obviously how you interpret that picture, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is no official update. I’m not going to jump to any conclusions based on a picture.

          • I didn’t ask you to — and I said explicitly that’s how I interpreted the picture. She’s also liked some tweets about the 13th season! It was just a personal picture more than a promotional one — if my friends were planning to leave the job, I wouldn’t have posted a picture saying “Getting ready to work on Monday!!!”. I’m willing to bet they know they’re staying and they’re (the network) willing to negotiate. They know they can’t afford to lose AJ and Kristen (see: season 6).

          • ROBBIE CHRISTIANSEN says:

            I like your comment best so I’ll keep that in mind – I really enjoy the show especially since Joe M. came on the scene. :-)

      • sofia says:

        And in addition to that, someone tweeted that Aisha wouldn’t have posted that they were all ready for season 13 if AJ and Kirsten hadn’t signed up yet, and then Kirsten liked that tweet. Why would she have liked a tweet implying that they knew already that they would be staying on the show if they weren’t?
        The way I see it, that tweet and Kirsten liking it is like a confirmation that all four ladies will be on the show next season.

        • kalli says:

          Or it’s a way for them to show that they’re liked and supported by fans, which they can bring up in the contract negotiations. If they can say ‘this post celebrating the women on the show got x likes’, they can use it to point to viewership.

        • Yeah, I think it’s an implied confirmation, even if not official. I know it’s not a signed contract, but I think Aisha wouldn’t have posted hat particular picture with that caption if they were leaving! NOR Kristen would have liked it!

      • Lisa Velasquez says:

        Steven Walker character on Criminal Minds and will not be returning for season 13 is not really a big thing because he really didn’t seem to make a big difference or impact. He was much too quiet easygoing soft-spoken.

        • It’s not because he was quiet and easy going. It’s because he didn’t have a personality. Like, Jack Garrett, from Beyonf Borders (RIP) was quiet and easy going. He still had a personality. It’s because the writers put zero effort into writing him. They didn’t want him there. I wish Damon Gupton the best. Criminal Minds wasn’t the show for him.

          • Lisa Velasquez says:

            I agree. I didn’t know the writers don’t have any say so. Still it just did not seem like a good fit for this show. Best wishes to you and all his future endeavors.

          • TanyaLeigh says:

            Damon Gupta was fantastic on Bates Motel, everyone should check look for it onDemand.

          • Angela says:

            Seconding TanyaLeigh’s comments.

          • I honestly believe that. I was shocked by how wonderful Rachel Nichols was on Continuum. I was like, “Wow, this girl can act!”

    • Doris says:

      I agree. JJ and Garcia are important to this show

  2. Stefany says:

    I liked Walker better than the other new guy. I miss Hotch, even though I understand why he’s gone. The chemistry is just off – even Prentiss’ return hasn’t filled the hole. If JJ or Garcia go I don’t think I can take any more. If they didn’t learn anything from the season 6 debacle when they undervalued JJ and Prentiss… Seriously… Let it go.

  3. Nikolla Gorey says:

    Nothing new here! Every year the women on this show are the last to sign, because the producers treat the women as second class citizens. You’d think with everything that went down this season that they would appreciate that both AJ and Kirsten have stuck it out through all the crazy. Just give them the same $$$$ as Matthew and Joe and reassure the fans that you really care about the show and it’s fans! You can’t afford to lose any more of the fan favorites!!

    • nuschler12 says:

      The tiny blonde–name? Oh well. BEST shot on the show–next to Hotch. The show where Hotch figured out the sniper and killed him from across a courtyard. Hotch was never a showoff like Shemar Moore. Every show, Shemar–“Can I take a shower in Vangness’ apt and come out, wet, shiny, with only a white towel around my waist? Too pretty.

      Hotch was my all!

      • Manow says:

        True, I agree. I really miss Hotch.

        • barb tadokoro says:

          Me too but it looked like it had to be for the show to keep going from what I read about the problems. I was sorry when Mandy Patakin left too.

      • MLO says:

        Hotch was a thumping bore! Too bad they’re letting Damon go… I thought he was just starting to find his footing.

      • Samson Saintlaurent says:

        I agree. Hotch was EVERYTHING. Powerful character and I love Cook. She’s smart, beautiful, and not to be reckon with, however, after Hotch dismissal I left. I watch the old espisode and I was never a Shemar fan.

