From 2005 to 2020, the CBS procedural Criminal Minds took viewers deep into the depraved brains of disturbed serial killers to not only show us how they tick, but how the BAU used criminal profiling to stop them from claiming their next victim. The series was such a mainstay and hit for CBS, that a revival is currently in development at Paramount+.
If you've finished watching Criminal Minds (and finished your inevitable rewatch) and you're now in need of something new to scratch that killer-catching itch, TV Guide has compiled a list of shows -- some featuring good guys catching bad guys, some featuring maybe-not-so-good guys catching bad guys, and one that features a good woman and bad woman infatuated with catching each other -- that might help satisfy that urge.
If you've only watched Criminal Minds in reruns or on Netflix, you might have missed this short-lived spin-off which ran for one season on CBS in 2011. It stays in the same world as the flagship, but follows a different BAU team less inclined to play by the strict rules laid out by FBI bureaucracy. The cast is stacked, with Forest Whitaker as the lead, Richard Schiff as the FBI director, and a pre-House of Cards Michael Kelly as the team's wildcard agent. (Note: Suspect Behavior is one of two short-lived Criminal Minds spin-offs. There was also Beyond Borders starring Gary Sinise, which is not currently available to stream.) [Watch on Amazon, iTunes, or Vudu for rent or purchase]
If you fell in love with Criminal Minds because of the profiling aspect of the show, then you definitely need to hop over to Netflix to check out David Fincher's Mindhunter, which dramatizes the creation of the FBI unit known as the BAU. Jonathan Groff stars as Holden Ford, a young agent who specializes in hostage negotiations who finds himself drawn to figuring out what makes pathological "sequence killers" tick. He begins to interview incarcerated multiple murderers to start building a methodology for finding other killers who haven't been caught yet. It is a fascinating deep dive into how the profiling tips the team used on Criminal Minds were first developed. [Watch on Netflix]
If a great team of crime-solvers is what you're after, especially one with a prodigy like Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), then check out Scorpion, which is streaming CBS All Access. The series follows a group of brilliant but socially awkward geniuses (basically a whole group of Reids!) who use their tech-savvy skills to help the Department of Homeland Security track down and stop imminent threats against the United States. It's a little like Criminal Minds and The Big Bang Theory had a baby, which sounds like it shouldn't work, but it actually really does. [Watch on Paramount+]
It's okay, you can admit it. The thing you actually love most about Criminal Minds are the unsubs themselves. If that's the case, you should join the passionate Hannibal fanbase. Bryan Fuller's series centered on famous cannibal character Hannibal Lecter makes eating people seem almost...romantic. The tension between Hannibal (Mads Mikkelson) and FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is as delicious as the meals Hannibal cooks up for his guests. Oh, did we just say that? Listen, you'll get it if you watch. [Watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon]
Hey, ladies can be serial killers and have extremely intense relationships with the federal agents trying to track them down, too! Welcome to Killing Eve, based on the novel Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings and brought to life on TV by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Sandra Oh is brilliant as MI5 agent Eve Polastri, whose curiosity and intuition puts her on the trail of one of the most deadly assassins in the game -- Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The cat and mouse game that ensues between these two is so smart and thrilling, and leads to twists that will leave you a bit out of breath. [Watch on Hulu]
The BAU team loved to put together a good murder board when solving cases, and if that chaotic-good energy excited you, then Homeland is going to have you jumping for joy. The lengths CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) went through to prove the sometimes far-fetched theories she came up with were anxiety-inducing, but when her intuition paid off it felt like the best episodes of Criminal Minds when the unsub was caught at the last possible second. [Watch on Showtime, Hulu with Showtime add-on, Amazon with Showtime add-on]
Perhaps you don't like the lone wolf hunt, though, and we get that. That's why there's NCIS, another long-running CBS crime procedural, but this time centered on a military group of crime solvers. Unlike many of the other choices on this list, NCIS also gives you the comfort of knowing the target is most likely going to be apprehended at the end of the episode. That means you can skip around and find the era of the show you really love. [Watch on Netflix, Paramount+]
Luther is the Criminal Minds replacement show you should watch if you like a long hunt for a suspect and you enjoy a sexy detective leading the charge. You can enjoy multiple seasons of Idris Elba getting his hands dirty as the eponymous sleuth on a variety of different streaming services. Did we mention Elba also uses his native British accent in the series? It's like the universe is begging you to watch this gritty BBC drama, and who are you to refuse? [Watch on Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, Starz]