Criminal Minds Season 16 Images Reveal 6 Original Returning Characters

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A new set of photos gives a first look at many of the returning characters from Criminal Minds season 16. Criminal Minds originally ran on CBS for 15 seasons from 2005 through 2020, following the various cases handled by the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI as the crack criminal profilers on the team face seemingly insurmountable challenges to track down unsubs, which means “unknown subjects.” Although the 3-time Emmy Award-nominated series was canceled by CBS after season 15, it was picked up shortly afterward as a Paramount+ exclusive for season 16, which will premiere at a currently unknown date and be subtitled Criminal Minds: Evolution.


Although cast members Matthew Gray Gubler and Daniel Henney will not be returning for the new season, the reboot series has otherwise pulled a major coup and reteamed most of the original cast of the series. This includes Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, A.J. Cook as JJ Jareau, Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis, and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia. They will also be joined this time around by Zach Gilford, an actor who cut his teeth on the football drama Friday Night Lights before appearing in projects including The Purge: Anarchy and Mike Flanagan’s series Midnight Mass.

TVLine shared a set of four new images from Criminal Minds season 16, revealing the return of the six core original characters. The photos, which are all plucked from the new season’s first two episodes, show off a return to form for the investigative thriller. This includes Rossi brandishing a gun, seemingly attempting to placate an unsub, Luke and JJ having an intense conversation at a crime scene, Emily and Dr. Lewis looking through some chilling photographs, and Penelope making a grand entrance into a conference room. Check out the images below:

4 Images
Adam Rodriguez and A.J. Cook as Luke Alvez and “JJ” Jareau in Criminal Minds Season 16
Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal MInds Season 16
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds Season 16
Paget Brewster and Aisha Tyler as Emily Prentiss and Dr. Tara Lewis in Criminal Minds Season 16

Although these six members of the team are the main characters who will be returning, this does not preclude the return of other, more minor, Criminal Minds characters. Although the return of Gubler and Henney is more iffy, there are many familiar faces who could pop up over the course of the new season. This includes folks like Josh Stewart as JJ’s husband William LaMontagne Jr., and Kelly Frye as Kristy Simmons, the wife of Henny’s character who joined in season 13.

Criminal Minds has only been off the air for two years, so it’s no surprise that these photos make it feel as though the fan-favorite characters never left at all. However, it will certainly be reassuring to fans to see most of the core cast returning to the fold and doing exactly what they’ve proven themselves to be so good at. Paramount+ may be rebranding the series, but they don’t seem to be dimming its shine in any way.

Source: TVLine

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