  4. sofia says:

    Is your source CBS? I think it is.
    “Creative changes?” Not according to Damon Gupton, who wrote on facebook “On Thursday, I was informed that I was being released from my current job on Criminal Minds. It took us all by surprise, cast, production, etc. as production starts back up in about a month, and I was told I’d be back for the 13th season and planned my worklife and personal life accordingly. It was a business decision, nothing to do with my performance, etc. Business move.”
    Same thing CBS fed us 7 years ago when they fired AJ and Paget because of “creative reasons”.
    It’s always about money, always was, always will be. Why do they keep lying to our faces like this?

    • sofia says:

      But if cutting Damon means that both AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness will continue on the show, well, I’m sorry to see him go but it was the best choice. He was there for only a short period of time while AJ and Kirsten have been there since season 1.
      I hope there are news about their contracts soon, but Aisha’s photo this week seems to be a good indication that all four women will be staying on the show.

    • Olivia says:

      Exactly, it IS about money. Which means the fans may be smart to voice their opinion to the advertisers instead of TPTB. CBS has apparently learned nothing, doesn’t want to and only understands $$$.

      If JJ or Garcia leaves, I’m out. They’re literally, with Reid and the added bonus of Prentiss returning, the only reason I’m still watching and have been forgiving the lesser quality these past few years. I still love Rossi and have been pleasantly surprised with Alvez despite still being bummed about Morgan quitting (never clicked with Walker and pretty neutral towards Lewis) but it doesn’t warrant giving my time weekly to them if one of the ladies goes.

      They’re a business? Well, I’m a customer.

    • Damon Gupton was NEVER supposed to be on the show. The network demanded they hired a new male actor after Thomas Gibson left. Erica Messer said it in an interview she basically had to pull one out of her… mind. Of course they’re letting him go if it means keeping AJ & Kristen! Creatively, it makes no sense keeping a character that had no business being there to begin with and letting go of two of their two long lasting characters

      • sofia says:

        I know CBS forced them to hire another guy because they didn’t want to team to have a superior number of women than of men. And I was always one of those who said the team didn’t need to have 8 members, they always worked great with 7 members and sometimes even with only 6 or 5.
        But they added him, like CBS wanted, they brought in his character with the main purpose of helping to catch Scratch and he fit in nicely with the rest of the team, and even I who thought he was unnecessary there was warming up to him, mainly because of the calm and soothing tone of his voice. And now, when Scratch is yet to be caught, the show is going to have to write him off and CBS is saying that they are letting him go because of “creative changes”, when according to Damon himself it was about money, and that it came as a surprise to everyone on the show, like, if they were planning on writing him out they wouldn’t have been surprised by him being fired out of the blue. And look, I agree with him being let go, who was only there briefly, if that means what they were paying him is going to keep two ladies on the show who have been there since season 1, but what I don’t like is that CBS isn’t being honest, again, about why they are letting go of another cast member of this show.

        • Oh, I think CBS is the lamest network ever. But Gupton’s character was extremely poorly developed — we can blame Messer for that (no one wanted him) and he ended up being a character no one warmed to, through no fault of his own (see: Rachel Nichols, who, I was soo surprised to find out could be a great actress when I saw Continuum). I’m honestly glad he’s gone. He didn’t fit the team. At all. I loved the team’s interaction in the few episodes without him. I hope everyone else stays. But if she girls leave because of pay inequality, more power to them!

          • sofia says:

            They had that whole big arc with Reid right after he joined, they were focusing on that rather than on the new characters. There was hardly any development on Luke too. From what we saw during the season I think he fit in well with the team. I liked seeing his interactions with the other team members and the other way around. You think another way, different people, different opinions. Walker’s main purpose on the team, when Emily asked him to join them, was to help catch Scratch, and now they are going to have to write him out without him doing what he was there to do in the first place. This is all a huge mess that could have been avoided if CBS wasn’t such a sexist/misogynistic network, that doesn’t like when there are more women than men in their shows.

    • kalli says:

      Can you show us that post please? It appears to have been taken down.

      • sofia says:

        He posted a statement on Facebook about being fired but only his friends can see it. Someone with ties to the show who is friends with him copied the full statement and posted it on a CM forum.

        • kalli says:

          Which you can’t link to either because…?

          • sofia says:

            Because tvline won’t let me post links in the comments.
            But if you search Criminal Minds forum on google it’s right the first entry (the one that’s from “forums dot previously dot tv), or at least for me it is.

  5. Deb says:

    Come on. The show wouldn’t be nearly as good without the two ladies. I’ll definitely stop watching if they’re gone.

