'Criminal Minds: Evolution' Fans, We Finally Have a Season 2 Release Date

criminal minds evolution season 2 release date cast episodes spoilers
All About 'Criminal Minds: Evolution' Season 2Paramount+
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Criminal Minds: Evolution promised longtime fans more of the characters and storylines they loved from the original, and boy, did it deliver. When the former CBS procedural drama was rebooted on Paramount+, viewers dove right back into the world of the BAU.

Folks saw their favorite FBI agents return for the first season of Criminal Minds: Evolution, like Joe Mantegna as SSA David Rossi and Paget Brewster as unit chief Emily Prentiss. There were also moving family storylines, including one from A.J. Cook's SSA Jennifer Jareau. Aisha Tyler's Dr. Tara Lewis and Kirsten Vangsness's Penelope Garcia dealt with relationship problems, while Adam Rodriguez's SSA Luke Alvez acted as support for his fellow teammates. And over the 10 episodes, the BAU hunted down UnSub Sicarius, eventually revealed to be Elias Voit (recurring guest star Zach Gilford).

Now, Criminal Minds: Evolution is set to return for season 2. What's more, a cliffhanger in the season 1 finale left fans wondering what exactly will happen when the show comes back. Here's what to know about Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2, including release date news, returning cast, new characters, plot details and how to watch.

criminal minds evolution season 2 release date cast episodes spoilers

Is there a release date for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

It's official — Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 will premiere Thursday, June 6, 2024 on Paramount+.

The news of the release date came via an official press release on May 3, and that wasn't all Paramount+ had to share. The network revealed that season 2 will feature 10 episodes, with the first two episodes dropping on June 6. After that, viewers can catch new episodes airing weekly on Thursdays.

Where will Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 pick up?

While we'll have to wait and see what all is in store for season 2, showrunner Erica Messer did share a key detail about where season 2 will begin. According to a TVLine story published on February 26, the new season picks up two weeks after the events of the season 1 finale. Erica revealed that "Prentiss is struggling" with the death of FBI Deputy Director Doug Bailey (Nicholas D'Agosto) "quite a bit."

The show dropped a new logline of what's to come in Criminal Minds: Evolution as part of the May 3 press release. According to the statement, season 2 will pick up after the events of the season 1 finale, as the BAU investigates the Gold Star mystery. But complications quickly arise when UnSub Elias Voit strikes a deal that puts him in federal custody and in close proximity to his capturers... making an already major threat even more intense with consequences no one expected.

If that wasn't enough, Criminal Minds: Evolution also revealed first-look photos of the new season on Instagram the day of the big announcement. "Give them what they want, new season pictures 😉," read the caption.

All of this comes over a year after Criminal Minds: Evolution was officially renewed for season 2 on Paramount+ in January 2023. As soon as the news broke, Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of Paramount Streaming, shared a statement about season 2.

"We’re thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans of Criminal Minds: Evolution with the order of another season," she said, per Deadline. "The series has always been a consistent top performer for Paramount+ and fans have quickly embraced this new season with its more serialized elements. There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU this season and we can’t wait for fans to see what’s in store."

Click "save" at the top of this article to get the latest updates on all things Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.

Who is the new character in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

In a surprise twist no fan saw coming, Variety announced on April 1 the casting of former Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman in a guest star role that links back to a cast member from the original series.

According to the outlet, Felicity is set to portray Dr. Jill Gideon, the ex-wife of the late SSA Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin). She is described as "a brilliant biological psychiatrist" who will work with the BAU to "investigate a murderous conspiracy theory." The publication also notes the character is apprehensive about returning to the team "given her complicated history" with David Rossi.

Which cast members are returning for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

Here are the confirmed cast members of Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2:

  • Joe Mantegna as SSA David Rossi

  • Paget Brewster as BAU unit chief Emily Prentiss

  • A.J. Cook as SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

  • Kirsten Vangsness as tech analyst Penelope Garcia

  • Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis

  • Adam Rodriguez as SSA Luke Alvez

  • Zach Gilford as Elias Voit

  • Ryan-James Hanataka as Tyler Green

After making his debut as former army intelligence officer-turned-criminal Tyler Green in season 1, Deadline announced Ryan-James Hatanaka will become a series regular for season 2.

As viewers may remember, Tyler was introduced to the BAU after he tipped Garcia off to the underground network that Sicarius used to build his team of serial killers. Tyler's sister went missing in 2007, and his decade-long search determined Sicarius was her killer. Tyler discovered and infiltrated the network to try and take the UnSub down on his own, initiating the events that led to his eventual team-up with the BAU. The vigilante-like character was essential to taking down Voit.

Now, Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 will follow Tyler as he becomes a consultant to the FBI unit and uses his psychological operations training to be an asset to their season-long case.

