Criminal Minds Season 16 Casts First New Character & Reveals Official Title

Paramount+’s Criminal Minds revival casts Midnight Mass star Zach Gilford as the series’ first new character and reveals its official title. The highly-anticipated reboot of CBS’s beloved crime drama began filming last month following its series finale in 2020. Praised for its lovable characters, complex relationships, and compelling cases inspired by real events, Criminal Minds centers around the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Debuting over a decade ago in 2005, Criminal Minds ran for 15 seasons and garnered a loyal fan base throughout its years on air.


The Criminal Minds reboot is led by original showrunner Erica Messer and will feature 6 long-time characters from the show including cast members Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, and Paget Brewster. Criminal Minds season 16 will follow the BAU as they are faced with a new set of threats posed by a network of serial killers created by an Unsub during the pandemic. The show will follow a 10-episode format as compared to its previous 22-episode rollout, as the over-arching storyline will be solved throughout the season rather than in a single episode. Unfortunately, fan-favorites Matthew Gray Gubler (Spencer Reid) and Daniel Henney (Matt Simmons) will not be joining the reboot, however, this has left room for newer characters to be introduced.

THR reveals Criminal Minds has cast Gilford as their first new character Elias Voit. Voit is ‘an analyst for a “cyber-security firm who has a dark side and an obsession with death.” Gilford is best known for his role as Riley Flynn in Midnight Mass and as quarterback Matt Saracen in Friday Night Lights. He will have a recurring role and arc throughout the season.

In addition to a new character, Criminal Minds reboot has an updated name, per THR. It will be titled Criminal Minds: Evolution. Although it’s unclear exactly what this means for the series, it seems likely that the new name has to do with the evolved level of danger the BAU is up against–considering it’s tackling real-world problems such as COVID head-on. The title Criminal Minds: Evolution also suggests that their team is changing and growing, which could possibly indicate more new characters being added to the series, something integral to standing out from the shadow Criminal Minds could cast on its success.

With Gubler and Henney leaving Criminal Minds: Evolution, it certainly leaves big shoes to fill for any fresh faces that step into the show. Based on Gilford’s character’s description, it appears that Elias Voit will possess somewhat similar idiosyncrasies that defined Gubler’s Spencer Reid. Of course, no one can replace his performance as the BAU’s favorite analyst. However, Voit’s dark side and interest in the morbid seem to suggest that he will possess the beloved quirks that encapsulate every Criminal Minds character. As Criminal Minds: Evolution only has 10 episodes to film, and with behind-the-scenes content already coming from set, it appears all is going according to plan for the revival, and hopefully soon more information regarding new characters will be revealed.

Source: THR

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