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Season Twelve. On May 6th, 2016 CBS announced the renewal of Criminal Minds for the 2016-2017 TV season, with a standard initial order of 22 episodes. The season will premiere on September 28, 2016.
No ratings information is available at this time.
- Joe Mantegna - David Rossi
- Matthew Gray Gubler - Dr. Spencer Reid
- A.J. Cook - Jennifer Jareau
- Kirsten Vangsness - Penelope Garcia
- Aisha Tyler - Dr. Tara Lewis
- Adam Rodriguez - Luke Alvez
- Thomas Gibson - Aaron Hotchner (episodes 1-2)
- Paget Brewster - Emily Prentiss (episodes 3-onwards)
- Damon Gupton - Stephen Walker (episodes 8-onwards)
|Image||Title||Airdate||Writer||Director||Season Episode||Series Episode|
|"The Crimson King"||September 28, 2016||Breen Frazier||Glenn Kershaw||1||256|
|Agent Luke Alvez joins the BAU team as they are tasked with capturing a serial killer in Tempe, Arizona, who escaped from prison with twelve other convicts.|
|"Sick Day"||October 5, 2016||Virgil Williams||Larry Teng||2||257|
|Arriving home following a child abduction case in Los Angeles, painful memories resurface for a shaken JJ, who breaks down and recounts the story to her husband.|
|"Taboo"||October 12, 2016||Karen Maser||Alec Smight||3||258|
|With Emily Prentiss having rejoined the team, the BAU investigate the discoveries of two dead women in Florida and realize they are looking for a killer with a peculiar disposal method.|
|"Keeper"||October 26, 2016||Bruce Zimmerman||Sharat Raju||4||259|
|The BAU travels to the Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia in search of a serial killer who is operating along that route. Meanwhile, Reid is faced with a dilemma regarding his mother.|
|"The Anti-Terrorism Squad"||November 9, 2016||Stephanie SenGupta||Tawnia McKiernan||5||260|
|The BAU is called to investigate the murders of two families in Minnesota, with one person being left alive for both attacks. As the team delves further into the investigation, they discover a startling link between both survivors, which could provide a motive for the killings.|
|"Elliott's Pond"||November 16, 2016||Erica Messer||Matthew Gray Gubler||6||261|
|The BAU is called to investigate the strange disappearance of three Delaware children who were out riding their bicycles, and suspect it might be connected to an unsolved disappearance that occurred over thirty years ago. Meanwhile, the team receives a startling update on Hotch's absence, and Prentiss is faced with a stunning decision.|
|"Mirror Image"||November 30, 2016||Breen Frazier||Joe Mantegna||7||262|
|When a man claiming to be Lewis' brother reveals that he knows secrets about the family, the BAU investigate the whereabouts of her actual brother, who Lewis had lost contact with.|
|"Scarecrow"||December 7, 2016||Karen Maser||Christoph Schrewe||8||263|
|When the remains of twelve people are found lying on the bed of a creek, the BAU travel to Yakima, Washington, to find the killer. Also, experienced profiler Stephen Walker from the Behavior Analysis Program joins the BAU.|
|"Profiling 202"||January 4, 2017||Virgil Williams||Rob Bailey||9||264|
|"Seek and Destroy"||January 11, 2017||Erik Stiller||Diana Valentine||10||265|
|"Surface Tension"||February 1, 2017||Bruce Zimmerman||Oz Scott||11||266|
|"A Good Husband"||February 8, 2017||Jim Clemente||Laura Belsey||12||267|
|"Spencer"||February 15, 2017||Erica Messer and Kirsten Vangsness||Glenn Kershaw||13||268|
|"Collision Course"||February 22, 2017||Stephanie SenGupta||Alec Smight||14||269|
|"Alpha Male"||March 1, 2017||Karen Maser||Rob Bailey||15||270|
The season will predominantly focus on the BAU tracking down and recapturing thirteen serial killers, who all escaped from prisons across the U.S. during the events of last season's finale The Storm. The team will particularly focus their efforts on serial killer by proxy Peter Lewis.
Two new agents will be introduced in this season as main characters. One will replace Derek Morgan, who was written out of the show last season, due to Shemar Moore's decision to leave. Showrunner Erica Messer clarified that the team will continue to cope with Morgan's departure and that this will initially affect their relationship with the new agent. The character, Agent Luke Alvez, is portrayed by Adam Rodriguez, introduced in the premiere episode, and was previously a member of the FBI Fugitive Task Force. The second agent is Stephen Walker, who is portrayed by Damon Gupton and was previously a member of the Behavioral Analysis Program, the FBI's counterintelligence division; he will be introduced in the eighth episode.
Paget Brewster will reprise her role as Emily Prentiss as a series regular. In addition, it was confirmed that Aisha Tyler would be reprising her role as Doctor Tara Lewis, filling another series regular role. Lewis was a recurring character introduced in the previous season.
Aaron Hotchner will no longer appear in the series after Thomas Gibson was dismissed due to an altercation between him and an episode writer. His absence will be written into the season, but he will still appear in the season's first two episodes. Hotch's role as BAU team leader will be filled up by Prentiss.
Jane Lynch will reprise her role as Reid's mother Diana for the season's eleventh and twelfth episodes, both slated to air in early 2017 for what Erica Messer described as "a fun, Reid-heavy story-arc".