  6. Patricia Angelica says:

    All this cast situation on season 12 reminds me a lot of the cast situation in season 6. But they were even more disrespectful with Damon than they were with Rachel Nichols because, after all, her face was on the season 6 DVD cover and Damon’s isn’t. What a shame!
    Damon and his character were, after all, the best things of the season.
    They “forced” a regular character, that ended up being a good one, in a bad situation that made him and the character be rejected by some of the audience… all that just to let him go at the end. Shame on CBS and ABC Studios!

    • Dude, I *hated* Hotch from season 1. I thought he had the personality of a broomstick. I don’t mind cast changes… at all. I ADORE Lewis and I honestly like Alvez better than Morgan. I actually even liked… gulp, Kate. So, I was ready to love and embrace whichever new character they brought at us! But Walker had the same non-personality as Hotch. A broomstick. I sooo disappointed.

  7. Deborah Krall says:

    I am sorry that Damon Gupton was kicked off the show. I actually thought the team for the second part of the season was amazing. Each actor brought their own style, and they all seemed to mesh very well. The whole team brought a dynamic that had been lacking in the first part of the season. By the finale, I was truly looking forward to next season with this whole entourage of great actors.

  8. A.D. says:

    Just Put this show out of its and our misery!

    • nuschler12 says:

      Oh agree 100%
      After Hotch, it lost its central morality–its core. I watched a few episodes with Spencer in prison and it was so UNBELIEVABLE. Garbage time. Face it he would have been killed or made someone’s “girlfriend” immediately.

      I watched a real G-man–(Government agent) with 6’8” former FBI director James Comey and it made me REALLY miss Hotch. There’s no STRENGTH anymore in Criminal Minds–sorry Adam—go back to “Magic Mike” and whoever the hell that other weirdo guy is!

      There was no center–too many to keep track of.

      Like NCIS losing Michael Weatherly–they added a woman and two males and it SUCKED! Let these shows die–say goodbye to the Silver Fox (age 65) and Ducky(age 83!)–Au Revoir dear people!

      • I agree – first problem IMO was Prentiss as the unit chief (I adore Prestiss and was thrilled with her return just NOT as Unit Chief). For me at this point Tyler needs to go, Gupton needs to go, the other guy is a good fit and I was pleasantly shocked about that but they need to find a true Hotch replacement. Unit Chief needs to be someone like Hotch that plays by the book, but yet at times is also friends with the crew. Hotch grew as a person within the group but he still maintained his lawyer like presence and by the book ways. Prentiss as Unit Chief plays by her own rules and bends them as she see’s fit but always taking sole responsibility. Will say most of the problem with her as Unit Chief stems from the Season direction of Spencer being in jail, talk about a season where Hotch was desperately needed with his legal side. Hotch replacements I’ve considered – David Caruso, Gary Sinese, BD Wong, Danny Pino, Jesse Martin. Have some other ideas need to replacement the head lady and I think Dianne Weist would be awesome in that role and they never replaced her and I think the show still needs to know there a chain of command higher than Prentiss.

        • sofia says:

          “but always taking sole responsibility”, sounds like someone I know, who got suspended at the start of season 3 because he took full responsibility for Gideon’s wrong actions, sounds like someone I know, who, on season 7, took full responsibility for having sent Prentiss away into hiding in season 6 to protect her from Doyle. Hotch did the exact same thing, why was it okay with him and not with Emily? A Unit Chief’s job also includes protecting their agents.
          And, yes, they did replace the “head lady”. After Strauss died, in the finale of season 8, they brought in Agent Mateo Cruz, played by Esai Morales, to be the new Section Chief. He hasn’t been seen since season 10, hardly anyone has mentioned him since, sometimes I think they forgot about him. He appeared on CM:BB, though. But with everything that happened this season it would have made sense to have the Section Chief appearing on CM too.

        • Nancy says:

          Wow. Gary Sinese would be amazing in that role! It would be a huge improvement in my opinion, and I think he, Spencer, and Rossi would blend amazingly well. Hopefully we’ll still have JJ and Garcia this fall..their loss would be catastrophic.

    • The Rookie says:

      You can always stop watching. I enjoyed season 12 very much with Prentiss as Unit Chief and hope we get to at least season 15.

    • ReneCat says:

      Couldn’t agree more! I haven’t watched Criminal Minds in years! Great show in the beginning but past it’s prime now. CBS needs to put it out to pasture and get something new.

