'Criminal Minds Season 15': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about the final season

CBS' fan favorite 'Criminal Minds' is ending with Season 15 after more than a decade of profiling criminals and serving justice

                            'Criminal Minds Season 15': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about the final season
A scene from the show (Criminal Minds/CBS)

After more than a decade of profiling criminals and serving justice, the team at BAU is bidding goodbye with the upcoming season — yes, CBS' fan-favorite 'Criminal Minds' is ending with Season 15.

Joe Mantegna, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kirsten Vangsness, Paget Brewster, and AJ Cook and longtime guest star Jane Lynch (who plays Spencer's super-intelligent mom) will return for the crime procedural and the season is likely to deal with a lot of emotional turmoil in the team — apart from crazed killers, of course. 

What sets 'Criminal Minds' apart from the rest of the police dramas out there is their impeccable cast, characterizations, storyline, and writing. Through the seasons, the series has been able to keep up the pace and get creative, without being over the top. 

Here's everything we know about the beloved series' final season.

Release Date

'Criminal Minds' Season 15 will premiere on January 8, 2020, at 9 pm ET on CBS. The first episode will be two-hour long. There are only 10 episodes in the final season.


'Criminal Minds' follows a group of highly skilled and intelligent criminal behavioral profilers from the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) who work for the FBI. They analyze the behavior of the criminal and aid the investigators in nabbing the culprit. The show tells the story of the team as they work various cases, and tackle their personal struggles.

With Season 14 ending in an unexpected cliffhanger between AJ and Spencer, it will be worth watching how the show takes the storyline forward. There is also the highly anticipated showdown that Rossi will have with The Chameleon (who is obviously a dangerous serial killer), played by Michael Mosley. Old villains could return too.


Although the show began with Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Jennifer Jareau (AJ Cook), and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) as the core characters, there have been some major cast changes through the show's 14 seasons. This is the major cast for the final season: 

Joe Mantegna (David Rossi)

Joe Mantegna attends special screening of Lionsgate's 'John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum' at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 15, 2019, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

David Rossi started off as a senior supervisory special agent and is also an author. He's pretty rich because of his flourishing writing career and is generally the voice of sanity when the whole team is losing it. To think Mantegna started his career with a musical is unimaginable when you compare it with the character of Rossi. 

He starred in the 1969 musical 'Hair' and has a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for portraying Richard Roma in the first American production of David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. He's also starred in movies like 'Godfather III' and 'Forget Paris'. 

AJ Cook (Jennifer Jareau)

Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau is a supervisory special agent who has previously worked with the Pentagon. Her sister killed herself when she was 11 and it impacted her in a big way. She joined the FBI after attending a book reading by BAU founder and then unit chief agent David Rossi.

AJ Cook attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Wonder Park' at Regency Bruin Theatre on March 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

She has also appeared in films such as 'The Virgin Suicides', 'Out Cold', and 'Final Destination 2'. 

Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia)

Kirsten Vangsness attends the 55th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards at InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on February 16, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

She's the tech genius with a generous amount of love for all things bright and colorful. She's a BAU technical analyst and communications liaison. While she was an underground hacker, Penelope ended up illegally using some of BAU's equipment but ended up working for them when she was caught. She's the team's go-to person for all things technology and she never disappoints.

Since 2014, Vangsness has co-written three episodes of 'Criminal Minds'. She has appeared in the two spin-offs of the series 'Suspect Behaviour' and 'Beyond Borders' along with multiple shows like 'Pretty the Series' and 'Vampire Mob'.

Matthew Gray Gubler (Spencer Reid)

Spencer is more than your average lovable nerd. A genius who graduated high school when he was 12, he's got multiple PhDs and other degrees. He's a supervisory special agent at BAU. He's young and super smart.

Matthew Gray Gubler attends 'Zoe' premiere during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 21, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

At the begining of the show, Spencer had a crush on JJ, even going as far as taking her on a date to a football game. But it fades out into a more platonic friendship over the years, only for the romance to be brought back in Season 14 finale. 

Gubler has appeared in 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' and '(500) Days of Summer' among others.

Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss)

Actress Paget Brewster attends The Detroit Party on November 1, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for the 'Detroit Creativity Project')

Emily Prentiss is the supervisory special agent and BAU Unit Chief. She is the daughter of Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss. Prentiss is extremely well-traveled and has worked with the Interpol. She is fluent in Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and Greek. She's known to be this level headed agent that anyone can depend on. However, she has some trust issues.

Brewster was first recognized for her recurring role as Kathy on the fourth season of NBC's 'Friends'.


Jeff Davis

Davis is best known for creating the MTV hit teen drama 'Teen Wolf' along with 'Criminal Minds'. He also serves as the producer of the procedural series.


The teaser that dropped last week for the series has all the signs confirming that it will be a murderous final season. “Whoever we’re dealing with is still clearly on the hunt,” Emily Prentiss says as she's seen standing with Dr Tara Lewis. A man is seen dragging a blood-stained ax.

“He has no true identity,” David Rossi says discussing something crucial with someone out of view. “Why haven’t you told anyone about this?” Luke Alvez, another BAU member, is seen opening a box with a bomb inside it.

A second later, a house explodes.


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