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Shemar Moore Casts Doubt On A Criminal Minds Return

Crime thriller "Criminal Minds" originally aired on CBS between 2005 and 2020 for more than 300 episodes. While the show's cancellation brought its formidable run to an end, it didn't take long for CBS to announce plans to bring the "Criminal Minds" franchise back anew. The show's next incarnation will be titled "Criminal Minds: Evolution," and premiere on November 24 directly to CBS' streaming service Paramount+.

Most of the core "Criminal Minds" cast will be back for "Evolution," including names like Aisha Tyler and Paget Brewster. However, in spite of the short time between the end of "Criminal Minds" and the start of "Evolution," the revival series will differ from its predecessor in a few key ways. For example, original series lead Matthew Gray-Gubler is notably absent from the currently-announced "Evolution" cast. Showrunner Erica Messer also teased a new format for "Criminal Minds: Evolution," which will tell a season-long story rather than proceed episodically as in past seasons. Plus, David Rossi actor Joe Mantegna suggested that the tone of "Evolution" will be darker than "Criminal Minds."

Another noteworthy difference between the original series and its imminent revival is the lack of actor Shemar Moore, who portrayed Behavioral Analysis Unit Special Agent Derek Morgan between 2005 and 2017. In a recent interview, Moore expressed some interest in reprising his "Criminal Minds" role, but cast doubt on whether or not it might ever be logistically feasible.

Shemar Moore is too busy filming SWAT to appear on Criminal Minds: Evolution

In advance of the "Criminal Minds: Evolution" series premiere, and shortly after the "S.W.A.T." Season 6 premiere, Entertainment Tonight published a video interview with Shemar Moore, during which the CBS mainstay discussed his roles in both series.

"Would I go back to 'Criminal Minds' and flirt with my baby girl, and chase down UnSubs? Sure, alright. But Hondo kinda busy, is all I'm saying," Moore told the outlet, regarding the prospect of appearing at some point on "Evolution."

Moore, notably, is the top-billed star of CBS cop drama "S.W.A.T.," which is in the midst of its sixth season since its 2017 premiere. Hondo is the name of his "S.W.A.T." character, so Moore is implying that, in spite of what sounds like some degree of personal interest in a "Criminal Minds" return, his "S.W.A.T." schedule is logistically preventing him from coming back to the "Criminal Minds" universe in any sort of significant capacity.

"Evolution" showrunner Erica Messer essentially told TVLine that, while Matthew Gray-Gubler may be absent from the reboot's central cast, she hopes to incorporate his character Spencer Reid if and when it might be possible. By this same token, then, the door may well be open for Moore's return, just likely not as a recurring character as he was in the past, should his busy schedule ever allow for it.