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Criminal Minds BTS Photo Reveals Aisha Tyler Directing Revival Episode

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 10/19/2022 Brennan Klein
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A new behind-the-scenes photo from Criminal Minds season 16 reveals that one of the episodes will be directed by star Aisha Tyler. The series' original run on CBS spanned 15 seasons from 2005 through 2020. It was a procedural following the criminal profilers of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI as they investigate unsubs, or "unknown subjects." Although there was a lot of turnover through the years, toward the end of its run, the cast of the series included Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, A.J. Cook as Jennifer Jareau "JJ", Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Tyler as Tara Lewis, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, Daniel Henney as Matt Simmons, and Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid.

Although the series was canceled by CBS in 2020, shortly thereafter it was announced that the show would be renewed for season 16. The new season will follow the discovery of a new group of serial killers that was organized during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is subtitled Criminal Minds: Evolution, will premiere on Paramount+ on November 24 and feature the return of Mantegna, Brewster, Cook, Vangsness, Tyler, and Rodriguez in their original roles, though Henney and Gubler will not be joining them. In a recurring capacity, Josh Stewart will also be reprising his role as Will LaMontagne Jr., joined by new recurring character Elias Voit, played by Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights.

Related: Criminal Minds: Why Jennifer Love Hewitt's Kate Callahan Left After Season 10

On his official Twitter account, Mantegna shares a behind-the-scenes image from the set of Criminal Minds season 16. The image shows the slate of the episode they were working on as of October 18, strangely being held by the hands of a baby doll. The slate reveals that the camera operator is American Horror Story and Wonder Woman 1984's Jamie Sterba and the director is Tyler herself.

Criminal Minds' History With Actors Directing Episodes Explained

This isn't the first time that Tyler has stepped into the director's chair on Criminal Minds. Although she directed two shorts in the early 2010s, her first major foray as a director was a 2017 episode of the series, followed by a second in 2018, which led to more gigs directing episodes of other series including The CW's Roswell, New Mexico and AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. Her directorial debut was far from the first time that a cast member took the reins. Gubler directed 12 episodes from 2010 through 2018 and Mantegna helmed nine starting in 2014. Tyler's stint as director was also followed by Rodriguez helming two in 2018 and Cook directing one in 2019.

It is rather common for the stars of long-running television series to eventually step into the director's chair. Sometimes this is just a lark, but other times it is a precursor for a longer career as a director, as it was with Jonathan Frakes on Star Trek: The Next Generation, who went on to direct a variety of Star Trek series and films, and John Krasinski on The Office, who went on to direct films including A Quiet Place and its sequel. Considering how long Criminal Minds has run, it's only natural that it's had such a strong history of actors in the director's chair, though particularly in Tyler's case it seems that the directing bug has stuck, as she has also gone on to direct projects that didn't star her previously.

Next: C. Thomas Howell's Movie & TV Roles: Where You Know The Criminal Minds Star

Source: Joe Mantegna/Twitter

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