|Jason Gideon||Mandy Patinkin||Senior Supervisory Special Agent||47|
|Aaron Hotchner||Thomas Gibson||Unit Chief / Supervisory Special Agent / Communications Liaison||232|
|Elle Greenaway||Lola Glaudini||Supervisory Special Agent||28|
|Derek Morgan||Shemar Moore||233|
|Dr. Spencer Reid||Matthew Gray Gubler||233|
|Jennifer Jareau||A. J. Cook||Guest||206|
|Penelope Garcia||Kirsten Vangsness||Technical Analyst / Communications Liaison||Recurring||232|
|Emily Prentiss||Paget Brewster||Supervisory Special Agent||Guest||127|
|David Rossi||Joe Mantegna||Senior Supervisory Special Agent||183|
|Ashley Seaver||Rachel Nichols||FBI Cadet||13|
|Dr. Alex Blake||Jeanne Tripplehorn||FBI Linguistics Expert / Supervisory Special Agent||48|
|Kate Callahan||Jennifer Love Hewitt||FBI Undercover Agent / Supervisory Special Agent||23|
- Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler are the only cast members to appear in every single episode of the show so far.
- Gideon is widely known as the BAU's best profiler. After a series of emotionally troubling cases and the murder of his friend Sarah by fugitive serial killer Frank Breitkopf (Keith Carradine), he begins to feel burned out. The last straw occurs when Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner is suspended for two weeks by the team's boss—an action for which Jason feels responsible. He retreats to his cabin and leaves a letter for Dr. Spencer Reid, who he knows will be the one to come looking for him. When Spencer arrives at the cabin, it is empty except for the letter and Jason's badge and firearm. Jason is last seen remarking to a Nevada diner waitress that he does not know where he is going or how he will know when he gets there, leaving the diner and driving off. In season ten, he is killed (off-screen) by a suspect he had tracked down from one of his first cases.
- Hotch is a former prosecutor and was originally assigned to the FBI Field Office in Seattle. He is one of the most experienced agents in the BAU. He struggles to balance the demands of his job with his family life, but his wife Haley Brooks (Meredith Monroe) divorces him in season three. In the episode "100" (season 5), Haley is killed by fugitive serial killer George Foyet (C. Thomas Howell), also known as "The Boston Reaper", whom Aaron fights and beats to death. He also has a son named Jack (Cade Owens) and a brother named Sean. After Haley is murdered, he has custody of Jack; and Haley's sister, Jessica Brooks (Molly Baker), helps him with taking care of Jack. When SSA Jennifer Jareau leaves the BAU, Aaron and Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia takes over her job as Communications Liaison. Aaron dated a woman named Beth Clemmons (Bellamy Young), who first appeared in the episode "The Bittersweet Science" (season 7), before the couple separated after Clemmons accepted a job in Hong Kong.
- Greenaway is assigned to the FBI field office in Seattle and assigned to the BAU as an expert in sexual offense crimes. Elle suffers extreme emotional trauma after being shot by an unsub in the season-one finale ("The Fisher King (Part 1)"). In the season-two premiere ("The Fisher King (Part 2)"), Elle survives and returns to duty sooner than SSA Jason Gideon and Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner would like to see. Several episodes later, while alone on stakeout of a suspected serial rapist, she shoots the man in cold blood. The local police deem it self-defense, but Jason and Aaron question her ability as a profiler after this. Elle resigns, turning in her badge and gun to Aaron with the declaration that it is "not an admission of guilt."
- Morgan is a confident, assertive, and often hot-tempered character. Raised by his mother Fran, along with his two sisters, Sarah Morgan and Desiree Benita, Derek was a troubled Chicago youth headed for juvenile delinquency. He was rescued and mentored by Carl Buford (Julius Tennon). Buford turned out to be a sexual predator who molested Derek and other young boys; he was eventually arrested for murder. After developing an interest in football, Derek attended Northwestern University on a scholarship. After a football injury left him unable to play that sport, he joined the Chicago Police Department's bomb squad and later joined the FBI and the BAU. He has an emotionally intimate, but platonic, relationship with Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia; and the two have a unique shorthand and banter. In the season-seven premiere ("It Takes a Village"), Derek shows utter hatred towards Ian Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy) for killing SSA Emily Prentiss, but when Emily returns alive, he has mixed feelings.
