Criminal Minds: Evolution Showrunner Teases What To Expect After Midseason Break: “The Tide Is Turning A Little”


Criminal Minds: Evolution Showrunner Teases What To Expect After Midseason Break: “The Tide Is Turning A Little” +2023

criminal thoughts turns up the heat with her new revival series, Criminal Thoughts: Evolution. After the well-received first half, the show is taking a mid-season break for the holidays, set to return on January 12 Outstanding+. But what’s happening behind the scenes and what can fans expect next?

The procedural crime drama, which originally aired on CBS, ran for fifteen seasons from 2005 to 2020 and quickly gained a following. The show rotated regularly through its core cast and criminals, and saw action from Hollywood big names, including Aubrey Plaza in the recurring role of villain Cat Adams, Tim Curry and Mark Hamil as one-time strangers, and Mandy Patinkin as BAU leader Jason Gideon for the first three seasons.

evolution draws on the same excitement brings back much of the original cast while offering a surge of freshness. For starters, the series follows an ongoing storyline, rather than welcoming new strangers each week, and has found its chilling lead villain in Zach Gilford’s Elias Voit, a serial killer who managed to lead a team of criminals during the COVID-19 pandemic to recruit.

The show also benefits from a streaming service, Paramount+, and is able to break free from television standards.

Decider had the opportunity to catch up on the phone with showrunner Erica Messer, who has been involved with the show since 2005, to talk about Episode 4 (“Pay-Per-View”), her experience with Paramount+, and if there will be one second season.

Messer told us about these more technical changes: “[The] The fanbase support has been huge and I think Paramount+ is very aware of that. I’m not sure what the numbers are, but I can tell you they’ve been incredible partners.” She went on to say that while the goal isn’t to make it happen evolution feel like Criminal Minds: After Dark, they could have fun with their new home and format and say, “We’ve really embraced our suspense thriller moniker.”

DECIDER: The pay-per-view episode felt most like an homage to the show’s original format and a departure from the series’ plot because it introduced a new killer and its plot had a concrete beginning and end. Was that on purpose? evolution‘s creation?

ERICA MESSER: Yes, we wanted to be able to be a bit hybrid. With only 10 episodes, we could embrace the idea that we could have an unknown to get away with it for a while. When we had a 22-episode order, I didn’t feel like it the best of the best could leave that the worst of the worst hit her for so long. But for 10 episodes it feels believable. In these 10 episodes, we wanted to be able to have standalone characters, like a stranger of the week who may or may not be related to Elias.

Criminal minds episode 4
Corey Fogelmanis as Jude Bruneau, Lynn Adrianna Freedman as Danielle Watikins, and Noah LaLonde as Gael Bruneau in Criminal Minds: Evolution, Episode 4, Season 16.Photo: Monty Brinton/Paramount+

What was the inspiration behind the episode? And what can viewers expect next?

Chris Barber pitched the creepy idea for Pay-Per-View. It wasn’t that extreme, but it happened to a friend of his. His friend’s house had been broken into and the person was on drugs and it was all on the ring cam. This guy was on vacation or something and saw it from 1000 miles away. He was really freaking out. And Chris said, “But imagine if someone got killed on your ring cam?” That’s where it came from. Then we discussed, “Do these strangers need an extra motivator?” They went on such a personal killing spree that it didn’t feel like Elias was necessary.

But we’re all kind of blindly looking for Sicarius – Rossi hates that we call him that – but you know, we’re looking for Sicarius and that’s why we try to make a connection with every crime we come across. But this is the first time it’s been like, ‘Oh, it’s not connected.’ The next week will be like, ‘There’s this really terrible thing happening and we’re not even thinking about Sicarius because this guy’s his has its own very specific situation.” I don’t want to give away what happens next, but that’s going to be our midseason finale. Which is funny because it’s only episode five.

We really designed this season that way. The first five episodes show Elias beating the BAU. And then in the last five, the tide turns a little and he starts to develop a little. And then the BAU can find out more and more because the perpetrator starts to make mistakes.

Is there a specific killer or episode that you’re most looking forward to seeing the fans?

