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Criminal Minds: Evolution — release date, cast and everything we know about the spinoff series

Joe Mantegna as David Rossi holding a gun in Criminal Minds
Joe Mantegna in Criminal Minds: Evolution (Image credit: Monty Brinton / Paramount Plus)

When Criminal Minds left the airways in 2020, many viewers of the long-running crime drama were sad to see the brilliant minds of the F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Unit go. But the team is coming back as Criminal Minds: Evolution debuts in 2022 as a Paramount Plus original series.

With the Criminal Minds universe expanding, these fans have a reason to celebrate. Not only will the new series feature familiar faces, but Paramount Plus teases that the team comes against "their greatest threat yet." 

Here’s everything we know about Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1.  

When is the Criminal Minds: Evolution release date? 

The 10-episode season of Criminal Minds: Evolution premieres with two episodes Thursday, November 24, (Thanksgiving Day in the US) exclusively on Paramount Plus. New episodes continue to debut weekly on Thursdays until the mid-season finale on December 15. On January 12, 2023, the season resumes with new episodes, leading to the finale on February 9, 2023.

What is Criminal Minds: Evolution about? 

Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and A.J. Cook as Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau in Criminal Minds

Adam Rodriguez and A.J. Cook in Criminal Minds (Image credit: Monty Brinton /Paramount Plus)

Paramount Plus describes the Criminal Minds: Evolution plot as the following: 

"In Criminal Minds: Evolution, the FBI’s elite team of criminal profilers come up against their greatest threat yet, an UnSub [unknown criminal] who has used the pandemic to build a network of other serial killers. As the world opens back up and the network goes operational, the team must hunt them down, one murder at a time."

Criminal Minds: Evolution showrunner and producer Erica Messer spoke at a Paramount Plus press event about the new version of the long-running series. In addition to the threat of the UnSub, the show picks up with what the Criminal Minds team has been up to since they are away and how they have been impacted by the events in the world, particularly David Rossi.

Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1 cast

For longtime Criminal Minds fans, we have some good news. A number of original cast members of the OG series are starring in Criminal Minds: Evolution. One of which is Aisha Tyler. Tyler has made the rounds in Hollywood having been featured in several television shows like Archer and Fear the Walking Dead to name a few. She also spent years on daytime television as a co-host of The Talk. Tyler is back reprising her role as Dr. Tara Lewis. 

Also returning to the Criminal Minds universe is Joe Mantegna. Outside of the crime drama, Mantegna is known for his decades voicing Fat Tony/Fit Tony on The Simpsons, and he’s recently been spotted in As We See It and Barry. He once again plays David Rossi here. 

Here’s a full list of the Criminal Minds veterans starring in the new spinoff series:  

  • Joe Mantegna as David Rossi
  • A.J. Cook as Jennifer Jareau
  • Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia  
  • Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis
  • Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvarez  
  • Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss

If you're wondering where Criminal Mind staples like Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid and Daniel Henney's Matt Simmons are, Messer teases that their desks "are still there," leaving open the possibility that one or both could return for the spinoff series; the showrunner cited scheduling conflicts as to why they are not appearing in these first batch of episodes.

Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1 trailer

It's a little too early for an official trailer. However, when a clip becomes available we'll be sure to include it here. 

How to watch Criminal Minds: Evolution

Criminal Minds: Evolution is a Paramount Plus exclusive series. Those hoping to watch this new spinoff need to have a subscription to the streaming platform. Currently, Paramount Plus offers a few options for subscribers.  

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.