- Reid is a genius who graduated from Las Vegas High School at age 12 and holds Ph.D.s in mathematics, chemistry, and engineering as well as Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology and, as of season four, is working on a B.A. in philosophy. It has been revealed that he has an IQ of 187, can read a dizzying 20,000 words per minute, and has an eidetic memory. Most of the members on the team are intimidated by his profound knowledge. He is habitually introduced as "Dr. Spencer Reid" in contrast to the other agents, who are introduced as "supervisory special agent". The purpose of this, as explained by Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner in the pilot episode ("Extreme Aggressor"), is to create a respectable first impression of Spencer, deflecting judgments about his age. His mother, Diana Reid (Jane Lynch), suffers from schizophrenia and is currently committed to a mental institution. In the episode "Proof" (season 7), Spencer completely ignores SSA Jennifer Jareau for not telling him that SSA Emily Prentiss was alive. Spencer is also the godfather of Jennifer's son, Henry. In season eight, Spencer is involved with a woman (Beth Riesgraf) whom he has never met in person because she is being stalked. In the episode "Zugzwang", Reid sees her die, when her stalker finally catches up with her and commits murder-suicide. Reid is devastated by the loss but returns to work quickly.
- J.J. served as the Communications Liaison on the team to local police agencies in seasons one through five. She dates and marries William LaMontagne (Josh Stewart), a New Orleans Police Department Detective; and they have a son, Henry LaMontagne (Mekhai Andersen). In the episode "JJ" (season 6), Jennifer is forced to accept a promotion at the Pentagon, causing her departure from the team, although Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner expressed his hope that she will return to the BAU in the future. Jennifer returned in the episode "Lauren" (season 6) to assist the team in finding SSA Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster). In the season-six finale ("Supply and Demand"), Jennifer meets with SSA David Rossi, informing him that she is returning to the BAU. As of season seven, Jennifer is a legitimate profiler, with Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia and Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner taking over the role of communications liaison.
- Garcia joined the BAU after bringing attention to herself by illegally accessing some of their equipment; she is offered a job in lieu of a jail sentence. She submitted her resume on pink stationery. She usually supports the team from her computer lab at Quantico but occasionally joins them on location when her skills can be used in the field. She is a leader in a support group for those who have lost someone in their lives. Her parents were killed by a drunk driver when they were out looking for her when she was a teen and had missed her curfew. She enjoys a flirtatious relationship with SSA Derek Morgan, often engaging in comical banter of a sexually suggestive nature when he calls in for information. He calls her "Baby Girl." She was once shot and almost killed by Jason Clark Battle, who lured her on a date in the episode "Lucky" (season 3). When SSA Jennifer Jareau leaves the BAU, Penelope and Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner takes over her job as Communications Liaison. SSA Sam Cooper (criminal minds: suspect behavior) often calls when his team need her computer skills. Penelope is also the godmother of Jennifer's son, Henry.
- Prentiss is the daughter of Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss (Kate Jackson). After SSA Elle Greenaway leaves the BAU, Emily shows up with papers assigning her to the BAU. Emily is also fluent in several languages, such as Spanish, French, Greek and Arabic, and has a working knowledge in Italian, but it is revealed that Emily has lost comprehension of her other known language, Russian. She is apparently killed while being held hostage by Ian Doyle in the episode "Lauren" (season 6), but in the last scene of the episode, it is revealed that she survived her encounter with Ian, and is seen with SSA Jennifer Jareau in Paris passing her passports and bank accounts for protection. In the season-seven premiere ("It Takes a Village"), she returns alive and well, much to the team's surprise. In the season-seven finale ("Run"), Emily decides to leave the BAU after accepting a position running and returning to theInterpol office in London. Her last appearance is in the episode "200" (season 9) assisting the BAU when JJ mysteriously goes missing.
- Rossi is a highly experienced profiler who once worked the BAU in its origins, then took early retirement in 1997 to write books and go on lecture tours about criminal analysis, until volunteering to return shortly after SSA Jason Gideon's departure in 2007. He has been married three times and is quite wealthy because of a successful writing career. In the episode "From Childhood's Hour" (season 7), David reconnects with his first wife, Carolyn Baker, who has shocking news for him. It is revealed that she came to him because she was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and wants David to assist in her suicide. In the next episode ("Epilogue"), Carolyn dies after taking a drug overdose. It is also revealed in this episode that David had a son who died at birth. In the season-eight episode "The Fallen" it is revealed that David was a Marine in Vietnam. The season-seven finale ("Hit") reveals SSA David Rossi may be having a secret relationship with Section Chief Erin Strauss; this was discovered when Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia and SSA Dr. Spencer Reid spot them both leaving a hotel. In the last season-eight episode ("The Replicator") we see their relationship has been known to the entire team. The episode is an emotional one for SSA David Rossi since Unit Chief Erin Strauss is murdered by The Replicator. She was taken from her hotel room, where he had planned to meet her that night, drugged and put on the streets of New York disoriented for Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner to find her. The episode's last scene is SSA David Rossi eulogizing her to the team after her funeral, at a gathering at his home. In season ten, we learn that David has a daughter by his second wife.
