'Criminal Minds' is set to come to an end after 15 seasons, bringing to a close one of the longest-running scripted series still on US television.
All told, 'Criminal Minds' will match the same record as 'ER' and 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation', with only the likes of 'Law & Order' and 'Grey's Anatomy' ahead of it. By the series' end, 'Criminal Minds' will have 325 episodes produced.
The final season will have a shortened order of just 10 episodes, with a finale being currently written by showrunner Erica Messer. There's no word yet on whether previous cast members such as Mandy Patinkin or Thomas Gibson (who was fired over an on-set altercation), however Messer said that she's looking for a way to "honor all of those characters who have been beloved and with this team, with the audience for years, but I don’t know what that’s going to look like."
Messer also said that killing off characters in the final season was unlikely, as the characters on the show "are family and friends to us at this point."
"I know it’s a drama," Messer told Deadline, "but I’m less likely to injure or write someone off in a way that says they’re not breathing anymore. I know a lot of shows, when they find out it’s going to be over, then characters are killed off or something like that. That’s not my instinct, mainly because I’ve been here for so long with all of these voices, I just don’t want that to be how it ends for them."
The final season is expected to air between 2019 and 2020.