By The Numbers: Will Criminal Minds Be Renewed or Canceled?

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Criminal Minds is on the bubble. 

The once-hot procedural drama series has cooled off this year in the ratings, and there's a good chance it will miss out on an early renewal from CBS. 

By The Numbers is a TV Fanatic column that will assess whether you should expect your favorite TV shows to return for another season, and Criminal Minds is up first. 

Criminal Minds Season 13 Cast


Criminal Minds Season 13 is down almost 30% in the 18-49 demographic. In Live + Same Day figures, the crime solver is averaging 5.8 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. 

With seven days of DVR factored in, the demo tally swells 100%, and the total viewer tally goes up by a cool 70%. The show was moved to the 10/9c slot in the fall, replacing Code Black which is scheduled to return later this year. 

Related: Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 19 Review: Ex Parte

The ratings may be down, but the show is CBS' fifth-highest rated drama series and tied with S.W.A.T. as the number one 10/9c drama on the network. That will go a long way when it comes down to the decision about whether to keep the BAU on the case into the 2018-19 season.


When it comes to syndication, the details get murky. After extensive digging, it seems that ABC Studios distributes the series internationally and makes some money from doing so. 

CBS Television Studios has the rights to syndicate the series in the United States, so both production companies make money from two very different TV markets. 

Hostage Situation - Criminal Minds

The show has syndication deals with A&E, ION Television, and WE TV stateside, so there's a good chance it is still turning in a profit for CBS Television Studios, and that's what's needed to remain on the air. 


It's unclear what the budget is for the series, but given that the series has a string of cast members who have been with the show since the beginning, the price tag for the show cannot come cheap.

The show has been well-known over the years for significant cast changes, and it's possible a renewal could come down to whether or not deals can be reached with some of the pertinent cast members. 

That could mean one or more could exit at the close of the season. 

Related: Criminal Minds: Kirsten Vangsness Talks Exciting BAU Challenges Ahead

Is The Show Still Good?

It was touch and go when Criminal Minds Season 13 debuted, but the new team quickly started functioning well together, and that's a good thing. 

One of the many complaints about the cast changes are that the team struggles to find a groove, but the new team quickly became one of the best ensembles not only on Criminal Minds but television.

Kirsten Vangsness as Garcia - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 15

In a recent chat with TV Fanatic, Kirsten Vangsness said the following of the current team: "I love it. I love it so much."

Even the cases have been fresh, and that's a difficult task when you're 13 years into the run. 


It's hard to imagine CBS parting with a series that is still popular after all this time. Yes, ratings may be down, but the fact that it is still on the top end of the network's ratings speaks volumes about its future. 

Unless negotiations completely fall apart, Criminal Minds will be back. It's hard to imagine the network parting with a show that was, at one point, helping to keep the lights on in the ratings department. 

The CDC Calls the BAU - Criminal Minds

Likely Renewal

What do you think, Criminal Minds Fanatics? Is it time to let the series go, or do you think there is still some life left in it?

Hit the comments with your thoughts on the fate of this long-running TV Fanatic favorite. 

Remember you can watch Criminal Minds online right here via TV Fanatic. Get caught up with all the insanity right now. 

Criminal Minds continues Wednesdays at 10/9c on CBS. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about your favorite bubble shows.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Criminal Minds Quotes

The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation - James E. Faust


Reid: There's an old Buddhist saying that, when you meet your soulmate, remember that the act to bring you together was 500 years in the making. So always appreciate and be kind to each other.
Lewis: That's lovely.
Reid: There's a corollary for friends. When you meet a true friend, you will be bound together though space and time for 500 years.