- Seaver replaces SSA Jennifer Jareau after she is forced to accept a promotion at the Pentagon. She was chosen for her unique background; her father, Charles Beauchamp, was a horrific serial killer known as the "Redmond Ripper", who murdered dozens of women before being caught by the BAU, incidentally. At first, Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner was going to make her a special, one-time consultant to the BAU, but SSA David Rossi allowed her to finish her remedial training with the team, under the supervision of SSA Emily Prentiss. In the episode "... With Friends Like These" (season 6), she graduated from the Academy and had been added to the team as a "probationary agent". In the season-seven premiere ("It Takes a Village"), Jennifer reveals to Emily that Ashley transferred to the Domestic Trafficking Task Force, which is led by Andi Swann.
- Dr. Alex Blake, Ph.D., (Jeanne Tripplehorn), FBI linguistics expert and professor at Georgetown University
- Blake once worked for the BAU during the 2001 anthrax attacks but retired after a conflict with Chief Erin Strauss and rejoins the BAU after SSA Emily Prentiss transfers to the Interpol Office in London. Alex first appears in the season-eight premiere ("The Silencer"). She makes a personal connection with Spencer Reid after he reveals to her that he has begun a romantic relationship with a woman whom he has never met. In the season-nine finale, she escorts Reid to his apartment, leaving behind her credentials, which Reid finds in his bag before seeing Blake leave in a taxi.
- Callahan, as mentioned in the season ten premiere, previously worked under Andi Swann's team, which is also Ashley Seaver's team since she left the BAU. She is a "seasoned undercover agent whose stellar work at the FBI has landed her a coveted position with the Behavioral Analysis Unit." She and her husband Chris have been the guardians of Kate's teenage niece, Meg, since she was a baby following her parents' deaths in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Kate and Chris discover that they are expecting a baby in the middle of season ten, causing her to hand in her leave-of-absence papers to Hotch at the end of the season, expressing her desire to take a year off with her soon-to-be-born baby, as she had done with Meg when she was a baby. ]
- Erin Strauss (portrayed by Jayne Atkinson; seasons 2–8, 9; 23 episodes), an Assistant Director and the BAU Unit Chief's direct superior. While her FBI experience was primarily in administration, SSA Derek Morgan remarked on her masterly marksmanship, after observing her at a firing range. In early episodes, Strauss appeared only concerned with herself and appearances within the Bureau, going so far as to force SSA Jennifer Jareau to accept a promotion to the Pentagon in the episode "JJ" (season 6). Further character development revealed her alcohol abuse. After being confronted by Morgan and Hotchner, Strauss accepts help and achieves sobriety. In the season eight finale, the Replicator breaks into Strauss' hotel room in New York, drugs her, and forces her – at gunpoint – to drink alcohol from her room's minibar. Hotchner finds her on a bench near the hotel, where Strauss dies in his arms. Her death is avenged when Rossi traps the Replicator in an exploding house. Fittingly, Strauss's sobriety helps defeat the Replicator as Rossi uses her sobriety chip to escape the Replicator's trap and taunts him with it. After attending her funeral, the members of the BAU gather in a still-emotional Rossi's backyard, reminisce, and toast her memory. Showrunner Erica Messer chose to kill Strauss off because she felt that the character had come full circle since she was first introduced. ]
- Haley Hotchner (portrayed by Meredith Monroe; seasons 1–5, 9; 14 episodes), is Agent Aaron Hotchner's wife and the mother of his only son, Jack Hotchner, born in late 2005. The couple's marriage was troubled, as clues were revealed in season three that she may have been having an affair and walked out on him. She later appeared with divorce papers, and he accepted reluctantly so as not to cause any trouble for his son with the divorce. In the episode "100" (season 5), Haley and Jack were captured by a killer known as "The Reaper"; though Jack was saved, Haley was shot and died before Aaron could save her. Aaron later beat The Reaper to death. In the episode "Route 66", Hotch collapses from internal bleeding and dreams about Haley. She tells him that he should stop blaming himself for her death and to make sure Jack knows that he can talk about his mother's death. Haley leaves Hotch by telling him that he and Beth have a good relationship and he shouldn't mess it up by not telling her how he feels.