  9. Betty Spates says:

    The show hasn’t been the same for a long time, I wish the would bring the original cast back.

    • Vi says:

      Well they killed off Gideon, and I wasn’t a fan of Elle. So bringing back the original cast isn’t going to work. And the original cast did not include Rossi and Prentiss.

      • Susan Byrnes says:

        I didn’t care for Elle either. I don’t think she was a very good actress in Criminal Minds. The best original lineup is Rossi, Morgan, Reid, JJ, Garcia, Prentiss and Hotch. There’s a good chance that the ratings have gone down for any one of these characters who are no longer a part of the BAU and those who might decide to leave. Can the network really afford that?

        • sofia says:

          You cannot say “The best original lineup is Rossi, Morgan, Reid, JJ, Garcia, Prentiss and Hotch”, because Prentiss and Rossi are not originals. Was that the best cast/team lineup? Yes, it was. Was it original? No, it was not. The original lineup was with Elle and Gideon.

          • Lisa Velasquez says:

            Losing Gideon, huge mistake! Should haved left his ending open for possible return to show.
            Think about it – the 2 real Originals that started the BAU back together with Gideon & Rossi on the show! Yes! See how far it came n growing better…….

          • sofia says:

            Losing Gideon was 100% Mandy’s fault. He’s the one who decided he didn’t want to work on the show anymore and didn’t show up for work. Then they had to convince him to return for a couple of episodes to write the character out. After he left the show he only said bad things about CM, he never wanted to return, and the people who work on the show didn’t want him back either. He’s always talking about how violent CM, and it is, but he was saying that while he was on Homeland, how is that show less violent? A year ago, at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, Thomas called him a hypocrite for this, and I agree with him. If I was the showrunner or one of the producers I would have killed off Gideon long before season 10. They tried, Gideon was supposed to kill himself at the end of 3×02, but Mandy basically threw a temper tantrum and forced them to change the script.

    • Jessica says:

      Not me I think the show is great with the new guys I love And Rodriguez

    • The Rookie says:

      Gideon and Lola left a decade ago, Shemar chose to leave. I guess you want Hotch back. Sorry, but that is not happening

      • Margie Clark says:

        I loved the present cast. Gideon, Elle, Shemar, Hotch, Kate, Alex, Jordan, and Walker have all come and gone. Law and Order has lasted 18 years, and they’ve had more cast changes than Garcia changes her glasses. There are so, so many shows to watch, If you don’t enjoy CM anymore, choose another.

        I wish the writers would use their imagination a bit more. I’m tired of “Scratch.” Get rid of him. Don’t use so many guest stars as unsubs. I don’t watch the show to see who the “unsub of the week” is. There are so many new actors just waiting for their first break. Save that money and give it ti JJ and Garcia.

        Can’t wait for season 13.

      • Manow says:

        It would be great to have Hotch back.

    • nuschler12 says:

      Bring back original cast?? Hotch and Mandy Pantinkin would KILL each other for most macho.
      No let them all retire. Move on! Maybe they will all get killed in the 18 wheeler.

      BTW weren’t Mr.Scratch, Foyet, (The Reaper,) The Replicator–all the same character just reincarnated–I mean these guys were REALLY OUT THERE.

      Mark Hamill playing the The Replicator was hilarious…I follow his Twitter feed and he easily the very funniest, yet insightful tweets.

      This show took itself WAY too seriously. Time to go! Bum-bye!

      Only guy I looked forward to seeing was JJs husband.

  10. Margie Clark says:

    I would imagine that Joe makes more than MGG. You are paying for his experience. AJ Cook may be able to make near the amount of Matthew, but then again, she doesn’t direct an episode like MGG. Kristin’s role is not as big as MGG, but she does direct. I can see them making near the same as MGG, but no way the same as Joe. But, it usually isn’t a good thing to say “pay us the same or we’re walking.” Bosses often don’t react well to threats.

    It’s too bad about Damon. I enjoyed watching him on the show, as I did Adam. I read somewhere that Paget’s role will be on a reoccurring basis. I really don’t want to pay a penny more for any more Scratch episodes. I hate wasting time on him. Can’t the writers think of anything new?

    • sofia says:

      Matthew directed one episode on season 12, but missed two episodes, and yet he was paid more than AJ and Kirsten (who also co-wrote an episode) who were in all episodes. How is that fair?

