For the first time since 2004, CBS today unveiled a fall schedule that did not feature Criminal Minds. The veteran crime drama, which has been renewed for a 10-episode 15th and final season, had aired on Wednesdays for its entire run to date — at 9 PM for the first 12 seasons, and at 10 PM for the last two.
The popular series will finish its run on its signature night, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl told Deadline after the network’s upfront breakfast. Why was its final chapter held for midseason?
“There is only 10 episodes,” Kahl said. There is more to the reasoning as Madam Secretary, which also will be airing a 10-episode final season in 2019-20, is on the fall CBS schedule. It involves scheduling planning on Wednesdays.
On the 2019 CBS fall schedule, Criminal Minds’ 10 PM slot is taken by S.W.A.T., moving from Thursdays, with SEAL Team staying at 9 PM.
“The plan is to play Criminal Minds on Wednesday night where it has aired, creating a mini season and giving SEAL Team and S.W.A.T. weeks off in the middle of the season to avoid repeats,” Kahl.
It hasn’t been determined yet whether Criminal Minds will air at 9 PM or 10 PM, but it will be one of the two time periods it had called home.
“We are confident we can utilize it in a really good way on Wednesdays,” Kahl said.