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Things TV Goodness Learned at the Criminal Minds Fall Preview Panel 

The Criminal Minds Panel @ CBS’ Fall Preview Night at the Paley Center

Cast from l. to r. Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, Shemar Moore, Paget Brewster, Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, EP Erica Messer

  • The cast is extremely funny and very appreciative of the show’s success, each other and the Criminal Minds fans, especially in the wake of A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster returning to the show.
  • We watched a clip from the S7 premiere and all we have to say is Thomas Gibson looks hella sexy. It’s gotta be that scruff he’s sporting. Among other things.
  • According to CM Executive Producer Erica Messer, this season the show is going to explore the heroes more. They usually spend time cultivating the unsubs and victims, but this season, they’re going to “explore all the layers that make up this team.”
  • Shemar Moore is very vocal and enthusiastic and again, appreciative, of having the team back together. “We started this thing and we’re going to finish this thing.”
  • The cast has decided that maybe the messing with a good thing really worked because the cast is stronger than ever. Paraphrasing Kirsten Vangsness, they were able to make lemonade out of lemons.
  • Cook revealed that in the wake of the supportive and intense fan reaction to her departure (and Paget’s as well), she was “able to hold her head high.” She thanked the fans for their part in reuniting this cast.
  • Paget — who’s hilarious by the way — went and shot another pilot during her off time. She said shooting this pilot made her feel like she missed the CM cast/crew more than she realized and is very happy it worked out that she got to return to the show.
  • Paget also said the fan reaction was incredible. She heard from toll booth operators, airport workers, people at the market. They were wondering why she died. The fan response was overwhelming. They didn’t want their show being messed with.

 If the cast could play another character other than their own — or were jealous of another character — who would it be?

  • Kirsten would love to play Prentiss (or J.J.) — but loves the way Prentiss looks when she shoots a gun
  • A.J. would want to be Reid or Morgan. According to Shemar, J.J. is trying to become Morgan this season.
  • Matthew thinks he’s born to be an unsub. He particularly liked Keith Carradine’s character.
  • Shemar kind of agrees. First he says, each of them are playing the character they’re supposed to play. But he thinks the coolest characters on the show are the victims and the unsubs. He’d love to pay the bad guy like Timothy V. Murphy’s Ian Doyle, the man who “killed” Prentiss. Shemar says “he’s a sucker for an accent.”
  • FUN FACT: Paget often tweets as Shemar. She did her Shemar for us and it was hilarious!
  • Thomas Gibson says he’d want to be anyone without a tie.
  • And Joe Mantegna says he would be this agent who has been on leave from the BAU for five years. It’s a total inside joke but it was funny.

***SPOILER ALERT*** Information about the S7 Premiere and the new season as a whole

  • Besides Hotch looking super sexy, real time has passed
  • JJ is now a profiler
  • Hotchner is in Pakistan
  • Reid is dealing with his mom (which will be touched on in episode 2)
  • Morgan, Garcia & J.J. are working together; Morgan never forgave himself for what happened to Prentiss so he’s been on a mission to find her “killer.” So he’s been tracking Ian Doyle this whole time. They decide to try and get to him by finding his son.
  • We’re definitely going to see the reaction and the fallout from learning Prentiss is alive
  • Erica Messer had this to say about Morgan: originally Shemar had a lot of lines reacting to Prentiss’ resurrection. But they decided to go the other way with it. They felt it would be more powerful if he didn’t say anything.
  • There’ll be drama between Morgan and Hotch; he feels sense of betrayal with Hotch
  • This season, now that J.J. is a profiler, Garcia will hande a lot of the exposition duties so you’ll see her interact with the rest of the characters even more. She’ll be in the round table room more.
  • We’ll meet Rossi’s first wife — played by Homicide’s Isabella Hoffman. It’s a two-part episode.


The seventh season of Criminal Minds gets underway Wednesday September 21 @ 9/8C.

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