      • mary says:

        Usually you get paid per episode. So how many episodes one is in really wouldn’t matter to how much they get paid per. It was in MGG’s contract that he only worked so many eps because he had other commitments. I would guess they went with it, or they knew they would lose him. As for how much they each get, Joe deserves more, because he has the chops. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ensemble, it’s how it goes(& to me deserving). As for the ladies getting paid the same as MGG, I would agree with it.

    • Izzy says:

      Um, directing and acting all gets credit and pay separately per episodes, so I don’t understand your logic.

    • Linda says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but what they get paid as directors shouldn’t be involved what they get paid as actors. Shouldn’t they be two seperate things?

    • jk says:

      I would think the actors are paid additional $ for directing and co-writing. Kirsten never directed. She co-writes sometimes with Messer. Paget is full time for season 13th. Unless it recently changed. We need more Will, and Ashley arc and even more back story on Emily and/or JJ.

  11. Tammy says:

    I’m not sure CBS knows what they are doing with CM. Sad.😢

  12. Patsy says:

    Cook and Vangness are as much an integral part of the team as Prentiss, Reid, and Rossi. They deserve the same amount pay. Why is that so hard to understand? Vangness even writes some of the best episodes. I’m sorry Gupton is out, but his character never really seemed to fit in. This past season floundered alot, especially without Gibson, and it may not come back if they keep screwing with the cast.

  13. Gail says:

    Never felt Stephen Walker had a purpose o “fit” with the show. And got very tired of the Dr Reid drug arc – stopped watching for awhile waiting for it to end. Finally, if AJ and Penelope aren’t OFFERED equal pay, they SHOULD walk. Their importance to the show cannot be overstated.

  14. Nick says:

    Just cancel the show already! Never the same without Thomas Gibson. Glad Damon Fulton is leaving. His character was awful

    • The Rookie says:

      You can always stop watching. I enjoyed season 12 very much with Prentiss as Unit Chief and hope we get to at least season 15.

  15. Vi says:

    I’m sorry they made this decision. I actually liked his addition more than Adam Rodriguez’s. Wouldn’t mind seeing him go. I wasn’t a fan of this last season. And I agree let’s not have a replay of season six debacle. Different pay for woman has got to go. Too much more shake up and I’m done. And I have watch since day 1.

  16. Prentiss was gone, should have left it that way, I don’t care for her, never have. Probably wouldn’t be a problem now.

  17. A. Slaughter says:

    Everybody is quitting, this used to be a fantastic show, but now it’s just going to sh**!

  18. Charlotte Stearns says:

    Not sorry to see Damon Gupton leave. Never felt he was a good fit & too many new characters were added in the wake of Hotchner’s departure. Hoping they can work out a de a l to keep JJ & Penelope.

  19. Shantiki McCall says:

    It was cool to have him. He just seemed out of place. Wish that Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore was still on the show. :(

  20. Dawn Campbell says:

    This whole thing is ridiculous! This 2017! Pay these Women the same as the Men! They have been solid characters from close to the beginning of the series. I have watched every season since 2005, it was my favorite show for years! Quit screwing with the cast and get on with it already! If either of those Women leave, I’m done! I am so turned off the series because they cant keep their actors…wth?

    • lynn says:

      yup!
      If it continues like that, eventually the show will be canceled. I stopped watching since Moore and Gibson left.

      Now I love WHITE COLLAR reruns on netflix, it’s addictive! 😊😊

  21. lynn says:

    Good. I didn’t like his work. I like the original cast with Messrs. Gibson and Moore.

  22. Roseanna Harrison-Barnett says:

    The ladies on Criminal Minds need be offered a great contract like the male counterparts on the show. Equal pay for women just like men. Please keep Kristin on the show.

  23. Carol bannworth says:

    If anyone needs to go, ship out Adam and Aisha. She is super dull and cannot act..as it goes … her way out of a paper bag. I haven’t even taken enough interest to learn their character names. Garcia and AJ just beef up their rolls and up their salaries. Missing Hotch SO MUCH.

  24. Tone. says:

    Never missed a show until they wrote P. Brewster back in.
    The way she left . Committed cold blooded murder basically. Then comes back in charge. Nothing said.
    Saw 2 shows of season 12. Now DONE.

    • sofia says:

      Who the hell did Emily murder? OMG! It was Elle who killed a rapist in cold blood IN SEASON 2, EPISODE 5. Elle Greenaway, played by Lola Glaudini, and then she left the show on episode 6. Paget Brewster joined the show on episode 9 as Emily Prentiss to replace her, and stayed there until she was fired on season 6; and then she was forced to return for season 7; and then she decided to leave after season 7; and then after that she guest starred twice, once on season 9 and once on season 11; and last year she was asked to become a regular again after Thomas was fired, so that a few episodes later Emily could replace Hotch as Unit Chief. If you watched everything until Paget returned on the 3rd episode of season 12, then you weren’t paying any attention to the show for 10 years.

