The Behavioral Analysis Unit, better known as the BAU, is heading to Paramount+ to investigate more crimes and find the unsub (unknown subject) in Criminal Minds: Evolution. The series serves as a revival of Criminal Minds, the procedural crime drama that ran for 15 seasons on CBS.
Evolution will bring back familiar and beloved characters for the 10-episode season. Actors reprising their roles from Criminal Minds include Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, A.J. Cook as JJ Jareau, Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, Kristen Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, and Aisha Tyler as Tara Lewis. While the series will follow the same formula from previous seasons, broadcasting from a streaming service will give the show a more cinematic feeling and allow more time with each character.
“You stay in the world longer,” said Vangsness in a preview for the show. “Like, if anybody ever wanted to see more Garcia, just living her life, you get to see that in a much longer, deeper way. And that’s true with all the characters.”
One of the biggest changes to the show involves the unsub. On CBS, the series typically explored a new villain in each episode. On Paramount+, Evolution will primarily follow the actions of one recurring criminal within a network of serial killers.
“I think the thing that makes this season different from the past 15 seasons is the serialized nature of our season-long bad guy,” said executive producer Erica Messer. “It’s something we’ve been able to explore in the past, but nothing that gets to dive quite as deep into the criminal mind itself.”
Criminal Minds became one of the most-watched shows on broadcast television during its 15-year run. The success of the series led to two spin-offs, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and a video game. Although Evolution marks a new chapter in the franchise, the new series will not abandon the themes and principles that fans have come to love since 2005.
“Fans are going to get the Criminal Minds that they love, plus,” said Tyler. “This team has evolved. We’re better, we’re more devoted.”
Criminal Minds: Evolution premieres with two episodes on November 24 on Paramount+. Then, stream new episodes weekly on Thursdays. The series will be available on Disney+ in Canada and Australia on November 25.