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The Shows Fans Think Are Most Similar To Criminal Minds

Even with 15 long seasons comprised of 323 episodes total, "Criminal Minds" does have a definitive end. After watching all of it and spending hundreds of hours with the characters, finishing the series is sure to leave a "Criminal Minds"-shaped hole in any viewer who's grown attached. So what is a fan to do? Some may simply rewatch the show on repeat. Then again, there's always the option of beginning the journey with a new series. It's scary, of course, but other "Criminal Minds" fans are here to help.

Reddit user u/Melissa0522975 took to the r/criminalminds page to find a new show to "fill the void" left by the end of their binge of "Criminal Minds," asking for suggestions of similar TV series. Fans of the CBS show chimed in with plenty of options, recommending titles that play on different aspects of "Criminal Minds," ranging from the psychological angle to the science-based crime-solving to the grizzly murders.

Mindhunter takes a psychological approach to the crime procedural

The top suggestion "Criminal Minds" fans made was Netflix's "Mindhunter," which currently has two seasons and is pending being picked up for Season 3. "Mindhunter" could, in a way, be seen as a sort of prequel to "Criminal Minds" because it is a fictionalized account of the early careers of real criminal profilers who first formed the Behavioral Analysis Unit and inspired "Criminal Minds" characters Gideon and Rossi. The David Fincher-directed series takes place in the '70s and '80s and follows two FBI agents (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany). The pair travels to various prisons to interview real serial killers in hopes of developing an understanding of their behavior that will help them with active cases.

User u/DansoRoboto said that while "Mindhunter" isn't gory, "the scenes can get very dark and disturbing. It focuses a lot more on the psychological aspect of profiling, so there's a lot [of] scenes of profilers interviewing serial killers or brainstorming." In another thread, u/Apollo152008 got a kick out of "Mindhunter" for seeing the characters inventing the terms used in "Criminal Minds."

However, a few commenters mentioned having a hard time getting into "Mindhunter" because of its slow pace. Others said it gets better after the first episode and recommended sticking with it. So, while "Mindhunter" isn't the same procedural format as "Criminal Minds," it deals with a lot of similar topics that will appeal to many fans.

Bones is a science-based crime procedural

Several Redditors brought up Fox's "Bones" as a similar series to "Criminal Minds." Both procedurals feature an ensemble cast of crime solvers specialized in looking at cases from a particular scientific angle. Where the "Criminal Minds" team studies criminal behavior, the team on "Bones" uses, well, bones and other forensic evidence to solve cases. Plus, "Bones" and "Criminal Minds" ran around the same time, starting in 2005 and going until 2017 and 2020, respectively. Thus, they've got similar sensibilities.

User u/Seiliko acknowledged that there are many differences between the two shows, writing, "['Bones'] a bit less psychologically creepy and has a lot of gore. It's focused on forensics, and you might think you're just gonna see some bones, but there are a lot of half-decomposed, bug-covered bodies." They added that the team on "Criminal Minds" usually races against the clock to save someone, but the "Bones" team takes cases that are months or even years old. They also warned, "I don't really think 'Bones' managed to stay consistent in quality. [...] Some of the characters seem to go through the opposite of character development which leaves them feeling a little bit like dumbed-down versions of their earlier selves."

Still, Redditor u/Katmango08 wrote, "'Bones' is one of my favorite series. If you like 'Criminal Mind' [sic] you will love bones." They compared the main character of "Bones" — Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, played by Emily Deschanel — to Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) of "Criminal Minds." User u/Katmango08 finished their recommendation with a compelling argument: "It's hilarious and dramatic with crime."

Other dark and gritty procedurals, including Law & Order: SVU, made the list

"Criminal Minds" fans threw out a few more options for comparable shows. User u/rebluorange12 mentioned another classic crime-solver, the Navy-based "NCIS," saying: "I started this after I finished 'Criminal Minds' and really like it." Other recommended procedurals were the two New York-based shows, "CSI: NY" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." User u/yellowtshirtgirl said that the former is gritty, with a good team dynamic, and lovable characters, while the latter leans dark, like the worst cases of "Criminal Minds," but has a great lead character in Olivia Benson.

As for some less famous shows, u/jr01245 offered up "Prodigal Son," a crime-solving series about the detective son of a serial killer. They also suggested "Rizzoli & Isles," a drama about a detective and medical examiner duo that will probably appeal to any Jemily shippers for the near-romantic chemistry between the two leads (via Los Angeles Times).

Lastly, u/methamphetamile suggested fans watch "Hannibal," the critically acclaimed, very gory series that centers on the "Silence of the Lambs" psychologist-turned-serial-killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Surely one of these titles will tickle the interests of any "Criminal Minds" fan left wanting more.