Criminal Minds Season 14 will feature the shortest episode to date for the series.
With 15 episodes ordered, fans have been up in arms about whether it means the show is coming to a close in the near future.
TVLine spoke with CBS president Kelly Kahl at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, and there was some insight into the decision.
“First of all, that’s what we need,” he told the website.
“Scheduling gets more difficult as we try to pack more shows into the schedule each season, with fewer repeats,” he continued. “The number of episodes you need tends to ‘accordion’ a little bit.”
While broadcast TV dramas have been embracing shorter, cable-like episode orders of late, it's the first time Criminal Minds has taken this route, so it makes sense that people would be worried about whether the show is close to cancellation.
“We consider that a full season,” Kahl continued. “There’s still the possibility we might ask them for a few [additional] episodes, but that’s where we’re starting at.”
CBS recently confirmed that Criminal Minds will be staying put in the Wednesdays at 10/9c slot, and will return to the air October 3.
Meanwhile, Kelly also addressed the fate of The Big Bang Theory at the event, confirming that Season 12 may not be the final season after all.
“We don’t believe it’s the final year,” Kahl said. “We are in preliminary discussions to renew the show [for a 13th season].”
It's always difficult to keep the cast intact on shows that are on the air as long as The Big Bang Theory has been. If CBS is already talking about Season 13, it likely means the network wants to gauge whether everyone would be interested in returning.
It's not always worthy continuing with shows that lose some of the stars, but time will tell whether CBS would be willing to go on with the series if some of the cast members depart.
Elsewhere at TCA, the Murphy Brown panel offered an update on what fans can expect from the revival.
Series creator Diane English revealed at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour it will focus “the show through the prism of the press,” adding, “The freedom of the press is under attack like never before. The press is not the enemy of the people. And these characters are the press.”
The series will span 13 episodes, and the technological advancements in reporting news will not go unnoticed.
“When we left these characters in 1998, there was no internet,” English noted. “There was no social media. Cable news was just getting started. To take these characters and put them in the world of cable news [is] very rich.”
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Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.