‘Criminal Minds’ Season 15 Finale Date: When Does It End?

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Criminal Minds is embarking on its 15th and final season. The long-running crime series will resolve all of the unresolved subplots from episodes prior, and provide closure for each member of the elite “mind hunter” team. But how many episodes does season 15 contain? And when will the series finale air?

The Criminal Minds series finale will air on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. According to CBS, the finale starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and it will be two hours in length. The first part, “Face Off,” airs from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and the second, titled “And In the End…,” picks up at 10 p.m. and continues to 11 p.m. ET on CBS.

Some fans may be surprised by how soon the finale is scheduled, but Newsweek reports that season 15 contains only ten episodes. Check out the full episode schedule below:

  • Episode 1 – “Under the Skin,” January 8
  • Episode 2 – “Awakenings,” January 8
  • Episode 3 – “Spectator Slowing,” January 15
  • Episode 4 – “Saturday,” January 22
  • Episode 5 – “Date Night,” January 29
  • Episode 6 – “Ghost,” February 5
  • Episode 7 – TBA, February 12
  • Episode 8 – “Family Tree,” February 19
  • Episode 9 – “Face Off,” February 19
  • Episode 10 – “And In the End….,” February 19

‘Criminal Minds’ Season 15 Will Conclude After 10 Episodes

Criminal Minds has consistently altered its episode counts depending on the season. The first season contained 22 episode, while seasons 3 and 4 had 20 and 26 episodes, respectively. The series dipped below 20 episodes for the first time in season 14, when Digital Spy reported that that there were only 15 episodes. The trend will continue this season.

According to Deadline, there were talks of ending Criminal Minds after season 14, but the network decided to go with a cliffhanger instead, and give showrunner Erica Messer a chance to craft a more satisfying finale. They decided that ten episodes was the perfect amount of screen time to resolve loose plot threads without needlessly padding the story.

Showrunner Erica Messer Considered Ending the Series After Season 14

“We wanted to make sure Erica had the time and ability to write a season [15] finale that honors the characters and the fans,” said CBS EVP Amy Reisenbach. “We discussed wanting to keep the show in continuous production so 10 felt like the right number for us to roll straight into and give Erica enough episodes to end the series the way she wanted to.”

Messer told the outlet that she was thankful for the opportunity to end the series on a high, and hopes the honor the wishes of long-time fans. “I am very hopeful that we can honor all of those characters who have been beloved and with this team,” she stated. The hope is to be able to honor all of that history, all of those heroes who have come and gone.”

Criminal Minds season 15 premieres Wednesday, January 8 at 9/8c on CBS.

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