They are all amazing and bring such a cool new texture to the show. I can’t pick a favorite, but I’m really glad you’re meeting up to get to know Cyrus a little better. Also in episode four when he’s cleaning up the blood he has this flash of someone and you don’t really know who it is but we’ll learn a lot more about him in the second half of the season.

Silas Weir Mitchell as Cyrus Legare and Zach Gilford as Elias Voit in Criminal Minds: Evolution, Episode 4, Season 16.Photo: Michael Yarish/Paramount+

While we’re talking pay-per-view, the episode drops a big bombshell about JJ and Will. In the past I’ve noticed that fans are very protective of her and her family. Talk to me a little bit about the development of this story.

Without giving too much away, it’s a personal story that we really wanted to tell. AJ [Cook] was so gracious and willing to be our vessel for this story that has happened to many of us. There is a very real health scare in her family and it’s all about the ignorant. I have a feeling that episode four ends with that. Will said his “numbers aren’t good” and it could be many things, including cancer. And that’s the scariest thing you can hear. Oddly enough, this story is more common than people might be willing to talk about. And so we felt it was important to illustrate that.

This is the second storyline that you said was inspired by personal experience. How often do you find that?

More often than you think. This is as much fun as with Kirsten [Vangsness] and I had a bake party. So the baking party in the premiere was a little allusion to our baking party. That’s a good example, isn’t it? But then there are these other things like Rossi’s wife dying inspired by this story that I know of someone who was unable to go to their doctor for their normal yearly check ups because of COVID. And then when they went in, they were diagnosed with something and it was too late to help.

I don’t know any serial killers, but I know all the other things that make the show what it is. I know the work relationships, I know the married life, I know the life as a working mother that I know. The more real these things can be, the more fans will respond. We are fans and we write for fans. None of us know what it’s like to be Elias Voit, but we do know what it’s like to struggle with raising a family. You know, he was away on business and got fired and he doesn’t want to admit it. And it’s kind of a human moment for him as a husband and father who doesn’t want to scare his wife and children. It’s a human, personal side of him that you can identify with, although hopefully the rest of him isn’t.

Criminal Minds Baking Party
Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds: Evolution Episode 1.Photo: Paramount+

Moving on to the technical side of things, many streamers like Netflix and Apple TV+ are notorious for not providing viewership feedback. What is your experience with Paramount+ so far? What do they share with you in terms of the show’s performance on the platform and fan reception, and is there any data you would like?

I have no data on how it works but I know they are very satisfied. And I know our fans have taken it, which is the biggest vote of confidence we can get. If fans are excited to see this team and this new way of storytelling, then we’ve done our job because that’s what we’re doing it for. So that support from the community has been huge and I think Paramount+ is very aware of that. I’m not sure what the numbers are, but I can tell you they were incredible partners. They marketed and promoted us like we have never been promoted before. We have billboards all over Los Angeles. I’ve never driven through Los Angeles and seen a billboard for criminal thoughts ever. I had friends in New York who sent me pictures of the show on the digital thing in Times Square. This has never happened before.

That’s good to hear. With this shift from broadcast to streaming, there has been a lot of talk in recent episodes about Rossi dropping the F-Bomb. Has anything changed in your creative process now that you don’t have to worry about television standards and practices? Do you have more freedom with your writing and your characters?

We never wanted it to feel like it was suddenly Criminal Minds: After Dark. It’s not a horror film. But we really embraced our suspense thriller moniker. A thing that has always Wrong felt to me, in law enforcement with the things they see sometimes you need more than damn. Giving it to Rossi — or I should say giving it to Joe Mantegna — felt like the most natural way to add it. Joe drops an F-Bomb while Rossi sounds normal at the end of the day. I generally have a feeling that you’ll hear more swearing in the first few episodes than in all 10.

I know you’ve said in past interviews that you’d like to do more seasons and more episodes as long as the cast is on board. Have there been any talks about a second season and where does that currently stand?

The writers and I are talking about where we should take season two. Hopefully there will be good news on this in the new year, but we can’t stop thinking about it. The authors speak officially. I love this group of actors and I think we have such a fondness for each other. They are big fans of it. I mean, they were fans of the original, but they’re big fans of this production version.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *