The Behavioral Analysis Unit will soon shutter its doors.
CBS announced on Thursday that Criminal Minds has been renewed for a 15th season, delivering great news to fans of this long-running drama... yet tempering their mood with some awful news.
This will be the 15th and FINAL season.
The concluding run will consist of 10 episodes, the network added, bringing the show's total by the time all it said, done and solved to an astounding 325 installments.
“It’s really bittersweet, but I’m so, so grateful to CBS for giving us this heads-up,” showrunner Erica Messer told TV Line of getting the news.
“I think one of my biggest fears was always, ‘Oh man, what if we don’t know’ and then they just don’t bring back the show? But they respect this series and the cast and the crew and the fans enough to end this properly.”
The procedural is one of the longest-running dramas on CBS.
"We wanted to make sure Erica had the time and ability to write a season (14) finale that honors the characters and the fans," CBS Executive Vice President of Current Programs Amy Reisenbach told Deadline.
"We discussed wanting to keep the show in continuous production so 10 felt like the right number for us to roll straight into and give Erica enough episodes to end the series the way she wanted to."
Speaking to Deadline, Messer also explained that the final season will film immediately following the conclusion of the current season -- and that a major character may be killed off.
Look for a "very worthy" adversary for the team to be introduced, she previewed, especially David Rossi. The bad guy will be introduced later in Season 14.
"We have one in the works right now who's a very memorable villain, but I don't want to say too much if it doesn’t work out with casting," Messer added.
Messer has been in charge of Criminal Minds since it premiered.
It is averaging 4.7 million total viewers and a 0.8 rating among 18-49-year olds in its Wednesdays-at-10/9c time slot.
Season 14 will wrap up for viewers on February 6, so look for a huge cliffhanger that will make you hunger for the final season in 2019-2020.
Messer, meanwhile, has had plenty of time to figure out how she wants the series to say goodbye.
But that vision has also changed throughout the past decade-plus of being on the air.
"That journey has changed a lot from the early days on the show because I wouldn't have anticipated all the changes that've happened," she said to Deadline.
"I also don't know if I would've anticipated that we’d have 325 episodes by the time it's all said and done. It's such an honor to be part of a series for that long."
This is how she concluded the interview, talking about the finale and what we can expect:
"These people are family and friends to us at this point.
I know it's a drama, 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.
So the jet won't crash, I can tell you that.