- Jordan Todd (portrayed by Meta Golding; season 4; 8 episodes) is SSA Jennifer Jareau's handpicked replacement to serve as the BAU's Media Director during Jennifer's maternity leave, from late 2008 through early 2009. Jordan had formerly served in the FBI Counterterrorism Division, but only follows Jennifer for one day of shadowing before Jennifer goes into labor. Jordan seemed to get along well with most of the team, even flirting platonically with SSA Derek Morgan. She is especially close with SSA David Rossi, who is seen to counsel her while they are on cases. However, Jordan clashed several times with Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner. She eventually leaves when she decides she can't handle the stress that comes with her job.
- Dr. Diana Reid (portrayed by Jane Lynch; seasons 1–4; 5 episodes), is the mother of BAU team member Dr. Spencer Reid. Like her son, she has a high IQ. She was once a university professor of literature, but suffers from schizophrenia and is hospitalized in a Las Vegas sanitarium, where Spencer committed her when he was eighteen. Her husband, William Reid, left prior to her diagnosis, because of his inability to cope with her illness and he could not deal with protecting her after she witnessed a murder. She is functional when on her medication, but frequently lapses into regression to her university career. Diana spent much time reading aloud to Spencer while he was growing up, and he continues to write her a letter every day. She is proud of her son, but disapproves of the FBI as it is a government run organization and she refers to his colleagues as "fascists". She seems to be showing signs of improvement in later episodes in which Reid states that she went on a supervised field trip to the Grand Canyon without feeling the need to notify Reid. However, she did not forget him as Reid later receives a postcard and a gift from her.
- William LaMontagne, Jr. (portrayed by Josh Stewart; season 2–present), is SSA Jennifer Jareau's husband and the father of Jennifer's son, Henry LaMontagne. Will and Jennifer met while she was working a case in his hometown. As of early season four, Will had moved to Virginia and is a stay-at-home dad for Henry until he became a detective for the Metropolitan Police Department (Washington DC) as shown in the season seven finale ("Run"). It is also stated that the couple had made a deal that in a life-threatening situation, they would do everything so that one of them could live to look after Henry. Jennifer accepted his marriage proposal and they were married officially, however when their son was born, they did exchange rings with insets of Henry's birthstone, citrine. He is seen briefly in the 100th episode getting medicine for Henry with Jennifer, as well as the episode "The Slave of Duty" (season 5), accompanying Jennifer and the team at Haley Hotchner's funeral. In the season seven finale, Will works alongside JJ to stop the bank robbers and is eventually taken hostage. Afterwards, they agree to get married and unknowingly attend a surprise wedding ceremony thrown by Rossi and Will.
- Kevin Lynch (portrayed by Nicholas Brendon; season 3–present), first appears in the episode "Penelope" (season 3), in which he is required to search Penelope Garcia's computer to learn who shot her. Kevin sends the team live video alerting that the unsub (unknown subject) is in the BAU headquarters. He is intensely impressed by Penelope's computer skills, and the feeling is mutual. At the end of the episode, Penelope is introduced to Kevin, and the two become romantically involved. In the episode "I Love You, Tommy Brown" (season 7), Kevin proposes to Penelope, but she turns him down, saying that "things are going too fast", and ultimately the couple break up.
