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After Departing in June, ‘Criminal Minds’ is Back on Netflix

Stephen Silver

Back on June 30, Netflix lost one of its most popular shows, the longtime CBS procedural series “Criminal Minds.” Until the end of June, 12 of the 15 seasons of the series were exclusive to Netflix, with the other three available on-demand on Hulu, while the entire series was available to stream on CBS’s streaming corporate sibling Paramount+.

It looked like another example — like “The Office” and “Friends” before it — of a popular older show with a massive number of episodes leaving Netflix and unlikely to ever return; a trend that has been blamed, in part, for Netflix's recent subscriber losses.

However, after seven weeks off of the streamer, “Criminal Minds” has returned to Netflix. Once again, those first 12 seasons are on the service, while all 15 seasons remain on Paramount+. Another recent change is that the entire series is on Hulu as well; ABC Studios co-produced Seasons 3-15 and Disney started distributing the show domestically and internationally in 2005.

There hasn’t been any reporting on how the negotiations worked to get the series back on Netflix, or whether the return is short or long-term, but the news is certain to be met with excitement by the millions of fans who had grown accustomed to streaming the crime procedural.

“Criminal Minds” tells stories about the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), and its efforts to use profiling to capture abductors and serial killers. The BAU’s real-life predecessor, the Behavioral Science Unit, was also the inspiration for another Netflix series, “Mindhunters.”

Criminal Minds

September 22, 2005

An elite team of FBI profilers analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. The Behavioral Analysis Unit’s most experienced agent is David Rossi, a founding member of the BAU who returns to help the team solve new cases.

Nielsen has reported that “Criminal Minds” was the most-streamed TV show in the United States last year, measured by total streaming minutes.

The series’ original run on CBS ended in 2020, but a revival, after several years in development, was officially announced in July. The 10-episode revival will stream exclusively on Paramount+ and has signed up several key cast members from the show’s original run, including Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, and Paget Brewster.

But Matthew Gray Gubler, who was part of the cast for its entire 15-year run, will not be participating in the revival. Brewster had said in an interview this summer that she thought the revival was dead, but it was formally announced soon after.

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Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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