  25. Angela says:

    Shame about Gupton leaving, especially since it was such a surprise announcement for him. I liked him and would’ve been interested to see him settle into the team next season. Wish him luck in his future endeavors.
    .
    Fingers crossed they can work things out with Cook and Vangsness and keep them on. What on earth will it take for CBS to finally stop messing with their female cast members like this, and treat them fairly? They need to learn to quit messing with a good thing.

  26. PLEASE DON’T FIRE A.J. COOK!!! Instead expand her role!! Get rid of all the new guys and expand her role. Find one actor with both charisma for the audience and chemistry with the others to replace all of the new ones. The original team was a dream team and each one left should remain. The new ones all seem to be lacking in their ability to blend in well with the others. Mr. Gupton was especially bland and with no chemistry at all with the others.

  27. One final word: If Prentiss or Cook are dumped, that’ s it for me. The secret of longevity for these shows is the cast interaction. NCIS hasn’t been the same without Weatherly. Again, they replaced one guy with multiple actors who had no group chemistry and no charisma. Don’t they ever learn?!

    • barb tadokoro says:

      NCIS added too many replacements and Jennifer Esposito didn’t seem to settle into her role. I felt with the storyline of her mom’s dementia, I didn’t expect her to stay too long either.

  28. ludivine Vernet says:

    Bring back Hotch….And give the ladies the salary they deserve and lets get back to work!

  29. TDXI says:

    I say let them walk, they wont do it. Nice to see how they all supported Gibson that’s some team.

    • Swpwallie says:

      My sentiments exactly. If they choose to leave, so be it; especially Vangsness, who was tapped as the producers’ media mouthpiece on why firing Gibson was okay because Virgil Williams was so “rad” and Brewster as unit chief was refreshing – questionable praise on both counts.

      The producers’ firing Gibson was trumped up and the networks could easily bring him back if they wanted to. In Hollywood, like with most things, there are no absolutes – never and always don’t apply. Things change, situations change and people change; and Criminal Minds needs Gibson in order to restore it to a more credible, valuable commodity; and boost ratings. Until that time, it’s #NoHotchNoWatch for many of us.

  30. Sonya Hawk says:

    Don’t think it’s fair, Damon could’ve been a great addition to the cast, even if only a part time cast member. This is a disservice to a great show.

  31. Sonya Hawk says:

    Don’t think it’s fair, Damon could’ve been a great addition to the cast, even if only a part time cast member. This is a disservice to a great show.

  32. PatriciaLee says:

    The husband and I will miss him. Gupton was a good addition to the show, adding a sane calmness with understated humor. A classy guy, and it’s the pits for the network to reassure him then pull out the rug. The husband is shocked they are taking him off.

    • Bwine says:

      Totally agree!! I love Damon’s work. He was great on that WeTv show and as Norman’s doc on Bates Motel, but what I think is really shamefull is that CBS would tell the guy he is coming back for season 13, and then wait all the way until filming is about to begin to fire him. That’s terrible!

  33. Erin says:

    Criminal Minds is going into its 13th season; it is old and expensive. The 18-49 demo – the only thing that advertisers care about – was down 22% this past season. It stinks that Cook and Vangsness aren’t paid the same as Gubler, but this show is in a downward slide at this point. Arguing for equal pay when ratings are dropping just isn’t going to happen. Gupton may have been let go to free up some money for them, but they just aren’t going to be paid what they want/deserve at this point.

    • sofia says:

      CM has been loosing audience consistently from season to season for years now, last season it dropped too, the season before it dropped even more, and the other before and the other. Still, CM was remained CBS’s 3rd highest rated drama on season 12, the exact same as it was on season 11. And I have a very strong feeling that if they hadn’t moved it to a later slot, CM would have a chance at beating NCIS in the 18-49 demo, because NCIS, which is CBS’s most watched show and highest rated drama, and Bull, which is their 2nd highest rated drama, were both loosing a lot of audience in demo in the last few episodes of their seasons while Criminal Minds’ was getting bigger.

      • sofia says:

        *CM remained*, that *was* is doing nothing there.
        You guys should add a feature to let us edit our comments when we make any grammatical or spelling mistakes.

