Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Criminal Minds Season 10 finale.Continue at your own risk.
Despite the departure of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Kate in last night’s Season 10 finale, Criminal Minds is a lock for Season 11 – and possibly beyond – according to showrunner Erica Messer.
Speaking to EW, Messer confirmed the Season 11 renewal of Criminal Minds, which begins filming in July, and says the door is open for Hewitt’s return in Season 12, should the procedural survive that long.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about Jennifer’s decision not to return?
ERICA MESSER: I didn’t know she was pregnant until really the end of the calendar year, which was still early, although we had already broken the finale at that point. There was definitely some going back and having more finality to her character. [..] Because she’s due in July, when we would start shooting season 11, timing-wise there was no way for her to do both, to be able to give that baby everything she wanted to give that baby and still be on our show. We wrote to that, and that’s how season 10 ends. It’s a bittersweet idea of “life is full of choices and they define who you are.” She makes the decision to leave the team for a while. It’s really lovely and real, not only because it was happening off-screen, but because I know those things happen in real life too.
Are you leaving the door open for her to return for a potential 12th season?
Yeah, we left it open creatively. Hotch says, “You always have a place here,” and we believe that wholeheartedly off-screen as well. It was a great season and we had a lot of fun with her. One of the great things about our show is you can leave those doors open.
There are a number of other cast members who need to sign new deals for the potential 11th season. Should we be worried about any other exits?
I would not be worried about it. I really wouldn’t. We have such a strong group together for so many years. I think season 11 is going to be a continuation of that.
Full interview @EW.