Why Did Derek Morgan Leave Criminal Minds? Exploring the Departure of This Beloved Character

Why Did Derek Morgan Leave Criminal Minds? Exploring the Departure of This Beloved Character

Why Did Derek Morgan Leave Criminal Minds? Exploring the Departure of This Beloved Character


Criminal Minds, the popular crime drama series, has captivated audiences for over a decade with its intense storylines and complex characters. One of the most beloved characters on the show was Derek Morgan, portrayed by actor Shemar Moore. However, to the dismay of fans, Morgan’s departure from the series left many wondering why such a prominent and well-loved character would leave. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind Derek Morgan’s departure from Criminal Minds and explore the impact it had on the show and its fanbase.

Morgan’s Journey on Criminal Minds

Derek Morgan was a key member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) on Criminal Minds. As a skilled profiler, he was instrumental in solving numerous cases and providing support to his team members. Morgan’s character was known for his determination, loyalty, and protective nature, which endeared him to viewers worldwide. Over the course of the show, Morgan faced various challenges, including personal traumas and near-death experiences, which added depth to his character.

Saying Goodbye: Shemar Moore’s Decision

Shemar Moore’s decision to leave Criminal Minds came as a shock to both the cast and the audience. After portraying Derek Morgan for over a decade, Moore felt that it was time to explore other opportunities and challenge himself creatively. In an emotional statement, Moore expressed gratitude for the incredible journey he had with the show and the fans’ unwavering support. Although it was a difficult decision, Moore believed it was necessary to grow as an actor and expand his horizons.

Impact on the Show and Its Fanbase

Derek Morgan’s departure had a significant impact on Criminal Minds and its devoted fanbase. Many longtime viewers grew attached to Morgan’s character and considered him an integral part of the show. Some fans expressed disappointment and sadness upon hearing the news of Moore’s departure, fearing that the dynamic of the show would be altered without him. However, others understood and respected Moore’s decision, acknowledging that actors need to explore different roles and ensure their professional growth.

The Aftermath: How Morgan’s Departure Was Handled

The writers of Criminal Minds had the challenging task of addressing Derek Morgan’s departure within the show’s storyline. They chose to give the character a proper send-off by having him leave the BAU to focus on his family. Morgan’s departure was not without its emotional moments, with heartfelt scenes between him and his colleagues, showcasing their deep bond. While Morgan’s absence left a void, the show’s writers and producers worked diligently to introduce new characters and maintain the show’s momentum.

Continued Legacy: Morgan’s Impact on Criminal Minds

Although Derek Morgan’s physical presence was no longer on the show, his impact continued to reverberate throughout the series. References and flashbacks to his character were made in subsequent seasons, highlighting his lasting influence on the team and the relationships he formed. Morgan’s departure allowed for the growth of other characters, allowing them to shine and take on more prominent roles in the show. While fans may have initially mourned the loss of Morgan, they eventually embraced the evolution of the show and its characters.


Derek Morgan’s departure from Criminal Minds was a bittersweet moment for fans of the show. Shemar Moore’s decision to leave after more than ten seasons was met with mixed emotions, as viewers recognized the need for actors to explore new opportunities. Morgan’s departure was handled with care and provided an opportunity for other characters to shine. While fans may always miss Derek Morgan, his legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of Criminal Minds fans worldwide.


1. Why did Derek Morgan leave Criminal Minds?

Derek Morgan left Criminal Minds due to the actor, Shemar Moore, deciding to pursue other opportunities in his career.

2. Did the character of Derek Morgan die in the show?

No, the character of Derek Morgan did not die in the show. He left the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) to focus on his family.

3. How long was Derek Morgan a part of Criminal Minds?

Derek Morgan was a main character on Criminal Minds for 11 seasons, from the show’s inception in 2005 until his departure in 2016.

4. What impact did Derek Morgan’s character have on the show?

Derek Morgan’s character was beloved by fans and had a significant impact on the show. He was known for his expert profiling skills, loyalty to his team, and his close friendship with Dr. Spencer Reid.

5. Were there any specific storylines leading up to Derek Morgan’s departure?

Yes, there were specific storylines leading up to Derek Morgan’s departure. The main catalyst for his decision to leave the BAU was a near-death experience involving his pregnant girlfriend and subsequent desire to prioritize his family.

6. Did the show address Derek Morgan’s absence after his departure?

Yes, the show did address Derek Morgan’s absence after his departure. The remaining characters acknowledged his departure and referenced his ongoing support in future cases.

7. Did Derek Morgan make any guest appearances on the show following his departure?

Yes, Derek Morgan made guest appearances on the show following his departure. Shemar Moore returned for a few episodes, including a special appearance in the final season, providing closure to his character’s arc.

8. How did fans react to Derek Morgan’s departure?

Fans had mixed reactions to Derek Morgan’s departure. While some understood the actor’s decision to pursue other opportunities, others were disappointed to see the character leave the show.

9. Did the departure of Derek Morgan lead to any major changes in the show?

The departure of Derek Morgan did lead to some changes in the dynamics of the show. Other characters had to step up to fill the void he left and new characters were introduced to maintain the team’s balance.

10. Is there a possibility of Derek Morgan returning to Criminal Minds in the future?

While there is always a possibility of characters returning to a show, as of now, there are no plans for Derek Morgan to return to Criminal Minds. However, the show’s creators have left the door open for future guest appearances or crossovers.