Who is not returning for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

While Felicity's casting marks the first incoming character announcement for season 2, fans may be surprised to learn that Josh Stewart (who recurred as JJ's husband, Detective Will LaMontagne Jr.) is exiting the franchise ahead of Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.

"No sadly, my days of playing Will LaMontagne Jr. are over," he revealed on X in January 2024 when a fan asked if he'd be coming back to the show. "You guys have been the absolute best. 🙏."

Given how the couple's family life is a prominent storyline in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1 (including A.J.'s sons Mekhai Andersen and Phoenix Andersen reprising their roles as her sons, Henry and Michael), fans were sad to see Josh go after being a staple in the series.

"Thank [you] [so much] for all these incredible years. You’ve been such a big and incredible part of the show thanks for everything man:( we will miss [you]!!!!!!!!" one person wrote on X. "We only just started seeing Will as much as he should be seen and now he’s gone 😭," another agreed. "I am going to miss you, I liked you from the very first episode I saw you on," a different follower added.

When asked about how she felt over the big news that Criminal Minds: Evolution would be back with new episodes, actress A.J. Cook shared that the entire cast was ecstatic over the season renewal.

"We were all kind of waiting for that news to drop," she exclusively told Good Housekeeping. "We're thrilled that they have made the official announcement and we can start moving forward."

"Erica Messer, our showrunner, she's so good at what she does. She's got a plan and I can't wait to see it all come together. We're going to do what we always do — we're going to take you on a crazy, crazy wild ride with lots of twists and turns," A.J. added.

A.J.'s not the only one excited about the future of Criminal Minds: Evolution. In a December 2022 interview with E! News, Joe Mantegna spoke out about how excited he was to tell more stories with the BAU.

"First of all, we did 325 of the other version of it," he said about the original series. "We didn't stop because we said, 'OK, we're done. We ran out of stories.' We've worked with the FBI. We've had technical advisors from day one. And they'll let you know that there's millions of stories. We haven't even scratched the surface in terms of the kinds of stories that are out there."

criminal minds evolution season 2 release date cast spoilers
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Will Matthew Gray Gubler or Daniel Henney come back for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

Fans know that neither Daniel Henney's Agent Matt Simmons nor Matthew Gray Gubler's Dr. Spencer Reid returned for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1. The show addressed the character's whereabouts, saying only that Reid was away on a classified assignment with a different FBI unit. But because the show continues to reference him, fans are still holding out for an appearance in season two.

"It’d be amazing. I’m not giving up hope on that," Erica told TVLine in February 2023 when asked whether the actors might return to the franchise. "But I do know that everybody has these lives outside of our show, and that’s the tricky part. We shoot [10 episodes] in such a short little window, whereas before with a 22 order and nine months of shooting I’d feel confident to say, 'We’ll find a way to get them in.' But we don’t have that [larger window], and they’re off doing other things."

A.J. also weighed in on Matthew's potential return when she spoke with Good Housekeeping in January 2023. "He has [watched the new episodes] and he's super excited. He thinks they're great," she said. "He wants to do it. He wants to be involved. It's just the timing hasn't been right yet... He would absolutely come back if the timing could work."

When Matthew himself spoke to Good Housekeeping in September to promote his book The Little Kid With the Big Green Hand, he hinted that he's inclined to return to TV at some point in his career.

"On the road, people are like, 'Oh, when are you going back to acting?' It's so weird because I don't see a difference between the daily endeavor of acting from the daily endeavor of writing to the daily endeavor of drawing," he said at the time. "I am sure I'll go back to comedy and to acting and all of that — I'm just not sure when."

What's more, he said he'd love to come back as Spencer Reid, should his schedule allow it. "Of course! I would be honored. I would absolutely love that," he said during a September 2023 appearance on The Six O'Clock Show. "They did a newer spin-off of the show, but it was filming during a time when I was shooting something else. But I can't wait — hopefully it will soon work out."

Where can I watch and stream Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

When Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 is available for streaming this June, you can watch new episodes air each week on Paramount+. Until then, you can stay busy by re-watching the first season along with the original 15 seasons of Criminal Minds on the platform.

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When the time comes to stream new episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution, you want to make sure you're set up with an account on Paramount+. If you don't have one yet, you can start off with a 7-day free trial before opting into one of the plans, which start at $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year. Once you have that ready, head on over to the show's title page on the Paramount+ official website or the Paramount+ app while on-the-go.

Should you not want to stream Criminal Minds: Evolution and just watch the original CBS drama, Paramount+ isn't the only place to stream it. Hulu has the show available on its website, which you can access with plans that start at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Just click on the show's official page on its website or the Hulu app.

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