      • Erin says:

        It isn’t about where the show stands with other CBS shows, though, it’s about that 18-49 demo and those advertiser dollars. If the audience is shrinking, should actors demand more money? The show has held up admirably in its run, but it has 7 full time cast members. CBS/ABC Studios are going to try and cut costs wherever they can. I do believe that both Cook and Vangsness will be back, and they will get a bump in salary from Gupton being let go, but I do not think their salary will be equal to Gubler’s. It’s all about money.

        • sofia says:

          Well, if their salaries aren’t equal to Matthew’s that is very, very unfair. Matthew takes the whole month of October off, which makes him miss two full episode and have a smaller amount of screen time in another couple of episodes. On season 12 he also took more than a week off to go to the Sundance film festival. AJ and Kirsten were there in all the episodes, and yet they made less money than him. I’m sorry, but I don’t see any fairness in this. Why does the dude get to have everything he wants and the women who work more than him can’t? With Damon out, they have the money to make their salaries match MGG’s, so I hope that’s what’s happening.

          • Erin says:

            Oh, I completely agree – this is unfair and reeks of sexism.

          • Kathy L says:

            TV actors are paid per episode, not a flat salary for the season. In other words, AJ and Kristen want the same per episode fee that MGG gets, not the same annual salary. If he continues to take those two episodes a year off in the fall, he does not get paid for those, and so will earn less money than the two women as an actor. Of course, he gets additional fees for his work as a director.

            In other words, this is not about whether all three make the same total amount of money at the end of the year, as missed episodes and additional duties will impact that, but just that they get the same amount for each episode they are in as an actor.

          • sofia says:

            Don’t actors, who are regulars on shows, get payed for all the episodes they are credited on? Even if they aren’t in the episodes?
            I read somewhere a few years ago that that was how it worked.

          • Kathy L says:

            Sofia, for some reason I couldn’t reply directly to your last post, so I’ll reply here. It’s been a few years since I worked in the industry, but when I did, there was a union rule that actors had to be credited in the top of the show if they were in a certain number of episodes (can’t remember how many, but it seems to have gotten lower in recent years). It did not require them to be in every single one. Everything, of course, depends on the actors actual contract, but my guess is that the show agreed to let MGG have October off in exchange for not being paid for those episodes. In other words, he’s only contracted for 20 episodes per season rather than 22. If he’s contracted for 22, he gets paid whether he’s in the episode or not.

    • A Goonie says:

      Downward slide, losing viewers, declining demo and yet it’s still the 3rd highest rating drama on CBS. And this after it lost both male stars in Shemar and Gibson and with MGG missing some episodes again. Maybe the networks believe that CM is still a solid performer in ratings without 2 of it’s long-time cast members, how bad would it be if they let another 2 (AJ and Kirsten) go walk instead of paying them what they want.

      • Erin says:

        That’s a really good point. Like CSI and Law & Order, this show has survived just fine with multiple cast changes. The rationale of CBS/ABC Studios may be exactly that, why should we pay you more when the show survived without Gibson, Patinkin and Moore? It stinks and it reeks of sexism, but it’s all about money.

    • Dysturbed says:

      The money it makes in syndication presumably helps to some extent to make up for the lost ad revenue that comes from the lower ratings.

  34. JohnnyW says:

    Gupton who? XD
    Anyway, Vangsness’ and Cook’s treatment is truly unfair. I hope they keep the team together, especially considering that, with the move to 10pm, there’s a pretty good chance that next season may be the last one.

  35. Irene says:

    That’s a shame. I really liked him and the character he played. I never fully got behind Adam Rodriguez’s character. I’ve warmed up a bit since the whole protecting Reed thing, but his personality doesn’t Mesh well with the others. Also don’t even think about letting JJ & Penelope (Cook & Vangsness) those women are the heart of the team and the show will not recover from that loss.

  36. Kiwi3 says:

    What is with the producers of this show and the $hitty treatment of their female cast members??? It’s why they lost Paget Brewster and AJ Cook the first go round.

  37. Crys says:

    Kinda sad about Damon going. I’ve not missed Hotch (tho I thought I would), I’ve not missed Morgan either. I like Damon’s character much more than Adam Rodriguez’s. Alvez is so clearly a “how close can we get to Morgan without cloning him” character, while Walker brought in something different. As for AJ and Kirsten, the way CBS treats women has always been very poor. I hope they do better this time. Both women bring something to the team that really adds to it, and as was shown when the writers brought in Rachel Nichols as a JJ lookalike, that something is based on more than just appearance.

