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Criminal Minds Was Almost Named Something Entirely Different

"Criminal Minds" graced the screen for 15 years, becoming one of the most popular crime dramas on television during its run on CBS. (And a new season is coming to Paramount+.) Every episode depicted a new crime that had to be solved, and it was up to an expert team of FBI analysts to get the job done. Anyone who's ever channel-surfed in the last decade or so has undoubtedly stumbled across an episode and gotten a feel for what the show is all about. 

That being said, it's more likely that those viewers became avid watchers who developed some misconceptions about the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. "Criminal Minds" not only provided viewers with hours of entertainment, but it also made some of them inquire about joining the feds to do the same type of jobs the characters have. Needless to say, those ambitious fans were disappointed when they learned that there's no such thing as profilers in the real Behavioral Analysis Unit.

"Criminal Minds" has certainly left its mark on the pop culture landscape, and it's fair to say that every creative gamble and decision that went into the show paid off in the end. However, there was a time when CBS considered giving "Criminal Minds" a different title, and most people will probably agree that it wasn't as good as the one they eventually landed on.

Criminal Minds was almost named after a real-life town with connections to the FBI

It's not uncommon for iconic TV shows to start out with different titles that don't have the same pop as the final version. For example, as Digital Spy pointed out, "Friends" was almost called "Insomnia Cafe," which doesn't exactly scream "laugh-out-loud sitcom." Elsewhere, "The Big Bang Theory" was almost called "Lenny, Penny and Kenny," but at least that one would have rhymed. You get the idea, and the list goes on. According to Insider, the producers of "Criminal Minds" considered going with "Quantico" in the beginning. This makes some sense, as Quantico is the Virginian town in which the FBI's actual training academy is based, so that's a fitting connection. But "Criminal Minds" is a show about solving the most captivating crimes in America, and the original title just didn't convey that country-wide ambition.

The name "Quantico" didn't go to waste, though. The title was used for an ABC drama series starring Priyanka Chopra that premiered 10 years after "Criminal Minds." While the show isn't connected to its CBS counterpart, "Quantico" also chronicles the life of an FBI/CIA agent, albeit one who gets falsely accused of committing a heinous crime.