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Criminal Minds' Joe Mantegna Has A Warning For Fans Ahead Of Evolution

With the "Criminal Minds" revival coming to Paramount+ on November 24, there's been tons of chatter about how "Evolution" is going to be different from the original series that ran for 15 seasons on CBS. Fans were excited to hear showrunner Erica Messer talk about the new format, with a very fitting pandemic backdrop. Instead of a different case every week, the story will continue. "What's great about telling this over 10 episodes is what the audience is used to, which is like, "Well, why are they [the unsubs] the way they are?" We're going to be showing you that over stretches of episodes," Messer told EW.

But the change to a serialized format isn't the only thing that will be different about "Evolution" as it switches to Paramount+. At the Television Critics Association (TCA) "Criminal Minds" panel, Messer said that the switch to streaming has "definitely broadened our scope," but she knows older kids watch the show and says she "never wanted us to go into full-rated R, extra violence, or something that would feel like a different series" (via Alex Zalben on Twitter).

While Messer warns that there will be more swearing by some of the characters — Rossi (Joe Mantegna) "especially," Mantegna has his own warning for fans about the revival.

He says the revival will be darker than the original

Joe Mantegna, who has played David Rossi since Season 3, has long been an outspoken proponent of the military and police. "I've been to Quantico numerous times and it's the real deal," he told CBS in 2020. "It's fantastic and it's great. It gives you more respect for what these men and women do each day." He looks at "Criminal Minds" as showing just a small slice of a very real job, and he's a firm believer in showing the truth of things, even if it's dark or disturbing. At the TCA Panel, he warned viewers about the difference between "Evolution" and the original series, saying, "if you think you were disturbed before, we may be taking it to another level" (via Cinema Blend).

Other cast members have talked about the show disturbing them or having nightmares, but not Mantegna. "When they say 'cut,' that person lying there with the ax in his head pops it up and goes over to craft services and gets a sandwich," he said. "The ones I worry about are the real men and women of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world who have to really do this for a living."