  38. kmw says:

    I love the fact that ” wasn’t her choice” to bring him on. I wonder how many shows get forced to put new characters on them by the networks. Sorry for the fans who like him but an even bigger I am sorry if CBS doesn’t get their 19th or 18th Century act in gear and PAY those ladies what they are worth. Talk about and old boys network. It continually amazes me that this network in particular treats their actresses so poorly.

  39. Brenda Wykel says:

    I have loved Criminal Minds from season one. But since Hotchner was fired my interest began dwindling significantly. I love Prentiss and thought that her return would make up for my dissatisfaction with the “big dogs’ decisions.” If JJ and Garcia leave you can kiss the ratings bye bye. Then Morgan left and I said “forget this.”

  40. Teresa says:

    I think the women on Criminal Minds should make the same money as the men do. Both of these women are what helps make the show worth watching. I love them both!!!! If the show keeps loosing people it may not be worth watching anymore. I would really not want to watch anymore if the characters that I LOVE are gone.
    I don’t know what other peoples opinions are but I think that Thomas Gibson should be brought back unless they killed him off. I am not in anyway SAYING or AGREEING that what he did was right. He could have to sit out of a few shows, make him apologize to the person, and attend anger management classes for awhile. I also wished Shemar Moore was back also.
    This is just my opinion.

  41. Em says:

    Sounds like he kind of got the shaft without the elevator. The two new actors seem to have taken center stage and left him behind besides criminal minds is in such turmoil it should have been cancelled

  42. Robin E Russell says:

    The show won’t be the same without jj and garcia. They need to realize this.

  43. Jeanette phillips says:

    Bring back AJ Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Thomas Cook, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Paget Brewster and Joe Mantegna. They are what made this show the success it became. Do you want a success or a flop?

  44. hope they remembered what happened the last time they decided to not renew A.J’s contract. it just did not work. considering the ratings, it will be foolish to remove 2 of the more popular characters of the show

  45. Mary Love says:

    Why change what works?? Criminal Minds is a very good show and for me without Garcia, and the rest, that show would fall faster than a fat kid on a see saw. Personally, I would stop watching. That’s just my opinion. I stopped watching g CSI when Grissom slept with Sarah. Th two didn’t even match. I would have accepted him sleeping with the Madam first. At least that looked more realistic. I haven’t​ watched not one single episode since. Don’t do this to Criminal Minds. Give those women what they deserve. Equal pay for equal work. And besides, without Garcia, they never would find anybody. So there.

  46. Barbara says:

    they should give them the money. they both have been there for along time and do a great job . show won’t be the same without them.

  47. Louise says:

    I am not a Brewster fan, so she could go and I wouldn’t blink; but if Vangsness and Cook don’t get a fair contract and walk it will be the last I watch of CM. CBS tried to get rid of Cook several years ago and they found out how people felt about the character. When will the ‘bean counters’ realize they are not equipped to deal with creativity the same as buying a pair of pants.
    I am sort of disappointed that Gubler is still in cast. I love him and the character but he has had a long run on this show and as an actor I would think he would like to try something different.

  48. Tanya says:

    I really liked his character it’s JJ who drives me crazy . I wish they’d get rid of her!

    • DR says:

      OMIGOSH! We may be the only two of us out there, but I’m SO with you on JJ. I’ve tried to like her for 12 years and it just won’t take. She was okay early on, but her super-agent Barbie transformation has grated on me for years. Plus, I don’t see her as the nuturing heartbeat of the show like others do. To me she’s snotty and harsh. I like Will though.

  49. Jannet Embrey says:

    What are they doing do they have any idea I don’t like hotch being gone and I sure wouldn’t want JJ and Penelope to be gone it was bad enough when Morgan left do they think that it’s been on this long because of them been on this long because of the actors I sure hope they come to terms

  50. Corky says:

    I wish MGG would leave simply because I’d like for him to do something better before he’s too old for leading man status. IMO he’s the American Sam Claflin and deserves a film career.

    • Taylor says:

      agreed. was kind of hoping when I clicked on this article that it would be him

      • DR says:

        Same here. I knew he had signed again, but I wish he would exit so I can stop being lured back over and over only to be disappointed.

    • A Goonie says:

      MGG gets a steady paycheck with CM plus he also gets to direct episodes and is given enough time off to pursue other projects. I don’g think he is going anywhere in the near future. He did just sign a new contract for who knows how many more seasons.