- Mateo Cruz (portrayed by Esai Morales; season 9–present) takes over from the late Erin Strauss as the new BAU section chief in season nine. He has a past working relationship with J.J. It was revealed in "200" that the two had worked on a task force together in the Middle East. He was the only person to know of her pregnancy and miscarriage during her time on the task force. In the same episode, they are both kidnapped by Tivon Askari (Faran Tahir), who was a traitor within the task force. They are both physically and mentally tortured into giving the access codes given to them during the mission. He is shocked to discover that Michael Hastings (Tahmoh Penikett), one of the men with whom they had worked on the task force, was the mastermind behind the plan and threatened to rape J.J. to give him the access codes. He gives in and is later stabbed by Askari, who was quickly killed by Hotch. Cruz is taken to the hospital following the incident and is believed to be alive. ] Several episodes later, he reappears in the season nine finale, "Angels" and "Demons," when he asks the team to investigate a case brought to him by his friend, Peter Coleman, the Sheriff of Briscoe County, Texas. They first arrive to investigate a series of murders involving prostitutes, but as they investigate, the team soon finds that they are caught in a ring of corrupt deputies – ironically the only officer not involved being Sheriff Coleman - and find their lives in danger. After a fatal shootout with the corrupt, drug peddling Preacher Mills (Brett Cullen), Sheriff Coleman is killed, Morgan is temporarily wounded and Reid is critically wounded and hospitalized as a result. Distraught by this turn of events, Cruz travels to Texas with Garcia to help the team investigate and apprehend the ring leader, Deputy Owen McGregor (Michael Trucco). He is not seen again until late in season 10 (episode 19, "Beyond Borders") when he needs the BAU to help the FBI's international team, led by Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise), to catch an unsub who has kidnapped a family while on vacation in Barbados. The case is especially critical because this unsub has eluded both the domestic and international BAU teams by killing a family in Aruba, then in Florida one year later. This episode was the backdoor pilot for the upcoming spinoff, titled Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. ] ]
- Dr. Tara Lewis (portrayed by Aisha Tyler; season 11–present) is a psychologist with an eye on forensic psychology and its application toward the criminal justice system. Her dream was to study psychopaths up close and personal – and her psychology background, combined with her experience in the FBI, brought her face-to-face with monsters. Her job was to stare them down and interview them, in order to determine if they were fit to stand trial. In the process, she made herself find the humanity inside these broken men (and, sometimes, women) in order to learn if there was a conscience behind their brutal crimes. Lewis will replace both JJ (A.J. Cook) and Kate (Jennifer Love Hewitt) while they are on maternity leave in the 11th Season.
- Cast and crew at a Paley Centre discussion of the show
- Cast members in 2011–12: (left to right) Gibson, Cook, Gubler, Mantegna, Brewster and Moore. Absent: Kirsten Vangsness
|Originally aired||DVD release dates|
|First aired||Last aired||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||Discs|
|1||22||September 22, 2005||May 10, 2006||November 28, 2006]||February 12, 2007]||November 3, 2007]||6|
|2||23||September 20, 2006||May 16, 2007||October 2, 2007]||May 5, 2008]||April 1, 2008]||6|
|3||20||September 26, 2007||May 21, 2008||September 16, 2008]||April 6, 2009]||March 18, 2009]||5|
|4||26||September 24, 2008||May 20, 2009||September 8, 2009]||March 1, 2010]||March 9, 2010]||7|
|5||23||September 23, 2009||May 26, 2010||September 7, 2010]||February 28, 2011||March 2, 2011||6|
|6||24||September 22, 2010||May 18, 2011||September 6, 2011]||November 28, 2011]||November 30, 2011]||6|
|7||24||September 21, 2011||May 16, 2012||September 4, 2012]||November 26, 2012]||November 7, 2012||6|
|8||24||September 26, 2012||May 22, 2013||September 3, 2013]||December 9, 2013]||December 4, 2013]||6|
|9||24||September 25, 2013||May 14, 2014||August 26, 2014]||December 8, 2014]||December 3, 2014]||6|
|10||23||October 1, 2014||May 6, 2015||August 25, 2015]||N/A||N/A||6|
|11||22]||September 30, 2015]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
|Season||Episodes||TimeSLOT (EST)||Original Airing||Rank||Viewers
|Season premiere||Season finale||TV season|
|1||22||Wednesday 9:00 pm||September 22, 2005||May 10, 2006||2005–06||No. 28||12.63]|
|2||23||September 20, 2006||May 16, 2007||2006–07||No. 24||14.05]|
|3||20||September 26, 2007||May 21, 2008||2007–08||No. 24||12.78]|
|4||26||September 24, 2008||May 20, 2009||2008–09||No. 11||14.95]|
|5||23||September 23, 2009||May 26, 2010||2009–10||No. 16||13.70]|
|6||24||September 22, 2010||May 18, 2011||2010–11||No. 10||14.11]|
|7||24||September 21, 2011||May 16, 2012||2011–12||No. 15||13.20]|
|8||24||September 26, 2012||May 22, 2013||2012–13||No. 20||12.15]|
|9||24||September 25, 2013||May 14, 2014||2013–14||No. 12||10.88]|
|10||23||October 1, 2014||May 6, 2015||2014–15||No. 11||10.31]|
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