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Criminal Minds fans ‘disappointed’ as cast member leaves series after 16 years

The Criminal Minds franchise is about to lose one of its main stars after 16 years.

On Wednesday (17 January), long-standing cast member Josh Stewart revealed his time on the show, which was cancelled in 2020 before being revived two years later, had come to an end.

He shared the news in response to a fan question on X/Twitter that asked: “Are we going to see you back for new season of Criminal Minds: Evolution? We all need some Will LaMontange back in our lives.”

He replied: “Sadly, my days of playing Will LaMontagne, Jr are over. You guys have been the absolute best.”

Stewart joined the show, which began on CBS in 2005, as a guest star during season two in 2007. He returned in several guest appearances throughout the show’s run, eventually marrying Special Agent JJ Jareau (AJ Cook).

He had more of a main role in the show’s revival, which arrived under the title Criminal Minds: Evolution upon its release on Paramount+ in November 2022.

Cook will continue starring in the show for the new edition of Criminal Minds: Evolution alongside Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster.

Fans are in uproar about Stewart’s announcement of William’s impending departure from the show, with many branding it “sad” and “disappointing”.

“This is so disappointing,” one viewer wrote, adding: “I really enjoyed having him in all the episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution.”

Another fan added: “Awwwww. So sorry to hear he’s leaving,” with one viewer stating: “Sad, I loved his character and was glad to see so much of him last season.”

Josh Stewart says his time in ‘Criminal Minds’ has come to an end (X/Twitter)
Josh Stewart says his time in ‘Criminal Minds’ has come to an end (X/Twitter)

Criminal Minds has endured as one of CBS’ biggest hits. The show – which was created by Jess Davis – follows a group of FBI Agents who attempt to catch criminals through behavioural profiling.

The show found itself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons in 2016 when actor Thomas Gibson, who played FBI Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, was fired from the show after a physical altercation with one of its producers.